The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation recognizes Tomonari Furukawa, a professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, for his research in robotics and autonomous systems. His work has been applied to a wide range of fields, including medicine, transportation, and manufacturing.
Furukawa’s background is predominantly in unmanned ground and air vehicles. His current research interests are cooperative robotics, sensor networks, and computational and experimental mechanics.
He is a faculty member with the RADS (robotics, autonomous, and dynamical systems) research thrust area in the mechanical engineering department, and serves as an advisor to Team VICTOR, a robotics engineering team comprised of student engineers. The team competed in the 2017 Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge in Abu Dhabi.
Furukawa is the director of the Computational Multiphysics Systems Laboratory, which focuses on robotics, autonomous vehicles, and multiphysics simulations and measurements.
He is also affiliated with another research group in mechanical engineering, the Terrestrial Robotics Engineering & Controls (TREC) lab. TREC studies the application of robotics technologies to both disaster response scenarios and everyday life. Among its accomplishments, TREC created the world’s first fire-fighting humanoid robot through the Office of Naval Research’s Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) program, and is continuing to develop its capabilities.
Furukawa received his B.S. from Waseda University, his master’s from the University of Sydney, and his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo.