Multirobot Systems and Swarms research focuses on how to enable teams of robots to interact with each other and accomplish tasks in a decentralized and distributed manner. Research includes understanding multi-vehicle coordination and path planning, discovering and analyzing emergent behaviors in robot swarms, designing new hardware systems, understanding and improving human interactions with robot teams and swarms. Through interdisciplinary collaborations and cutting-edge research, the Robotics Center at the University of Utah is at the forefront of advancing multirobot systems and swarm robotics, paving the way for innovative solutions in autonomous collaborative robotics and distributed intelligence.

Aligned, Robust, and Interactive Autonomy (ARIA) Lab

Daniel Brown, PhD

Assistant Professor, School of Computing

The Aligned, Robust, and Interactive Autonomy (ARIA) Lab focuses on developing algorithms that enable robots and other AI systems to safely and efficiently interact with, learn from, teach, and empower human users. Our research spans the areas of human-robot interaction, reward and preference learning, imitation learning, human-in-the-loop reinforcement learning, and AI safety. We develop both algorithms and theory, deploy these algorithms on robot hardware platforms, and run user studies to better understand human factors. We are interested in a diverse set of applications including domestic service robots, assistive and medical robotics, bio-inspired swarms, autonomous driving, and personal AI assistants.


Kam Lang, PhD

Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Lab Website: Design, Automation, Robotics, & Control (DARC)

The DARC Lab at the University of Utah was established in July 2014 by Dr. Kam K. Leang, when he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Center.  The acronym DARC stands for design, automation, robotics, and control — the lab’s core research areas.  Some of the research focuses on design, modeling, and control of electroactive materials including piezoelectric ceramics, electroactive polymers, shape memory alloys, and a host of other materials that respond to electrical signals.  More recently, projects in unmanned autonomous systems such as aerial robots are being conducted.  For more detailed information on research projects and funded projects, please see the funded research projects page.

Drew Research Lab

Daniel Drew, PhD

Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Lab Website: The Drew Research Lab for Autonomous Robotic Millisystems

The driving goal behind our work is to make insect-scale robots truly useful as tools in industrial, commercial, and personal settings. This means not only overcoming the extreme resource constraints imposed by their scale, but also delivering capabilities that are wholly unique. Our work ties numerical simulation together with cutting-edge microfabrication and meso-scale assembly techniques, exploring novel actuation, communication, and sensing modalities for holistically-designed systems. Sometimes we look to nature for inspiration, like in the design of multifunctional components for acoustic communication; often we look beyond it, like in the creation of silent, solid-state atmospheric ion thrusters for flight. In all cases, energy and payload constraints demand systems designed from the ground up, tightly integrated, and at the bleeding edge of possibility.

Robotic Systems Lab

Mark A. Minor, PhD

We synergize design, modeling, and control of robotic systems to arrive at novel embodiments that provide new levels of adaptability, mobility, and immersion that would not otherwise be possible.

Our lab branches into several types of robotic systems. These include climbing robots, terrain adaptable mobile robots, virtual interfaces, autonomous vehicles, and some flying robots (ornithopters, helicopters, etc). We have extensive expertise with design and control of under-actuated nonholonomic systems, kinematic motion control, dynamic motion control, state estimation, sensor development, and data fusion.