Robotics in MechSE: Naira Hovakimyan


Professor Naira Hovakimyan’s aerial imagery analytics company, IntelinAir, received a 2016 AgFunder Innovation Award and was recognized as one of five agriculture technology companies for the “Most Innovative U.S. Pre-Series A Startups.” The company’s researchers used drones to develop ground-breaking algorithms and novel solutions to major farming challenges, such as weather, insect, or nutrient damages that could have negative effects on a farm’s enterprises. One of their breakthrough innovations is AG-MRI, a field health monitoring system that allows farmers to proactively oversee the health and growth of their crops. Hovakimyan said IntelinAir will work to further advance their ability to identify the causes of crop damage, including plant diseases and nitrogen deficiency sources and combine data further with soil analysis. She added that she believes digital agriculture is the next industry to have a major revolution, and will be extremely valuable for society. “With that, we are paving the path,” Hovakimyan said. “We are building the industry, and we are one of the leaders. I want our goal as a Midwestern agriculture company to be of benefit to the state and its economy.”


Robotics in MechSE
One of the world’s fastest-growing fields, robotics is a highly interdisciplinary branch of engineering and science that includes electrical engineering, computer science, and of course mechanical engineering, among many other concentrations. Advances in robotic technologies are hurtling forward as rapidly as their fields of implementation are expanding. And many of the challenges in robotics lie not only in making breakthrough developments, but in finding ways to make them affordable for widespread use throughout society.

Robotics is a growing field within the MechSE Department as well. New professors who predominantly study robotics have been hired in recent years. Many tenured faculty also have steered their research toward robotic technologies or have discovered uses for robotics in their existing work. This section provides a look at some of the robotics research and applications currently undertaken in MechSE.

Read more about Robotics in MechSE in our Summer 2017 magazine.