The Center for Robotics and Automation carries out sponsored research of intelligent robotic systems. The activity of the Center emphasizes robotic workstation modeling, controller design, intelligent planning, and distributed control architecture for multirobot control. The ultimate goal is to achieve design of sensor/event-referenced action planning and real-time control of robotic systems in workstations. The problems studied here involve both theoretical development in robot planning and control, as well as implementation problems in sensory measurement, computer control, and software development.

The director of the center, T.J. Tarn has been the Director of Division X of the IEEE, which consists of six societies and consul and is the largest Division in IEEE organization. He has been playing important role in the leadership of the IEEE organization.

The Center continues to receive support from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy for its unique effort in theoretical development and experimental validation of intelligent robotic systems. Eleven doctoral degrees in systems science and Mathematics have been awarded based on this research in the Center. Seven students are currently working toward their doctoral degrees. All alumni of the Center are well-placed in industrial and research positions of high responsibility. Through the joint research effort, a closed cooperative relationship has been developed between the Center and Sandia and Oak Ridge National Laboratories. The research result of the Center has been implemented in the Sandia national Laboratory. It has been demonstrated in the 1995 Department of Energy Robotics Technology Forum. In addition, the event-based planning and control scheme has been selected as the planning and control method for Light Weight Utility Arm of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which will be used for clean-up of Nuclear Waste Storage tank. The field testing has been very successful. Several graduate students have obtained opportunities to work in the national laboratories. It has become an important part of their graduate study and research activities.