Paul Oh, Professor and Associate Department Head

Department of Mechancial Engineering and Mechanics

Drexel University

Robotics: Passing the Tipping Point

Friday, September 13, 12:00 PM

Packard Lab Room 466

Abstract: Robotics is going through a rapid "growth spurt".  Programs like the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) and the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) in the US and others in Europe and Asia have "tipped" the field into an era of disruptive and transformative products and services. Today's unprecedented convergence of technologies makes the near-term outlook very promising.  Domestic-cleaning robots, driverless vehicles, and co-worker automatons that were "dreams" yesterday, are commercially available today.  A personal reflection of his experiences with with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs),  humanoids, and the DRC will be given.  Such reflection serves to articulate this "tipping point" phenomena and how they factor into transformative research and disruptive products and services.

Bio: Prof. Paul Oh is a full professor, ASME Fellow and Associate Department Head at Drexel's Mechanical Engineering Department.  He received mechanical engineering degrees from McGill (B.Eng 1989), Seoul National (M.Sc 1992), and Columbia (PhD 1999) universities. Honors include faculty fellowships at NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (2002), Naval Research Lab (2003), the NSF CAREER award (2004), the SAE Ralph Teetor Award for Engineering Education Excellence (2005) and being named a Boeing Welliver Fellow (2006). He is the Director of the Drexel Autonomous Systems Lab and also the Founding Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Aerial Robotics and UAVs.

From 2008-2010, he served at the National Science Foundation (NSF) as the Program Director managing the robotics research portfolio. He has authored over 70 referred archival papers and edited 2 books in the areas of robotics and unmanned systems. He serves as Editor for several leading robotics publications including Springer-Verlag's Journal of Intelligent Robotics and Systems and the Journal of Intelligent Service Robotics. He also served as Director for the NATO Advanced Studies Institute (ASI) in 2010 on Unmanned Systems which gathered researchers from over 20 countries to capture the state of the art and formulate research roadmaps. In 2012, he served as Program Chair for the flagship conference for the academic robotics community, the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), held in St. Paul, MN, USA.  He is currently lead of Team DRC-Hubo for the 2012-2014 DARPA Robotics Challenge.

In recognition of his international partnerships and impact on US research and education, he was one of three Distinguished Lecturers invited by the National Science Board to speak at their 60th Anniversary in 2010.

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