IRIM Robotics Seminar–Dan O. Popa

Dan O. Popa of UT-Arlington presents “Multiscale Robotics and Control: From Microns and Millimeters to Human Size” as part of the IRIM Robotics Seminar Series. The seminar will be held in the TSRB Banquet Hall from 12-1 p.m. and is open to the public. 


Established more than half a century ago, the fields of control and robotics are continuously evolving by expanding their scale-independent toolboxes into new domains of science and engineering. In this talk, we use examples from our recent research to highlight surprising findings from applying control and robotics tools to micro world, at one end of the scale size, and to human-robot interaction, at the other end. At small scales, manufacturing and physics constraints are pushing robots toward a higher degree of autonomy. Examples of these include microfactories and mobile microrobotic swarms that do not require human intervention. At larger scales, robot companions require a higher degree of interactivity, usability, and personalization. Examples of these include physical human-robot interaction and advanced communication methods with the sole purpose to solidify the adaptive relationship between robots and humans.


Dan O. Popa is an associate professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Arlington and leads the Next Generation Systems (NGS) research group. He received his B.A. and M.S. degrees from Dartmouth College where he was a Montgomery Scholar from 1990 to 1994. Popa received a Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 1998, where he focused his doctoral research on control and motion planning for nonholonomic systems and robots.

After receiving his Ph.D., Popa joined the Center for Automation Technologies at RPI and worked there as a research scientist until 2004. After moving to Texas in 2004, Popa has continued his research as an affiliated faculty member of UT–Arlington’s Research Institute (UTARI), formerly known as the Automation & Robotics Research Institute (ARRI).

Popa has a broad experience base, including research in modeling, simulation, and control of microsystems; design of multiscale robotic assembly systems; and control and adaptation aspects of human-robot interaction. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the UT Regents Outstanding Teaching Award, and he is a member of IEEE, ASME, and the author of more than 100 refereed publications.

Popa also serves as associate editor for the IEEE journal Transaction on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE), Springer’s Journal of Micro-Bio Robotics, and he is an active member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) Committee on Micro-Nano Robotics and the ASME Committee on Micro-Nano Systems (MNS).

Event Details


  • Wednesday, February 19, 2014
    11:00 am - Thursday, February 20, 2014
    11:59 am
Location: TSRB Banquet Hall

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