This week CSAIL Director Daniela Rus was presented with the Engelberger Robotics Award recipient for her instrumental work as a leader, educator, and pioneer in the field of robotics. The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) presented the award at Automate 2017 and the International Symposium on Robotics. Also receiving the honor this year is former MIT professor Gill Pratt, who now serves as CEO of the Toyota Research Institute.
The Engelberger Robotics Awards are given to individuals for “excellence in technology development, application, education and leadership in the robotics industry.”
Rus’s research group, the Distributed Robotics Lab, has been groundbreaking in their pursuit of functional and dynamic systems, including self-organizing robots, underwater robotics, modular and self-reconfiguring robots, mobile sensor networks, and technology for desktop robotics. Her team has created robots that can bake, fly, garden, and even dance with humans.
The lab has also focused on the future of autonomous vehicles, in the realm of scooters, golf carts, wheelchairs, scooters, and city cars, aiming to bolster mobility for the elderly and reduce traffic related deaths. These systems have spurred innovative work in companies like Boeing and iRobot.
“Dr. Pratt and Dr. Rus are known throughout the world for their outstanding contributions to the robotics industry,” says Jeff Burnstein, RIA president in the official press release. “We are thrilled to honor them with the Engelberger Robotics Award.”