Click for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Forecast
HOME ISSUE

CALENDAR

BETWEEN ISSUES ARCHIVE DEADLINES CONTACT USFAQS
 
 
Print This Issue
Front Page
Contents
Crimes
Directory
All About Teaching
Subscribe to E-Alamanc!
Staffbox
Guidelines
 

 

Innovation in Action: Impact of Federally Funded Research

Brett Kutscher
Brett Kutscher, an engineering grad student, holds the RiSE robot.

On February 1, the University of Pennsylvania and its Office of Government and Community Affairs co-hosted a reception and exhibition at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. entitled “Innovation in Action” for members of Congress and their staff. As an example of universities working together, Penn was joined by Carnegie Mellon University, Penn State University, and the University of Pittsburgh in demonstrating the substantial impact that federally funded research has on the Commonwealth. 

The event showcased important and exciting innovations developed at these four Association of American Universities (AAU) institutions through federally funded research.  Pennsylvania Congressmen Charlie Dent, Don Sherwood and John Peterson attended the event, as did staff from the entire Pennsylvania delegation. In addition, both Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter and Dr. Arden Bement, director of the National Science Foundation, spoke to the gathering regarding the important societal impact of Pennsylvania’s prominent research universities. The event also featured remarks by Dr. Joseph Bordogna, Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Engineering, and Dr. Steven Fluharty, Associate Vice Provost of Research, on behalf of Penn.

 

 

RHex
RHex, a six-legged, hyper-energized robot on display on Capitol Hill in D.C. was developed by Dr. Dan Koditschek, the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering.

The first of two displays from Penn included the eye-catching, energy-generating backpack from the laboratory of Dr. Lawrence Rome, professor of biology, who developed it as a byproduct to his studies of muscle movement. The backpack can generate seven watts of electricity, allowing its carrier to power several devices at once. Penn’s exhibit also featured robots from the lab of Dr. Dan Koditschek, the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering. The six-legged, hyper-energized robot RHex could be seen scampering around the Rayburn Foyer and climbing stairs with a few of the congressional representatives at the controls. Another robot named RiSE was also exhibited climbing walls. The work of both researchers has tremendous potential for search and rescue operations and military applications.

 

Innovation in Action
Representatives of Penn’s research contingent in attendance at the recent Innovation in Action: (left to right) Haldun Komsuoglu, postdoctoral fellow, SEAS, department of electrical and systems engineering; Andy Mead, graduate student of physiology, SAS, department of biology; Dr. Lawrence Rome, SAS, professor of biology; Louis Flynn, laboratory engineer, SAS, department of biology.

Through this event, policy makers were afforded a first-hand example of the cutting edge research and technology development that is occurring on campuses in the Commonwealth and is supported by the federal investment in university-based research. Further, it provided the attendees with a demonstration of how this investment supports the health, safety and prosperity of the nation and strengthens the United States’ innovation and competitiveness.

 

 

 

 

 



 
  Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 22, February 14, 2006

ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS:

Tuesday,
February 14, 2006
Volume 52 Number 22
www.upenn.edu/almanac

 

top of page
Back to Contents page
HOME ISSUE CALENDAR BETWEEN ISSUES ARCHIVE DEADLINES CONTACT USFAQS