DARPA Subterranean Challenge

It has to work: Sub T Challenge sharpens students’ skill in the field

April 17, 2020

CU Boulder is one of several funded teams in the Subterranean Challenge, a competition launched by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to stimulate and test ideas around autonomous robot use in difficult underground environments.

DARPA Subterranean Challenge testing at Edgar Experimental Mine

CU Boulder underground drone competes in first of three DARPA subterranean challenges

Aug. 19, 2019

CU Boulder researcher Sean Humbert and collaborators engaged in the first of three DARPA subterranean challenges. They sent drones on a mock search and rescue operation down miles of NIOSH Coal Mine steam tunnels in Pittsburgh.

Keplinger scorpion soft robotics toolkit

Toolkit allows broad audience to make artificial muscles

July 15, 2019

Researchers in Christoph Keplinger’s lab released a toolkit to show a broad audience how to create their own artificial muscles. They hope this will expedite the development of wearable, surgical and collaborative robots that safely and effectively help humans.

Formosa and endoculus

A robot may one day perform your colonoscopy

May 28, 2019

Researchers in Mark Rentschler's lab designed a robot to navigate the unpredictable terrain of the intestine. The group hopes the robot will change how people across the United States get colonoscopies, making these common procedures easier for patients and more efficient for doctors.

drone flies in smoke

Engineers Want Drones To Go Subterranean To Save Lives After Earthquakes And Cave-Ins

Jan. 8, 2019

Professor Sean Humbert is leading a team in a national competition, the Subterranean Challenge. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency gifted the university a $4.5 million grant to fund Humbert's team. Catch his story on CPR News.

soft robotics

ME faculty part of $2M NSF grant for soft robotics work

Nov. 28, 2018

Soft robotics promises substantial advantages over traditional rigid robots. ME faculty are working toward widespread adoption and practical applications for soft robotic HASEL actuators through a new $2M award from the National Science Foundation.

HASEL artificial muscles for next-generation soft robotics.

Next-gen flexible robots move and heal like us

Jan. 4, 2018

Soft, self-healing devices mimic biological muscles, point to next generation of human-like robotics In the basement of the Engineering Center at the University of Colorado Boulder, a group of researchers is working to create the next generation of robots. Instead of the metallic droids you may be imagining, they are...

Christoph Keplinger

Keplinger earns Packard Fellowship

Oct. 16, 2017

Pushing the boundaries of science requires flexibility. Allowing scientists to follow where their research takes them, even if that is into areas that may seem illogical to some, often is what leads to the most remarkable breakthroughs. For some researchers, this is never an option, as the funding they receive...

Drawing of maggots

Tomorrow’s mini medical robots could squirm like maggots

July 26, 2017

Conventional pharmaceuticals aren't always the best way to treat an ailment. Drugs are often imprecise, unpredictable, or come along with tricky side effects. Medicine is always trying to move on to more targeted treatments. And soon, robots will be one of those options: small and mobile, they could theoretically deliver...

Prototype robot.

How a wriggling robot could make a common medical procedure easier

June 16, 2017

Nobody needs to reinvent the wheel, but reinventing the colonoscope is definitely worth somebody’s time. Mark Rentschler, an associate professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, is one of those people. He and his team have been working on the wormy robot, above, as a replacement for the usual flexible-camera-tube...