School of engineering and applied science

Making adaptable robots

For a project that aims to give robots greater adaptability, Ian Abraham has won the 2023 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation. The ability of humans to adapt in new environments and learn from a few interactions has long been a goal in the field of robotics. Typically, though, the closest robots have come to humans’ nimble ways of navigating their surroundings has required immense amounts of data and computation. Abraham, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, aims to develop algorithms that allow robots to efficiently reason about their environments and optimize their manipulation and locomotion skills. 

An inhalable vaccine

A team of researchers has developed an inhalable vaccine that successfully protects against the COVID virus. It also opens the door to delivering other messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics for gene replacement therapy and other treatments in the lungs. Results of the study, led by Mark Saltzman, the Goizueta Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, and Physiology, are published in Science Translational Medicine. The researchers demonstrated that two intranasal doses of the treatment are effective in mice and that the system is potentially applicable for numerous pulmonary diseases in addition to COVID. 

Teaming up to investigate air pollution

Researchers from NOAA, NASA, Yale Engineering, and 20 other universities from three countries are deploying state-of-the-art instruments in multiple, coordinated research campaigns this month to investigate how air pollution sources have shifted over recent decades. Yale’s Drew Gentner, associate professor of chemical and environmental engineering and the environment, will lead ground measurement sites in New York and Connecticut to interpret air pollution transport from urban cities to downwind locations. “This is an unprecedented scientific investigation—in scope, scale, and sophistication—of an ongoing public health threat that kills people every year,” said NOAA administrator Rick Spinrad. “No one agency or university could do anything like this alone.”

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