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Prof. Bekris' collaboration with ExxonMobil and EOHSI on Contaminant Measurement using Robots

Rutgers Today (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwztLRiAtfk) highlighted the collaboration between ExxonMobil, Professor Clifford Weisel's group from the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) of Rutgers University, and Dr. Kostas Bekris' PRACSYS Lab from the Computer Science Department at the School of Arts and Sciences of Rutgers University.

The focus of the project is to evalute the use of robots in the context of studies that estimate the level of contaminants in the air when painting. Typically these studies involve people that perform the painting during the environmental study. The Motoman robot by Yaskawa was successfully used over a period of two weeks for the same purpose indicating that this process can be automated. In this way, it will be possible to avoid the potential exposure of people to contaminants during the evaluation process of new paints.

Rahul Shome, a PhD student in Prof. Bekris' group, developed the underlying software for controlling the robot's arms in collaboration with a visiting K-12 student in the lab, Kunaal Chaudhari. Furthermore, Chris Kourtev, a Scientific Programmer at the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science (RuCCS) and an MS student in Computer Science, developed a compliant mechanism that is attached to the arm and carries a standard painting roller.