UNR showcases latest drone, robot research

RENO — The University of Nevada, Reno has showcased its latest research on drones and robots in an effort to raise awareness about the school’s new program to spur their development.

About a dozen UNR scientists and engineers demonstrated various research projects Friday that they hope will lead to the commercialization of drones, robots and other unmanned autonomous systems.

Among others, research projects are underway to use drones for commercial delivery service, monitoring rangeland, managing livestock, guiding blind athletes and disaster response by emergency managers and industry.

At Friday’s display, the researchers also showed off robots that can serve cookies or work on assembly lines.

The university’s Nevada Advanced Autonomous Systems Innovation Center is seeking to expand private-public partnerships in the development of auto­nomous vehicle systems.

“It’s definitely a turning point,” said Eelke Folmer, an associate professor of computer science and engineering who is researching the use of guide drones for the blind. “We’re trying to improve the reputation of drones and show their humanitarian applications.”

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