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September 15, 2010
Professor Nikos Papanikolopoulos and Vassilios Morellas were awarded $770,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop new miniature robotic devices through three grants. The grant "RI:Small: Theory and Experiments with Tumbling Robots" promises to develop new planning algorithms for miniature tumbling robots. Tumbling robots provide some unique locomotion capabilities that traditional wheeled devices cannot. These capabilities come at the cost of having to address challenging planning issues.
The grant "MRI RAPID: Swarms of Robotic Aquapods to Assess Impact of Oil Spills on Marshlands" (with Miki Hondzo from the Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory) will deploy amphibious miniature robots to collect data from oil-affected sites in the Gulf area. The grant "I/UCRC Collaborative Research: Miniature Ground/Water Robot" will create the Aquapod, a versatile tumbling robot that could move from the ground to water and vice versa.