Professor Onal conducts research in soft robotics, a largely underexplored area of robotics that has significance in medicine, manufacturing, and disaster response. Soft robots could potentially be deployed in search-and-rescue missions, as intelligent surgical assistants, and in human augmentation scenarios.
WBZ News Radio interviewed Cagdas Onal, associate professor of mechanical engineering about a $3m NSF grant WPI received to study how humans and robots can co-exist in the workplace.
The Worcester Business Journal reported on WPI receiving $3 million from the National Science Foundation to study human-robot interaction in the workplace. Eight WPI researchers are involved: Cagdas Onal (principal investigator), Yunus Telliel, Jeanine Skorinko, Winston Soboyejo, Jing Xiao, Pratap Rao, Soussan Djamasbi and Jane Li.