Intel Futurist and Principal Engineer Brian David Johnson has partnered with students for the semester to develop the design as well as a working prototype of one of the first “open-sourced” humanoid-robots, Jimmy.

Brian is forecasting that the revolution in robot making can happen anywhere (in garages, maker communities, classrooms) and doesn’t have to happen exclusively in a company’s R&D lab. In a small garage or basement or classroom, the next Jobs and Wozniak could be creating a $2B robot company right now.  To support and foster a wide-spread creative robot-maker community, he is pursuing the first “open sourced” humanoid-robot – Jimmy, in which both the full design and code will be released for anyone to use.

Olin Robotic Sailing

For thousands of years, boats that used sails and oars were the only meansof moving about on the sea. They were our gateway to the mysteries of the ocean, powered by the wings of the wind. Olin’s Robotic Sailing Team is breathing a new life into this ancient art by introducing cutting edge robotic technology. We dream of crossing the Atlantic ocean autonomously.

Last year, the team took fourth place in the International Robotic Sailing Gala. Please take a look at Olin's Robotic Sailing Team's website.


Whales, being apex predators, are useful indicators of the health of the ocean.  i.e. if there is are toxins in the water in a part of the ocean, it will become concentrated and detectable in the whale. One way to measure this is to get a biopsy sample from the whale, but this is difficult and rarely succeeds.   Another is to collect the “whale blow” which is actually material from inside the whale’s lungs.  Olin is working with Ocean Alliance to create an autonomous sample collection robot that can catch “whale blow” before it lands back in the ocean.  These robots have to be smart, easy to operate and ocean- and whale-blow proof.


Kona is an unmanned surface vehicle designed to conduct surveillance over a given area, particularly that of fisheries.

Robotic Tuna

Tuna are highly efficient hydrodynamic shapes. Building an autonomous unmanned vehicle (AUV) with such a shape and with the given swimming action would make for a more efficient underwater vehicle allowing for greater, long-distance speeds and high maneuverability.

We are currently working on various ways to actuate the bio-mimetic propulsive system of the vehicle, or the tail of the fish. This includes the exploration of soft robotics, from utilizing Lorentz forces generated by magnets and wire coils to creating silicon muscles that are pumped with some fluid.


As the use of mobile robots becomes more prevalent, robots and their human controllers must have a more natural relationship. Through technologies like the Microsoft Kinect, tracking body movements and facial expressions is now possible with smaller devices. This project combines an expressive ground vehicle with the Kinect technology to encourage interaction with the surrounding environment as the robot can then interact with a variety of people along its path. The behaviors developed could then form the foundation for practical applications from robots in the home to fields of combat that would be trusted to conduct tasks with minimal supervision.