Bioinspired Robotics Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Research Opportunities in Bioinspired Robotics, Jun 5–Aug. 11, 2017

Program Introduction
The Maryland Robotics Center, with support from the National Science Foundation, is offering exciting research opportunities for undergraduate students in the area of bioinspired robotics. Bioinspired robots—defined as robots that are inspired by natural systems such as insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles—have the potential to significantly enable or enhance capabilities in manufacturing, health care, reconnaissance, exploration, food safety, and search and rescue. Because of their unique design, bioinspired robotics offer a truly interdisciplinary systems research challenge that encompasses biology, materials, mechanical design, control, sensors and actuators, power, electronics, and computer science among other topics. 

2014 REU Student Participants

Program Goals
The Bioinspired Robotics REU Site aims to:

  1. Teach students about bioinspired robotics and the applicable technologies and applications
  2. Engage talented and diverse students in interdisciplinary research programs
  3. Prepare students for graduate school or research jobs in industry and labs
  4. Introduce undergraduates to team-based interdisciplinary research
  5. Build a strong community between undergraduates, graduate student mentors, and faculty

During the 10-week summer program, students will develop research projects, attend technical tutorial seminars, visit local government labs involved in bioinspired robotics research, attend professional and academic development seminars, and tour Maryland’s top-notch facilities supporting robotics research including the UMd FabLab and Neutral Bouyancy Research Facility. Lunch discussions will provide an informal setting for students and mentors to discuss technical and non-technical topics. The program culminates in student presentations on their summer research.

Who should apply

REU awards are made on the basis of students’ strong potential and motivation to perform bioinspired robotics research, academic preparation in their area of interest, letters of reference, and interest in interacting with diverse mentors and peers in interdisciplinary research. Students from all institutions, including the University of Maryland, are welcome to apply. Students from colleges and universities having limited research facilities (non-R1 schools), including tribal colleges and universities and community colleges, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Special note: This work is supported by the National Science Foundation, a federal agency. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply and to participate.

Research projects
Research projects are described in more detail HERE.

Schedule, stipend, room and board
Program dates are June 5 through August 11, 2017. We have made arrangements in the past for students whose schools are on a quarter system or release later to join the session a few days later, but arrangements must be worked out with the REU director and your program mentor.

All participants receive a $5,000 stipend for their summer work and funding is available for on-campus housing and travel support. Local students (within commuting distance of the University of Maryland) are generally not eligible for on-campus housing. Check the LOGISTICS page for more detailed information as it becomes available. 

Program Flyer