Robotics: Pathways to Transformative Research

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Prof. Paul Y. Oh  

Department of Mechanical Engineering  
Drexel University  
Philadelphia, PA  
Robotics is going through a renaissance and is attracting strong academic, industrial, agency 
and public support both in the US and abroad.  Since the 1950s, each generation of 
Americans has envisioned robot companions that will improve the quality of life. In the past 
five decades, robots have advanced, but have not lived up to expectations.  Today's 
unprecedented convergence of technologies makes the near-term outlook very promising.  
The integration of mechatronics, computational power and artificial intelligence has resulted 
in life-like humanoids, autonomous vehicles and planetary rovers.  Robotics is on the verge of 
a tipping point that will positively impact our lives.  Through personal reflection, this talk will 
explore factors that have helped to yield transformative research in unmanned aerial vehicles 
(UAVs) and humanoids. Factors to be discussed include industry partnerships, international 
collaborations and working with stakeholders outside academia. 

Prof. Paul Oh is an ASME Fellow and interim Department Head at 
Drexel's Mechanical Engineering Department.  He received mechanical 
engineering degrees from McGill (B.Eng 1989), Seoul National (M.Sc 
1992), and Columbia (PhD 1999). Honors include faculty fellowships at 
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (2002), Naval Research Lab (2003), the NSF 
CAREER award (2004), the SAE Ralph Teetor Award for Engineering 
Education Excellence (2005) and being named a Boeing Welliver Fellow 
(2006). He is the Director of the Drexel Autonomous Systems Lab and 
also the Founding Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Aerial 
Robotics and UAVs.  From 2008-2010, he served at the National 
Science Foundation (NSF) as the Program Director managing the 
robotics research portfolio.