The Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics will soon transform into the University of Toronto Robotics Institute.
Coming this July, the Robotics Institute will evolve into the official central headquarters for robotics at UofT. Supported through the Dean’s Strategic Fund, and bolstered by the addition of ‘robotics’ to the new UofT Strategic Research Plan, the mandate of the Institute is to unite, grow, and bring greater visibility to the many exceptional robotics research clusters from across the university, including those at MIE, UTIAS, ECE, UTM, CS, IBBME, and hospitals.
“The Robotics Institute further strengthens our world class, leading research and educational initiatives in a continuously developing sector,” says Cristina Amon, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering at U of T. “With our state-of-the-art facilities in the new Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship, as well as support from our Dean’s Strategic Fund, the Institute catalyzes multidisciplinary collaborations between faculty, students, alumni and external partners.”
The Institute will serve as the downtown focal point for teaching, research collaboration and liaising with industry. Occupying the 5th floor of the new Myhal Centre, the Institute will feature a double height drone room for teaching and demos, an indoor mobile robot “garage” and shared robotics equipment, exhibition space, undergraduate teaching labs, state-of-the-art teleconferencing facilities, a boardroom, shared office space for off-campus robotics faculty, meeting rooms for hosting visitors and long-term collaborators, and student rooms to support thesis work, clubs, and capstone projects.
“Creating shared collaborative space is a great strategy for bringing people together, allowing them to pursue challenging problems and to develop new ideas and concepts” says incoming Dean Chris Yip. “Through Dean Amon’s substantive and inspired support, this new space will allow the Robotics Institute to grow its capacity for collaborative innovation in robotics research and education. I look forward to building on her vision.”
The Robotics Institute will be supported by three faculty Directors, each representing the major pillars of robotics research at the University. These are: Yu Sun (Healthcare Robotics); Tim Barfoot (Autonomous Vehicles and Field Robotics), and Hani Naguib (Manufacturing Robotics). Prof. Sun will take the role of Lead Director in the Institute’s first two years, followed by Profs. Barfoot and Naguib in subsequent years.