Penn Engineering’s GRASP Lab attracts ambitious engineers from across several fields to research, build, and test cutting edge robotics. Among them is Feifei Qian, a GRASP Lab postdoctoral researcher, who is studying how autonomous legged robots can be used as erosion sensors. Qian says that her failed experiments give her crucial insights into her research and she uses perceived obstacles in the robot’s path as learning opportunities for herself and her technology.
With her work, Qian’s long term goal is to integrate erosion sensors into legged robots that are capable of detecting erosion and measuring erodibility of the terrain while the robot walks or runs through its environment. Qian credits the GRASP Labs as incubator of innovation for her research, and she is especially grateful for the lab’s Research Experience for Middle School Teachers program which gave Qian the opportunity to collaborate with local teachers and give them new research tools to bring back to their K-12 classrooms.
Qian completed her postdoctoral research in December 2019 and began as an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California in Spring 2020.