Recent News


View News Clips By Year
20212020201920182017Archive
Students make it to finals of first autonomous EV GrandPrix race

Students make it to finals of first autonomous EV GrandPrix race

September 30, 2021

A group of UC San Diego engineering and data science students was one of three teams to make it to the final round of the inaugural autonomous EV GrandPrix go-kart race hosted by Purdue University in Indianapolis on Sept. 17. Full Story


IROS 2021 preview: robotic mapping and manipulation

September 22, 2021

Researchers at the UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute will present three papers at the IROS 2021 conference, which takes place Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, 2021, both online and in person in Prague.    Full Story


Researchers develop first steerable catheter for brain surgery

Researchers develop first steerable catheter for brain surgery

August 18, 2021

A team of engineers and physicians has developed a steerable catheter that for the first time will give neurosurgeons the ability to steer the device in any direction they want while navigating the brain’s arteries and blood vessels. The device was inspired by nature, specifically insect legs and flagella--tail-like structures that allow microscopic organisms such as bacteria to swim.     Full Story


NSF Invests $20M in UC San Diego-headquartered Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Institute

NSF Invests $20M in UC San Diego-headquartered Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Institute

July 29, 2021

Robotics researchers at UC San Diego are a key part of new NSF AI Institute. AI-driven optimization will allow robots to better perceive their environment and interact with them in a robust manner. Full Story


Improved maps for self-driving vehicles win Research Expo 2021

Improved maps for self-driving vehicles win Research Expo 2021

May 25, 2021

From monitoring the structural integrity of airplane wings, to improving lithographic 3D printing processes, to creating better maps for self-driving cars, this year’s Research Expo symposium showcased the depth and breadth of work done by graduate engineering and computer science students at the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.   Full Story


This system helps robots better navigate emergency rooms

This system helps robots better navigate emergency rooms

May 10, 2021

Computer scientists at the University of California San Diego have developed a more accurate navigation system that will allow robots to better negotiate busy clinical environments in general and emergency departments more specifically.  The researchers have also developed a dataset of open source videos to help train robotic navigation systems in the future.    Full Story


CAREER awards for three researchers at UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute

CAREER awards for three researchers at UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute

April 29, 2021

Three researchers at the Contextual Robotics Institute at UC San Diego have received CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation in 2021. Their work ranges from robot mapping, to invertebrate locomotion, to autonomous robotic surgery.    Full Story


From self-driving cars, to drones, to healthcare robotics: UC San Diego at ICRA 2021 preview

From self-driving cars, to drones, to healthcare robotics: UC San Diego at ICRA 2021 preview

April 26, 2021

A record number of papers from robotics faculty at the University of California San Diego were accepted to the 2021 International Conference on Robotics and Automation taking place in Xi’an.China, May 30 to June 5. Full Story


Robot, heal thyself

Robot, heal thyself

March 26, 2021

Living tissue can heal itself from many injuries, but giving similar abilities to artificial systems, such as robots, has been extremely challenging. Now, researchers at the University of California San Diego reporting in Nano Letters have developed small, swimming robots that can magnetically heal themselves on-the-fly after breaking into two or three pieces. The strategy could someday be used to make hardier devices for environmental or industrial clean up, the researchers say.  Full Story


Human-centered mobility and transportation options for disadvantaged communities is the goal of new partnership

Human-centered mobility and transportation options for disadvantaged communities is the goal of new partnership

February 24, 2021

The University of California San Diego is teaming up with several community-based organizations and the San Diego Association of Governments to improve access to transportation for the county’s low-income and underserved neighborhoods. The team is adopting a human-centered design approach to their work to try and repair the harm done by car-oriented transportation policies of the past.    Full Story


This robot doesn't need any electronics

This robot doesn't need any electronics

February 17, 2021

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have created a four-legged soft robot that doesn’t need any electronics to work. The robot only needs a constant source of pressurized air for all its functions, including its controls and locomotion systems. The team, led by Michael T. Tolley, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, details its findings in the Feb. 17, 2021 issue of the journal Science Robotics.   Full Story


IROS 2020: Autonomous mail delivery, robots practicing bartending, and more

IROS 2020: Autonomous mail delivery, robots practicing bartending, and more

November 5, 2020

From autonomous vehicles to robots practicing bartending and insect-like robots, engineers at the University of California San Diego are showcasing a broad range of pacers at IROS 2020, which is being held virtually from Oct. 25 to Nov. 25.    Full Story


This 'squidbot' jets around and takes pics of coral and fish

This 'squidbot' jets around and takes pics of coral and fish

October 5, 2020

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have built a squid-like robot that can swim untethered, propelling itself by generating jets of water. The robot carries its own power source inside its body. It can also carry a sensor, such as a camera, for underwater exploration. Full Story


Roboticist coaches middle school team to victory

Roboticist coaches middle school team to victory

September 23, 2020

Team Inspiration makes history at Robosub competition. Full Story


These flexible feet help robots walk faster

These flexible feet help robots walk faster

June 1, 2020

Roboticists at the University of California San Diego have developed flexible feet that can help robots walk up to 40 percent faster on uneven terrain such as pebbles and wood chips. The work has applications for search-and-rescue missions as well as space exploration. Full Story


Engineers develop low-cost, high-accuracy GPS-like system for flexible medical robots

Engineers develop low-cost, high-accuracy GPS-like system for flexible medical robots

May 18, 2020

Roboticists at the University of California San Diego have developed an affordable, easy to use system to track the location of flexible surgical robots inside the human body. The system performs as well as current state of the art methods, but is much less expensive. Many current methods also require exposure to radiation, while this system does not. The system was developed by Tania Morimoto, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, and mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Connor Watson. Their findings are published in the April 2020 issue of IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.   Full Story


Thanks to 'flexoskeletons,' these insect-inspired robots are faster and cheaper to make

Thanks to 'flexoskeletons,' these insect-inspired robots are faster and cheaper to make

April 8, 2020

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a new method that doesn’t require any special equipment and works in just minutes to create soft, flexible, 3D-printed robots. The structures were inspired by insect exoskeletons, which have both soft and rigid parts--the researchers called their creations “flexoskeletons.”    Full Story


How Robots Can Help Combat COVID-19: Science Robotics Editorial

How Robots Can Help Combat COVID-19: Science Robotics Editorial

March 20, 2020

Can robots be effective tools in combating the COVID-19 pandemic? A group of leaders in the field of robotics, including Henrik Christensen, director of UC San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute, say yes, and outline a number of examples in an editorial in the March 25 issue of Science Robotics. They say robots can be used for  clinical care such as telemedicine and decontamination; logistics such as delivery and handling of contaminated waste; and reconnaissance such as monitoring compliance with voluntary quarantines.  Full Story


Thermodynamics could be the future of computing, researchers say

Thermodynamics could be the future of computing, researchers say

November 18, 2019

As Moore’s Law reaches its limits, thermodynamic computing might prove to be the future of the field, says a new report from an international team of 38 researchers led by UC San Diego professor of practice Todd Hylton, released this month.  Full Story


UC San Diego Alumni Power San Diego Robotics Ecosystem

UC San Diego Alumni Power San Diego Robotics Ecosystem

November 14, 2019

From companies worth billions of dollars to startups employing a small number of people, UC San Diego engineering alumni are at the core of the robotics ecosystem here in San Diego County.This was clearly evident at the sixth annual robotics forum organized by the UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute Nov. 7. The forum focused exclusively on local companies this year and was dubbed the San Diego Robotics Forum for the occasion. The goal was to showcase the breadth and depth of the region’s robotics strengths, and solidify San Diego’s reputation as Robot Beach. Full Story


Self-Driving Mail Delivery Begins on Campus

Self-Driving Mail Delivery Begins on Campus

November 12, 2019

Harry Potter had his magical owl, Hedwig, to bring him mail. UC San Diego has driverless cars. If you’ve seen carts that look like they’re driving themselves on the road around Warren and Sixth College this quarter, you have not been imagining things. Two self-driving vehicles have been delivering mail to the two colleges since September. Full Story


The Race to Stay Ahead of Wildfires

The Race to Stay Ahead of Wildfires

November 7, 2019

As if to keep up with the growing frequency and intensity of wildfires throughout California, a network of wildfire-spotting cameras grew from 35 stations last year to more than 300 as of late October. The ALERTWildfire system co-developed by UC San Diego is one of several products created by the university that are improving the technological capability of western states to deal with wildfires now that the once-rare catastrophic events are becoming commonplace. Jacobs School researchers are also working on this effort, developing drones to spot wildfires before they get out of control. Full Story


Researchers receive $2.3M in NSF grants to investigate how robots can be used to provide personalized healthcare

Researchers receive $2.3M in NSF grants to investigate how robots can be used to provide personalized healthcare

November 6, 2019

Computer science professor Laurel Riek is the lead researcher on $2.3 million in new grants from the National Science Foundation to investigate how intelligent, personalized robots can be used to support neurorehabilitation for adults with mild cognitive impairment and adults recuperating from a stroke.   Full Story


UC San Diego Scientists Awarded Nearly $5 Million to Study Triggers of Deadly, Toxic Algal Blooms

UC San Diego Scientists Awarded Nearly $5 Million to Study Triggers of Deadly, Toxic Algal Blooms

October 29, 2019

Researchers from the University of California San Diego want to know what causes an oceanic algal bloom to turn deadly. To find out, researchers are gearing up to hunt for blooms along California’s coast using a suite of technologies that can target and sample ocean microbes and sift through genetic code in real time. All of this is made possible by a new $4.9 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The multidimensional effort will build upon recent discoveries about these temperamental microscopic algae under a project funded by NOAA’s Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB), a nationally competitive research funding program. Full Story


Robotics Forum will showcase San Diego region's expertise

Robotics Forum will showcase San Diego region's expertise

October 28, 2019

The UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute is organizing its sixth annual robotics forum on Thursday, November 7, showcasing the breadth and depth of the San Diego region’s expertise in robotics. Full Story


Clingfish biology inspires better suction cup

Clingfish biology inspires better suction cup

October 15, 2019

A team of engineers and marine biologists built a better suction cup inspired by the mechanism that allows the clingfish to adhere to both smooth and rough surfaces, such as rocks in the area where the tide comes and goes. Researchers reverse engineered the clingfish’s suction disk and developed devices that cling well to wet and dry objects both in an out of water. The devices can hold up to hundreds of times their own weight. They could be used in a wide range of applications from handling and packaging for produce, to robotic grippers in manufacturing, to the recovery of archaeological artifacts. Full Story


Get up and go bots getting closer, study says

Get up and go bots getting closer, study says

July 15, 2019

Robotics researchers at the University of California San Diego have for the first time used a commercial 3D printer to embed complex sensors inside robotic limbs and grippers. But they found that materials commercially available for 3D printing still need to be improved before the robots can be fully functional. Full Story


ICRA 2019 preview: bots, drones and neural nets

ICRA 2019 preview: bots, drones and neural nets

May 13, 2019

From ways to improve long-distance surgery techniques to better ways to get robots to work with humans in manufacturing settings and to a testing platform for UAVs, engineers at the University of California San Diego will make strong showing at the 2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation May 20 to 24 in Montreal, Canada.  Full Story


Robots to the Rhino Rescue

Robots to the Rhino Rescue

May 2, 2019

Researchers at UC San Diego and San Diego Zoo Global have joined forces to save the critically endangered northern white rhino from extinction. They are developing flexible robotic catheters that could aid in artificial insemination and embryo transfer on rhinos.  Full Story


Unearthing Mysteries of the Maya

Unearthing Mysteries of the Maya

April 11, 2019

UC San Diego computer science students are venturing into Maya tunnels in Guatemala, and at home in San Diego, to bring these ancient buried sites to virtual life. Part of the Engineers for Exploration (E4E) group, the students are guided by Computer Science and Engineering Professor Ryan Kastner and Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Curt Schurgers.  Full Story


Engineering touch

Engineering touch

April 11, 2019

 A tool to help the visually impaired navigate crowded spaces; an interface to assist surgeons during a complex procedure; and a display that can change shape when heat is applied. These were all projects developed by students in the first-ever haptic interfaces class to be offered at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. Full Story


The robots that dementia caregivers want: robots for joy, robots for sorrow

The robots that dementia caregivers want: robots for joy, robots for sorrow

March 13, 2019

Building robots that can help people with dementia has been a longtime goal for roboticists. Yet until now, no one has sought to survey informal caregivers, such as family members, about what characteristics and roles these robots should have. A team of scientists at the University of California San Diego sought to address this by spending six months co-designing robots with family members, social workers, and other caregivers who care for people with dementia. They are presenting their findings at the Human Robot Interaction conference March 11 to 14 in South Korea. Full Story


Overcoming Delays in Long-Distance Surgery

Overcoming Delays in Long-Distance Surgery

February 5, 2019

An engineering-surgery team at UC San Diego is working to extend the reach of surgeons by allowing them to operate remotely on patients located across a city, country, or even the globe. They are developing predictive augmented reality systems that could help make telesurgery a reality. Full Story


See, Think, Predict: Engineers build a soft robotics perception system inspired by humans

See, Think, Predict: Engineers build a soft robotics perception system inspired by humans

January 30, 2019

An international team of researchers has developed a perception system for soft robots inspired by the way humans process information about their own bodies in space and in relation to other objects and people. They describe the system, which includes a motion capture system, soft sensors, a neural network, and a soft robotic finger, in the Jan. 30 issue of Science Robotics. Full Story


The Top 10 robotics technologies of 2018, according to Science Robotics

The Top 10 robotics technologies of 2018, according to Science Robotics

January 16, 2019

Henrik Christensen, director of the Contextual Robotics Institute at the Jacobs School is one of 10 of the world’s foremost robotics researchers to weigh in on the top 10 robotics technologies of 2018 in the Jan. 16 issue of Science Robotics. Full Story


New Robot Can Sense Plankton Optically and Acoustically

New Robot Can Sense Plankton Optically and Acoustically

January 4, 2019

Oceanographers and engineers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego collaborated to modify a common physical oceanography instrument to be able to image zooplankton as it glides through the ocean. Full Story


The future of healthcare robotics: from home helpers to hospital and surgery assistants

The future of healthcare robotics: from home helpers to hospital and surgery assistants

November 16, 2018

By 2050, the number of people over age 60 will double worldwide. By 2100, it will triple. This population shift will generate dramatically increased demand for caregiving and healthcare services--demand that can’t be met by humans only. In addition, five billion people worldwide lack access to adequate healthcare, especially surgery. These are some of the problems that experts in the field of healthcare robotics from industry and academia came together to tackle during the 2018 Contextual Robotics Institute Forum held Nov. 8 at the University of California San Diego.  Full Story


Healthcare, Homecare and Robotics: Where to from here?

Healthcare, Homecare and Robotics: Where to from here?

October 10, 2018

World-renowned experts working at the intersection of robotics and healthcare will convene at UC San Diego on November 8, 2018 for the annual Contextual Robotics Institute Forum, this year focused on Healthcare Robotics.  Full Story


From stair-climbing robots to motion planning algorithms: UC San Diego at IROS 2018

From stair-climbing robots to motion planning algorithms: UC San Diego at IROS 2018

September 28, 2018

From stair-climbing robots to algorithms that help robots navigate the world, researchers at the University of California San Diego are making a strong showing at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, or IROS 2018, which takes place Oct. 1 to 5 in Madrid, Spain. Full Story


Endless Creativity: Designing Robots at UC San Diego

Endless Creativity: Designing Robots at UC San Diego

June 13, 2018

UC San Diego masters and PhD students designed and built all sorts of different walking robots for the Spring 2018 quarter of MAE 207: Bioinspired mobile roboticsFull Story


Cell-like nanorobots clear bacteria and toxins from blood

Cell-like nanorobots clear bacteria and toxins from blood

May 30, 2018

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed tiny ultrasound-powered robots that can swim through blood, removing harmful bacteria and the toxins they produce. These proof-of-concept nanorobots could one day offer a safe and efficient way to detoxify and decontaminate biological fluids. Full Story


Artificial muscles, robotic grippers, health care robotics

Artificial muscles, robotic grippers, health care robotics

May 14, 2018

From a gripper equipped with gecko-inspired adhesives, to artificial muscles and robotic joints, to talks on human-robot interaction and health care robotics, the University of California San Diego will have a strong presence at the 2018 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 21 to 25 in Brisbane, Australia. Full Story


Transparent eel-like soft robot can swim silently underwater

Transparent eel-like soft robot can swim silently underwater

April 25, 2018

An innovative, eel-like robot developed by engineers and marine biologists at the University of California can swim silently in salt water without an electric motor. Instead, the robot uses artificial muscles filled with water to propel itself. The foot-long robot, which is connected to an electronics board that remains on the surface, is also virtually transparent.  The team, which includes researchers from UC San Diego and UC Berkeley, details their work in the April 25 issue of Science Robotics.  Full Story


Turning injectable medicines into inhalable treatments with the help of smart phone components

Turning injectable medicines into inhalable treatments with the help of smart phone components

April 10, 2018

Imagine if all childhood vaccines could get delivered with an inhaler rather than shots; or wiping away tuberculosis bacteria in a patient’s lungs with an inhaler; or disinfecting a hospital room thoroughly with a diffuser. These are the goals of a research team led by Professor James Friend in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California San Diego. Their efforts were recently boosted when Friend received a prestigious $900,000 research grant from the Keck Foundation, whose mission is to support pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medical research. Full Story


Gecko-inspired adhesives help soft robotic fingers get a better grip

Gecko-inspired adhesives help soft robotic fingers get a better grip

April 6, 2018

A team of California researchers has developed a robotic gripper that combines the adhesive properties of gecko toes and the adaptability of air-powered soft robots to grasp a much wider variety of objects than the state of the art. Researchers will present their findings at the 2018 International Conference on Robotics and Automation May 21 to 25 in Brisbane, Australia. Full Story


Robotics and Autonomy Research at UC San Diego Research Expo on April 19

Robotics and Autonomy Research at UC San Diego Research Expo on April 19

March 26, 2018

Robotics and autonomy research is just one of the many reasons to come to the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering on April 19 for Research Expo. Industry recruiters and technical staff from companies across the region will be talking research with the 200+ engineering and computer science graduate students at their posters. The poster session runs from 2PM until 4:30 PM. Register today for Research Expo. Full Story


We Welcome Our Robot Tour Guides

We Welcome Our Robot Tour Guides

March 21, 2018

Take a walk inside the entrance to UC San Diego's Atkinson Hall and you might be greeted by a robot made of two cardboard boxes stacked one upon the other, complete with a signature smiley face. BoxBot, as the bot is called, works with his counterpart TritonBot, a robot with a fully functional body, in the hopes of one day becoming a lobby receptionist for the building. But the 'bots are also being used for more sophisticated purposes: to collect information about how humans respond to robots.  Full Story


San Diego, Korea team up to tackle transportation

San Diego, Korea team up to tackle transportation

March 21, 2018

UC San Diego is launching an international research collaboration to develop smart and clean transportation systems and infrastructure, with an added goal of commercializing the results. In partnership with the City of San Diego, the City of Ulsan in Korea and the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), along with numerous industry partners, the UC San Diego Smart Transportation Innovation Program will develop technological solutions to tomorrow’s transportation challenges. Full Story


UC San Diego Grad Students Build a Robotics Community

UC San Diego Grad Students Build a Robotics Community

March 15, 2018

Nanoengineering Ph.D. student Caleb Christianson and mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Benjamin Shih created the Association for Robotics Graduate Students here at UC San Diego at the end of 2016. Both Shih and Christianson are part of the Bioinspired Robotics and Design Lab led by mechanical engineering professor Mike Tolley. Full Story


Lasers, batteries and autonomy: get the latest updates at Research Expo

Lasers, batteries and autonomy: get the latest updates at Research Expo

March 15, 2018

Breakthrough lasers, better batteries for electric vehicles, and autonomous robots are on the docket for the faculty tech-talks at the 37th annual Jacobs School of Engineering Research Expo at the University of California San Diego.  Full Story


News Archive