School of engineering and applied science

Making chip technology more accessible

Rajit Manohar, the John C. Malone Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was selected for a four-year program funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) designed to spark the next wave of semiconductor innovation and circuit design in the US. As the technology has become more complex, the cost to develop it has shut out many independent companies and researchers. The program’s aim is to greatly reduce the resources, expertise, and time it takes to develop new chips. Manohar and his team will work on two collaborative projects focusing on asynchronous chips, which work more efficiently than standard chips.

Turning everyday objects into robots

Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio, assistant professor of mechanical engineering & materials science, has developed robotic skins that allow users to design their own robotic systems. Made from elastic sheets embedded with sensors and actuators, the skins are placed on a deformable object—a stuffed animal or a foam tube, for instance—to animate these objects from their surfaces. Although the devices are designed with no specific task in mind, Kramer-Bottiglio said, they could be used for everything from search-and-rescue robots to wearable technologies. The results of the research team’s work were published in Science Robotics.

A clearer view of air pollution

Yale researchers have found that a type of air pollution is more complicated than previous studies indicated. In the laboratory of Drew Gentner, assistant professor of chemical & environmental engineering, the researchers used high-powered equipment to analyze air samples to get a detailed look at the molecular makeup of organic aerosols in the atmosphere. Posing risks to health and climate, these airborne particles turn out to be much more varied than previous research would suggest—important to know if you want to reduce these harmful elements. Results of the study were published in Nature’s Communications Chemistry.

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