Gemini-Huntley Robotics Research Laboratory

In 2018, the University of Minnesota received a generous donation of 10 million dollars and an additional 2 million dollars from the state to create the brand-new Gemini-Huntley Robotics Research Laboratory. The space occupies Shepherd's first two floors and over 25,000 square feet. It includes several research labs for faculty and their students, reservable conference rooms, a two-story drone lab, additional enclosed workspaces, and available study spaces. The Gemini-Huntley Robotics Research Laboratory includes the following:

Research Laboratories:

  • Distributed Robotics Lab (Shepherd Labs 246, 256, 270)
    • Lead MnRI Researcher: Dr. Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos
    • Main Research Areas: robotics, distributed robotics, sensors for transportation applications, computer vision, control systems, sensor networks, computer engineering, computer-integrated manufacturing
    • Learn more about Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos on his faculty website.
  • Gini Next Generation Robot Lab (Shepherd Labs 160)
  • Interactive Robotics and Vision (IRV) Laboratory (Shepherd Labs 150)
    • Lead MnRI Researcher: Dr. Junaed Sattar
    • Main Research Areas: robotics, underwater robotics, human-robot collaboration, robot vision, application of robotics in healthcare, and assisted and autonomous driving
    • Learn more about Junaed Sattar on his faculty website or his team's research on the IRV Lab page.
  • Park Laboratory (Shepherd Labs 232)
  • Robotic Sensor Networks (RSN) Laboratory (Shepherd Labs 130)
  • Patrick J. Starr Solar Vehicle Project Laboratory (Shepherd Labs 104 & 168)
    • This lab houses the Solar Vehicle Project, an undergraduate ran an organization that builds and races solar vehicles worldwide.

Conference Rooms:

  • The first two floors feature four conference rooms, ranging in capacity and equipped with audio/visual capabilities and whiteboard/whiteboard walls. These conference rooms are generally reservable at the discretion of Shepherd Laboratories management.

Drone Lab:

  • The Drone Lab is a dedicated two-story open space for testing and demonstrating mobile robotic platforms, including drones. Located within this 853 ft2 region is the capturing motion system, which has 32 HD cameras (13 MP) spread along the four sides of the room. Boasted to be the fastest, it can collect data at 960 fps. Furthermore, the use of active LED markers eliminates the marker-swapping issue. As a result, multi-object sub-millimeter tracking can be attained. In addition, a manually-controlled safety net is also installed there to enhance the security for drone tests. The Drone Lab also serves as a reception point where a robot will welcome visitors and introduce the MnRI. At the same time, various real-time interactive demonstrations will be held on the spot or displayed on the big screen to give them an overview of the related interesting research projects happening here.

Additional 'Makers' spaces:

  • Two additional 'Makers' spaces are available ad hoc for other R&D by faculty and graduate students. Unlike the conference rooms, these spaces come equipped with available research lab equipment and can be used as a short-term extension of current labs.

General study spaces:

  • Along with conference rooms, research labs, and additional R&D spaces, many general spaces are available. These spaces include tables, counters, and chairs purposely placed to accommodate many other students on campus. Shepherd Labs welcomes all undergraduate and graduate students to enjoy the quiet study spaces around the building—be sure to take advantage of the whiteboard walls that accompany many study spots.