UTRC Gift Establishes Robotics Fellowship at University of Pennsylvania

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604July 7, 2014

United Technologies Research Center, the research and innovation arm of United Technologies Corp., has given $250,000 gift to the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science to establish a fellowship in robotics. It will provide financial support to doctoral candidates and doctoral research students working in Penn Engineering’s General Robotics Automation, Sensing and Perception, or GRASP, Laboratory.

“UTRC’s investment will enable strategic collaboration with one of the country’s leading industry research laboratories,” said Vijay Kumar, Penn Engineering’s UPS Foundation Professor. “The GRASP Laboratory integrates computer science, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering in an environment that fosters interaction between students, research staff and faculty.

“We are focusing on advanced technologies that enable autonomous operation of aerial and ground vehicles in unstructured environments. The UTRC gift will allow doctoral students to investigate and develop solutions to these problems,” Kumar said.

“Research and curriculum development in robotics and intelligent systems is relevant to many of United Technologies’ products,” said David Parekh, vice president, research, and director, UTRC. “Working with Penn Engineering and other forward-thinking universities helps us further develop expertise and also attract talent in areas where research and technology help evolve industries critical to our nation’s economy.”

United Technologies Research Center delivers advanced technologies to the businesses of United Technologies — industry leaders in high technology products and services for the building and aerospace industries — to improve the performance, energy efficiency and cost of UTC products and processes. UTRC also partners with UTC business units and external research organizations to expand the boundaries of science and technology through research and innovation, delivering technology options that meet and anticipate the needs of the marketplace. Celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2014, UTRC is headquartered in East Hartford, Conn., with an office in Berkeley, Calif., and research and development subsidiaries in Shanghai, China, and Cork, Ireland.

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