Robotics Program Energized by New RIM@ Georgia Tech

College of Computing and College of Engineering at Georgia Tech Lead Interdisciplinary Effort to Create Nation's Leading Robotics Research Center

The College of Computing and College of Engineering at Georgia Tech today announced the establishment of the Robotics and Intelligent Machines center (RIM@Georgia Tech), a new interdisciplinary research center that will draw on the strengths and knowledge of robotics experts from both colleges. According to robotics industry associations in North America and Japan, the global robotics market is expected to significantly expand over the next five years, including gains in both the service and personal robotics fields. Leveraging the strengths of the College of Computing and the College of Engineering, and with support from the Georgia Tech Research Institute and the Office of Research, RIM@Georgia Tech will make a significant and immediate impact on growth and innovation within this burgeoning industry.

"RIM@Georgia Tech will serve as the flagship for Georgia Tech's robotics efforts, coordinating the university's capabilities in this field under one roof and facilitating the transfer of research results to the industry," said Dr. Henrik Christensen, KUKA Chair of Robotics and distinguished professor in the College of Computing, who will direct the new research center. "This new center allows Georgia Tech to maximize its established relationships with industry leaders and its strengths in interactive and intelligent computing, control, and mechanical engineering."

With a focus on personal and everyday robotics, as well as the future of automation, faculty involved with RIM@Georgia Tech will develop both undergraduate and doctoral degree programs tailored to best enable students to understand and drive the future role of robotics in society and industry.

"The College of Computing identified robotics as one of our critical areas for educational growth and further research development," says Richard A. DeMillo, John P. Imlay, Jr. Dean of the College of Computing. "With Henrik's leadership and the establishment of RIM@Georgia Tech, we're well on our way to achieving eminence as a true leader in this growing field."

Currently, Georgia Tech boasts 31 faculty members involved in robotics research, 15 robotics-related laboratories and approximately 44 courses in robotics. The center is expected to grow significantly over the next few years.

"Georgia Tech has a strong capacity and a rich history in the field of robotics, and we've just scratched the surface in this high-growth market," said Dr. Charles L. Liotta, vice provost for research and dean of graduate studies at Georgia Tech. "Through shared resources and a growing synergy among Georgia Tech faculty in this field, the possibilities for breakthroughs in robotics are limitless."

Under the direction of Dr. Christensen, a global leader in robotics research and innovation, RIM@Georgia Tech will be positioned as a national leader in the research and development of tomorrow's cutting-edge robotics breakthroughs. As one of the center's first projects, researchers from RIM@Georgia Tech are preparing to enter the 2007 DARPA Grand Challenge, a United States government-sponsored competition that will feature autonomous ground vehicles executing simulated military supply missions safely and effectively in a mock urban area. The 2007 Grand Challenge is part of the annual robotics Grand Challenge series that began in 2004 and is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense.

"Academic and research excellence is the focus of this new center; but developing technologies that can be adopted by industry and applied to the real-world will be a top priority," said Dr. Don Giddens, dean of the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech. "RIM@Georgia Tech will follow the Institute's model of bringing technology from the lab to the market."

About the College of Computing at Georgia Tech
The College of Computing at Georgia Tech is a national leader in the creation of real-world computing breakthroughs that drive social and scientific progress. With its graduate program ranked 11th nationally by U.S. News and World Report, the College's unconventional approach to education is defining the new face of computing by expanding the horizons of traditional computer science students through interdisciplinary collaboration and a focus on human centered solutions. For more information about the College of Computing at Georgia Tech, its academic divisions and research centers, please visit http://www.cc.gatech.edu/.

About the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech
The College of Engineering at Georgia Tech is the largest engineering program in the U.S. and ranked 4th among the country's best graduate programs by U.S. News and World Report. A respected leader in interdisciplinary research and education, the College of Engineering grants the highest number of engineering degrees in the nation across nine fields of study. For more information about the programs in the College of Engineering, please visit http://www.coe.gatech.edu/.

Writer: Stefany Wilson, College of Computing