Robotics Student Award Winners of 2023

March 29, 2023
A student smiles with the iconic yellow staircase of the Robotics Building in the background.
Prince Kuevor, winner of the Kabamba Award, pictured before presenting a PhD defense in January, 2023.

The exceptional achievements of this year’s award-winning students in academia and leadership have brought pride to the new Robotics Department. These students have displayed a remarkable commitment to their education, research, and community. We extend our congratulations to the recipients:

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Cindy Chestek inducted into the 2023 class of the AIMBE Fellows

March 27, 2023
Cynthia Chestek

Congratulations to Professor Cindy Chestek, who has been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows. This is among the highest professional distinctions in the field of medical and biological engineering, reserved for the top two percent of professionals in the field.

Chestek’s pioneering contributions to neural engineering technologies and translation, as well as her passion for supporting women in engineering and science, were recognized by her peers and the College of Fellows. This work includes developing a prosthetic hand that can be controlled by the brain. She joins the distinguished ranks of the AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2023, which comprises 140 members.

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Robotics faculty and student awarded MLK Spirit Awards

January 17, 2023
A bust of Martin Luther King Jr. with text "2023 North Campus Deans' Martin Luther King Spirit Awards"

Honoring efforts that exemplify the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the North Campus Deans presented Professors Jessy Grizzle and Leia Stirling and PhD student Yves Nazon with MLK Spirit Awards.

The North Campus Deans’ MLK Spirit Awards recognizes students, faculty, and staff for “their commitment to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion, including within the context of the pandemic and our reignited sense of urgency to address root causes of social injustice.” The award ceremony took place Monday, January 16, 2023.

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How evolution overshot the optimum bone structure in jerboas

October 17, 2022

Simulation of jerboa bones showing stress with a fused metatarsal and unfused metatarsals breaking under stress
In simulation, a jerboa species’ fused metatarsals (left), or foot bones, withstood greater stress than unfused metatarsals (right), but not as well as partially-fused metatarsals.

Foot bones that are separate in small hopping rodents are fused in their larger cousins, and a team of researchers at the University of Michigan and University of California, San Diego, wanted to know why. 

It appears that once evolution set jerboa bones on the path toward fusing together, they overshot the optimum amount of fusing—the structure that best dissipated stresses from jumping and landing—to become fully bonded.

This finding could inform the design of future robotic legs capable of withstanding the higher forces associated with rapid bursts of agile locomotion.

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