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Meet Dr. Siavash Rezazadeh

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Ritchie School Communications Team

Building Robots That Can Go Where Humans Cannot

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Prefer reading over video? Check out the transcript below. 

 

Kaitlin Smith 

My name is Kaitlin Smith. I am a sophomore here at the Ritchie School of Computer Science and Engineering and I'm here to introduce Dr. Rezazadeh. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Siavash Rezazadeh 

I'm Siavash Rezazadeh. I just started as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering here. I did my undergrad and Master’s at Sharif University of Technology in Iran. I did my PhD at the University of Alberta, in Canada, the postdoc at Oregon State University, where I participated in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. After that I joined UT Dallas working on mostly on the Bioengineering front and prosthetic legs and exoskeletons. And now I'm here hoping to continue what I've been doing.

KS

Well, we're so glad to have you. What research are you looking to get into?

SR

So my research is basically for understanding bipedal locomotion and designing hardware to put into practice. So we are trying to build robots that can go places that humans cannot go, for example, when it's dangerous for them. Like in Fukushima disaster in Japan, or other mobile robots, where wheeled robots cannot go, because the environment is on a structure. Applications like this can be really useful. Also, by understanding the essence of locomotion, we can work on helping humans that need assisted mobility, for example, amputees can use robotic legs for better assistance, as opposed to more conventional passive legs. Or with the increase of life expectancy, we can see that a lot of a little bit need assistance from moving with exoskeletons. So again, we can hopefully help on all those fronts and areas.

KS

So how did you get started in robotics engineering?

SR

Well, I always liked to create things. That's part of, I mean, that's a philosophical view of me toward the world. So engineering is basically creating new things. And robotics is also on the cutting edge of engineering for creating things. So that's, that was the essence of my interest in robotics.

KS

And then how did that start to overlap with the legs and dynamic motion?

SR

If we look at the biological systems, humans are animals, they are incredibly engineered systems. They are... nature has its way to create things that still amazes us after so much progress. I wanted to get inspiration from nature, as incredible as it is, and create my own things in my humble way to, not to say compete, but maybe get inspired by nature.

KS

So do you have any advice for new students?

SR

First, I want to advise them to follow their passion, what they like. Try to be connected to the community that they want to join. And try to build teamwork. Join projects that are working in teams, so that they can learn how to work with each other. And try to know about what is going on in the state of the art in their areas.

KS

Well, thank you so much for joining us today. It was nice to meet you.

SR

Thanks, nice to meet you too. Thanks for having me.