Mark Yim, Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, has been named a 2018 National Academy of Inventors fellow for “demonstrating a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.”
Yim’s research interests began with modular robots that are made up of identical active components that can be arranged to form many different configurations, ranging from a snake robot to a humanoid to a 17 legged centipede. These systems can also self-reconfigure, changing the robot’s shape to suit the task. In addition to self-reconfiguring and self-assembling robots, Mark has also started work on flying robots, and task specification, working to figure out how to specify a task so that a robot configuration can optimally satisfy that task.
Yim’s most recent project is SMORES-EP, a modular robot that can reconfigure itself into different shapes depending on the task and environment at hand.