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Cagdas Onal


Cagdas D. Onal is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Engineering at WPI. He received the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2009. Onal’s research is mainly focused on system-level challenges in soft robotics, printable robotics, alternative actuation/sensing/computation mechanisms, bio-inspiration, and control theory. Prior to joining WPI, he was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT. He received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from Mechatronics Engineering Program, Sabanci University, Turkey, in 2003 and 2005, respectively. He is the co-author of a textbook on nano-robotics.

A 3-DoF holonomic hexapod robot. Source: Ankur Mehta and Cagdas Onal
A 3-DoF holonomic hexapod robot. Source: Cagdas Onal

Though recent advances in design, fabrication, and programming technologies promise to enable rapid digital manufacturing of functional robotic systems, many challenges need to be addressed to realize the dream of fully functional print-on-demand robots. The creation of robotic systems requires expertise in diverse areas, including mechanics, electronics, software, and control theory. Contributions from all of these 
fields will be required to automate 
or greatly simplify direct robot fabrication.

This paper won the IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine Best Paper Award at ICRA 2016.