Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events matching your criteria.

Past Events

AEM Solid Mechanics Research Seminar — April 21

The Solid Mechanics Research Seminar is a tradition in the AEM department going back to the mid-1980s. This is an informal seminar where the talks are often given on the board (although slides are fine). The speaker reports on some new and interesting topic related to solid mechanics in some depth and the audience is strongly encouraged to ask questions.

Mr. Jiacheng Yuan (PhD candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Mr. K. Selim Engin (PhD candidate in Computer Science & Engineering), University of Minnesota (Isler group) will present "Reinforcement learning for robotic manipulation and active target localization." View the AEM website for full information about the event and how to log into the Zoom call.

MnRI Speaker Series: Kevin Lynch

This event has been suspended until further notice. More information coming soon.

You can find out more about Kevin Lynch on his Northwestern robotics website.

MnRI Speaker Series: Professor Yan Luo

This event has been suspended until further notice. More information coming soon.

LCCMR Funding Overview with Prof. David Mulla

The LCCMR makes funding recommendations to the legislature for special environment and natural resource projects from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF). Professor David Mulla broke down how to navigate through the application process, the type of research that the LCCMR is seeking, and much more.

See Professor David Mulla's breakdown of this type of funding and best practices for application here.

MnRI Speakers Series: Professor Eakta Jain

Rapid advances in graphics and virtual reality are bringing us to the cusp of hyper-realistic digital virtual avatars. A key component in creating compelling virtual avatars is the level of detail in the eyes. Built-in eye trackers offer technologists ample opportunity to image the user’s eyes. Though this information provides us with the data needed to cross the uncanny valley, collecting such data at scale creates a hidden cost for the user: security and privacy vulnerabilities. In this talk, I will discuss our work on creating avatar eyes, demonstrate a key vulnerability in eye tracking, and present technological solutions that trade-off security considerations with avatar realism.
Eakta Jain is an Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. She received her Ph.D. and MS degrees in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University and her B.Tech. degree from IIT Kanpur. She has worked in industrial research at Texas Instruments R&D labs, Disney Research Pittsburgh, and the Walt Disney Animation Studios. Her research group at the University of Florida is funded through faculty research awards from Facebook/Oculus and Google/YouTube, federal funding from the National Science Foundation, and state funding from the Florida Department of Transportation.


2020 Annual Research Ethics Day Conference

The Power and Perils of Research Data: Generating, Storing & Sharing Data Responsibly

Join us for the fifth annual University of Minnesota Research Ethics Day. The conference will close with a panel of community and local experts speaking about data and information management, the challenges of responsibly using big data, ethical use of data in health-related research including consent, confidentiality, and sensitivity to participant concerns. This final panel will include MnRI faculty Vipin Kumar!

View more information or register on the Research Ethics Day Conference website.

Speaker Series: Greg Appelhof

Join us to welcome entrepreneur Greg Appelhof, who will present AIR PIX, the small drone that can take HD photo and video selfies and share them instantly with friends. Learn more about the different challenges from take off, autonomous flight and landing to face finding, focusing and sharp image capturing, and process balancing between the drone and the phone. 

Greg is the founder and CEO of SPRING, and works with AirSelfie, Inc. to develop this technology.

Speaker Series: 'Emulating Biological Search Strategies in Robot Swarms' with Dr. Melanie E. Moses

Emulating Biological Search Strategies in Robot Swarms

Natural systems are immensely more adaptive, flexible, and robust than anything built by humans. For example, right now trillions of T cells are crawling through your tissues, without a blueprint of your body or centralized instructions, protecting you from viruses, nascent tumors and their own uncontrolled proliferation. Uncountable numbers of ants crawl across forest canopies, desert sands and perhaps your kitchen counter. Each species uses its own decentralized strategy that tailors a small repertoire of sensing, navigation and communication behaviors to forage effectively in its environment.

While spectacularly successful decentralized collective behaviors have evolved in nature, it remains a challenge to engineer flexible cooperative robotic systems that can function in the real world. We emulate natural search behaviors in robotic swarms that sense, navigate and communicate to search effectively in unmapped environments. We show that provably efficient search algorithms that work well in theory are not necessarily the best algorithms in practice, and that bio-inspired designs can effectively scale to thousands of robots. We implement search algorithms in ground robots designed for NASA to explore for resources and support human settlements on other planets and in UAVs designed to monitor gases emitted in harsh volcanic environments.

Join us on December 6th to discuss this and more, with Dr. Melanie Moses!

About Dr. Moses

Melanie E. Moses is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico and an External Faculty Member at the Santa Fe Institute. She earned a B.S. from Stanford University in Symbolic Systems and a Ph.D. in Biology from UNM.

Her interdisciplinary research crosses the boundaries of Computer Science and Biology through modeling of search processes in complex adaptive systems such as ant colonies and immune systems, and in the bio-inspired design swarms of robots that can autonomously cooperate with each other, scale to large sizes, and adapt to environmental conditions.

She is PI or Co-PI on research funded by NSF, NASA, DARPA, NIH, DOE, Google, Microsoft and the McDonnell Foundation. She has mentored dozens of graduate and undergraduate students and led projects including NM CSforAll, the NASA Swarmathon and the Google ExploreCSR Swarmathon:TNG workshop to engage thousands of women and underrepresented minorities in computer science from high school through graduate school.


Speaker Series: "Consumer Robotics" with Dr. Paul Oh

The lines between consumer electronics and consumer robotics is blurry. For example, at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the list of robotics company exhibits has grown to over 400. Furthermore driverless cars, drones, exo-skeletons, 3D printers and virtual-reality systems are examples of robots that have a consumer focus. 

This talk highlights observations of this phenomena. This is given in the context of an Age of Acceleration characterized by deep learning, cloud-computing, and artificial intelligence. The talk serves to suggest pathways for roboticists and their design and development endeavors.

Join the Minnesota Robotics Institute in welcoming our second guest in the Speaker Series, Dr. Paul Oh, a Lincy Professor of Unmanned Aerial Systems from the University of Nevada - Las Vegas.

About Dr. Paul Oh

Prof. Paul Oh joined the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) as the Lincy Professor of Unmanned Aerial Systems in 2014.  He is the founder and director of the Drones and Autonomous Systems Lab (DASL).  Prior, he was in Drexel University's Mechanical Engineering Department from 2000-2014. 

Dr. Oh received mechanical engineering degrees from McGill (B. Eng 1989), Seoul National (M. Sc. 1992), and Columbia (PhD 1999) universities.  He is a Fellow of NASA (2002), Naval Research Lab (2003), Boeing (2006) and ASME (2012).  He received research (2004 NSF CAREER) and teaching (2005 SAE Ralph Teetor Award for Engineering Education Excellence) awards and authored over 150 publications and 3 books.  From 2008-2010, he served as an NSF Program Director managing the robotics research portfolio.  From 2012-2015 he led Team DRC-Hubo and Team DRC-Hubo@UNLV for the DARPA Robotics Challenge.  Today, he serves as General Chair for IEEE IROS 2020 (IEEE Intelligent Robots and Systems) Conference.

Speaker Series: "A perspective on robotics" with Dr. Henrik Christensen

Please join us in Welcoming Dr. Henrik Christensen (University of California - San Diego) for MnRI's inaugural address and presentation. Celebrating in conjunction with the launch of the Minnesota Robotics Institute, this event will welcome the future of robotics and sensing education for the University and the state of Minnesota.


Robotics has recently celebrated its 60 year anniversary. The field started out almost exclusively in manufacturing for dirty, dull and dangerous tasks. Today robots are leverage far beyond the factory floor for empowering humans across manufacturing, services, healthcare, defense and space. We will provide an overview of the state of robotics. We will also discuss mega-trends that are changing robotics. In addition we will review major opportunities and challenges for robotics with a perspective to business opportunities, technology innovation and systems integration.

About Henrick Christensen

Henrik I Christensen is the Qualcomm Chancellor’s Chair of Robot Systems at UC San Diego, a professor of Computer Science and the director of Contextual Robotics Institute. He is also the co-founder of Robust.AI and Robo-Global. Dr. Christensen does research on robust robot systems using methods from perception and AI. The research has a strong systems focus. He has published more than 350 contributions across robotics, AI and computer vision. Dr. Christensen has co-founded 6 companies and was the main editor of the US National Robotics Roadmaps 2009, 2013 and 2016. He serves as a consultant to companies and governments across four continents.

You can learn more about Dr. Christensen on his faculty website.