Yong-Lae Park, an assistant professor in Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute and the founder of the Soft Robotics and Bionics Lab, is among the latest recipients of the Okawa Research Grant, which is awarded by the Okawa Foundation for Information and Telecommunications.
The grants sponsor research in the United States, China, Japan and Korea in eight topic areas pertaining to information and telecommunications. Park's research focuses on bio-inspired design and manufacturing of soft robots and microrobots for healthcare.
The grant will support his work on novel sensing and actuation mechanisms for use in robots made from fabrics, plastics and other soft materials. These so-called "soft robotics" can include wearable devices, as well as robots designed to work in close proximity to humans.
Park completed his master's degree and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Stanford University and was a researcher at Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically-Inspired Engineering before joining the Robotics Institute faculty in 2013.