Requicha Profile


a more in-depth picture...

Short Profile

February 2011

Ari Requicha holds the Gordon Marshall Chair in Engineering and is a Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at USC. He founded the Laboratory for Molecular Robotics (LMR) at USC in 1994, and directed it until 2009. From 1986 to 2003 he directed at USC the Programmable Automation Laboratory. He received the Engenheiro Electrotécnico degree from the Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal, in 1962, and the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rochester in 1970. He was a college and high school Valedictorian. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, USA, and is a Fellow of the IEEE, the ACM and the AAAS. Requicha is one of the worldwide 282 Computer Scientists listed in the ISI Web of Knowledge as highly cited researchers for the decades 1980-1999. He received the USC Senior Research Award in 2006; the first-ever Pierre Bezier Award at the 2007 ACM Solid and Physical Modeling Symposium; the Pioneer in Robotics and Automation Award from the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society in 2008; the Distinguished Service Award from the IEEE Nanotechnology Council (NTC) in 2010; and several best paper awards. He was named a Distinguished Lecturer of the NTC for 2010-2011. He was the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology from 2007 to 2010, has been an editor for the ACM Transactions on Graphics, the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, and other journals, and has served on numerous conference program committees. He co-chaired the Robotics and Automation Society Technical Committee (TC) on Micro and Nano Robotics and Automation from 2004 to 2009, when the TC won the Most Active TC Award from the society.

He joined USC in 1986, after thirteen years at the University of Rochester, where most recently he was the Director of the Production Automation Project. He also has been a lecturer in physics at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, a lieutenant in the Portuguese Air Force, and a research scientist with NATO's SACLANT Research Center in La Spezia, Italy.

The theme of Requicha's research for the last forty years has been the development of intelligent systems that interact with the three-dimensional world in which we live. In the decade from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s, he addressed the problem of describing the 3-D objects that populate our physical environment, and did much of the pioneering work on what is now called solid modeling. Today, computer-based solid modelers have replaced drafting and manual techniques as the standard means of capturing objects' geometry in computer graphics, and in industrial computer aided design and manufacturing.

Next, he tackled spatial reasoning, through a blend of concepts and techniques from artificial intelligence and geometric modeling. The main focus was on automatic planning for manufacturing and inspection tasks. With his students, he developed systems for recognizing spatially-interacting manufacturing features, designing and assembling fixtures using modular components, and planning dimensional inspection with Coordinate Measuring Machines.

His research since the mid 1990s has been focused on the science and engineering required to interact with the nanometer-scale world. He founded USC's Laboratory for Molecular Robotics, an interdisciplinary center whose ultimate goal is to control the structure of matter at the molecular scale. The lab developed systems for manipulating and assembling nanoscale objects using Scanning Probe Microscopes (SPMs) as sensory robots, built components such as nanosensors and nanoactuators for the nanoscale robots of the future, and investigated algorithms for programming self-assembling and self-repairing distributed systems composed of large numbers of nanorobots. Applications in nanoelectronics, nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) and nanobiotechnology (especially bioNEMS--biomedical applications of NEMS) are envisaged. In addition, Requicha is interested in sensor/actuator networks and their applications in environmental monitoring and health care. These two lines of research, nanorobotics and sensor/actuator networks, are expected to merge in the future, because networks with large numbers of physically-coupled nodes are especially attractive if the nodes are very small, and because individual nanorobots are likely to have limited capabilities, which implies that most applications will require swarms of nanorobots. Requicha's current work has a major focus on algorithms for building spatial structures by self-organizing robot swarms.

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Last Update: December 19, 2011 - requicha "At'