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. Occupying Shepherd's first two floors, the space utilizes over 25,000 square feet and includes several research labs for faculty and their students, reservable conference rooms, a two-story drone lab, additional enclosed work spaces, and general study spaces. The Gemini-Huntley Robotics Research Laboratory includes the following:
- 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 or read more about his team's research in a 2017 Minnesota Daily feature.
- Gini Next Generation Robot Lab (Shepherd Labs 160)
- Lead MnRI Researcher: Dr. Maria Gini
- Main Research Areas: robotics, distributed robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning
- Learn more about Maria Gini on her faculty website website, University of Minnesota faculty profile, or see her and her team's research on the MnRI Research Highlights page.
- 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 read ore about his team's research on the IRV Lab page.
- Park Laboratory (Shepherd Labs 232)
- Robotic Sensor Networks (RSN) Laboratory (Shepherd Labs 130)
- Lead MnRI Research: Dr. Volkan Isler
- Main Research Areas: robotics, perception, agricultural robotics and sensing, automation, communication, actuation
- Learn more about Dr. Volkan Isler's work on his faculty website or in the MnRI Research Spotlight. You can read about his lab team on the RSN lab website.
- Patrick J. Starr Solar Vehicle Project Laboratory (Shepherd Labs 104 & 168)
- This lab houses the Solar Vehicle Project, an undergraduate ran organization that builds and races solar vehicles worldwide.
- 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.
The Drone Lab is a dedicated two-story open space for the testing and demonstration of mobile robotic platforms, including drones. Located within this 853 ft2 region, is the motion capturing system, which has 32 HD cameras (13 MP) spread along the four sides of the room. Boasted to be the fastest, it is capable of collecting data at 960 fps. Furthermore, the use of active LED markers eliminates the marker swapping issue. As the 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 drones tests. The Drone Lab also serves as a reception point where a robot will welcome visitors and introduce the MnRI to them. 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 that are happening here.
Additional 'Makers' spaces:
- Two additional 'Makers' spaces are available ad hoc for additional R&D by faculty and graduate students. Unlike the conference rooms, these spaces come equipped with general 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, there are many general spaces available. These spaces include tables, counters, and chairs purposely placed to accommodate many of the 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 of the study spots.