Robotics studies and activities at QI range in size and function from microbots small enough to be injected into the bloodstream, to remote controlled environmental drones equipped with cameras and sensors, to toddler-sized humanoid robots. Among its many studies, QI researchers are investigating artificial intelligence (AI) systems to analyze facial and body gestures with the help of a fully-built robot named Diego-san that was designed to approximate the intelligence of a one-year-old human. Drones are being used to respond to natural disasters, aid in the study and preservation of archaeological sites, and explore and gather data in environments that are otherwise unreachable. In addition, QI researchers are exploring breakthroughs in nanotechnology and 3D printing to create microbots capable of aiding in surgeries as well as clean up polluted environments. Through the work in its Machine Learning Lab, DroneLab, Nano3 facility, and collaborations with researchers across all disciplines at UC San Diego, QI is at the forefront of robotics applications in the fields of health, environment and culture.


2014-2015 Round

  • Multi-Sensing Micro-Drone Swarms that Save Lives, PI Falko Kuester (Structural Engineering)
  • Multifunctional Microrobots for Efficient Environmental Remediation, PI Joseph Wang (NanoEngineering)
  • Brain-Computer Interfaces for Social Robotics and Human-Agent Interaction, PI Ayse Saygin (Cognitive Science)
  • Biologically Inspired Object Tracking for Computer Vision, PI Harinath Garudadri (Qualcomm Institute)
  • Learning with Scarce Data: Theory, Applications, and Software, PI Alon Orlitsky, (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Rapid Prototyping of Electronic Gadgets, PI Steven Swanson (Computer Science and Engineering)

2012-2013 Round

  • Multimodality of Social Robot: Sense of Smell, PI Morana Alac (Communication)
  • Camelot, a Multi-Camera Stereo Video Environment Recorder, PI Truong Nguyen (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Quantum-Structure Enabled Thermal Energy Harvest for Self-Powered Electronics, PI Renkun Chen (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)

2010-2011 Round

  • Social Cognition and Interactive Artificial Agents, PI Ayse Pinar Saygin (Cognitive Science and Neurosciences)
  • Automatic Facial Expression Analysis for Measurement of Pain and Stress, PI Jeannie Huang, M.D. (Pediatrics, Rady Children’s Hospital)
  • 3D Enabled Surgical System, PI Truong Nguyen (Electrical and Computer Engineering); co-PI Mark Talamini, M.D. (Surgery)
  • A Multi-Spectral Airborne Sensor Platform for Energy and Environmental Audits, PI Falko Kuester (Structural Engineering, QI, CISA3)
  • An Open Architecture, Low Power, Low Cost Underwater Acoustic Modem, PI Ryan Kastner (Computer Science and Engineering)