Date Awarded: May 2022
Award Amount: $4,394,848
Focus Region: Eastern Massachusetts
Project Partners: AETLabs, Ava Robotics, Inc., Boston Scientific Corporation, GreenSight, Inc., Intel, Corporation, MassRobotics, Prodrive Technologies, Inc. Ubiros, Inc.
Boston University’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems Teaching and Innovation Center (RASTIC) will advance the development of new innovations with private sector partners in Massachusetts and increase student research opportunities in the robotics space.
RASTIC will emphasize real-world prototyping projects to integrate new materials, functionality, and artificial intelligence into robotic devices, delivering tools that will allow students to design and launch their own R&D projects.
The Commonwealth’s grant will support a three-year, $8.78 million project managed by BU in collaboration with its project partners.
Once launched, RASTIC will become a 'neutral space' where companies can work directly with faculty and students, encouraging hands-on projects to design, prototype, and test new robotic devices. The facilities will include four distinct zones that will provide simulated and scaled settings to mimic the complex environments in which robotic devices and systems must operate. The four zones consist of:
- A scaled miniature city for designing and testing autonomous vehicle algorithms;
- A “soft robotics” zone, with equipment for rapid prototyping (e.g., 3D printers, thermoforming machines, ovens, vacuum chamber, and small fabrication equipment);
- A planning and control zone, to enable experiments with a variety of robotics platforms (e.g., iRobot, Boston Dynamics, etc.) for the application of small computing and control platforms; and,
- An artificial intelligence (AI) zone will provide access to a Robotics Operating System (ROS) infrastructure which uses physics-based simulation, as well as experimentation with robotics hardware to test and deploy robotics devices.
The Commonwealth’s infrastructure investment will expand and enhance BU’s existing R&D facilities while enriching the robotics courses offered at BU, allowing for increased enrollment in the university’s graduate-level robotics degree program by up to 80 more students per year, or five times the current capacity.
Read more about the project on Boston University's News site.
Ms. Christina Polyzos, Associate Director at Center for Information and Systems Engineering at Boston University, firstname.lastname@example.org