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Publications in VIVO

Maccurdy, Robert Bruce

Assistant Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • My overarching research theme is automation in embodied (robots) or embedded (sensors) systems. My research vision, summarized as Robots Creating Robots, is to transform the way that robots are designed and fabricated. Building robots via conventional practice requires painstaking design and assembly steps that rely heavily on human intuition and individual expertise. I develop algorithms and fabrication techniques that automate the design and production of customized robots in order to accelerate this process, with the goal of automatically designing robots that 'walk out of the printer'. My second research theme, biosensing, addresses the following challenge. Understanding biological systems requires observations, yet monitoring free-ranging organisms, including humans, presents technical hurdles that limit the quantity and quality of scientific data, impacting applications ranging from wetland management to eldercare. I design and deploy small, robust, long-lived automated biosensing instruments that enable dramatic improvements in the quantity and quality of movement data for small organisms.


  • additive manufacturing, 3D printing, design automation, wildlife monitoring


selected publications


courses taught

  • CYBR 6950 - Master's Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022 / Spring 2023
    Original and independent research conducted by a graduate student under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Formerly TLEN 6950.
  • MCEN 3030 - Computational Methods
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Fall 2020 / Fall 2021 / Fall 2022 / Fall 2023
    Studies fundamental numerical techniques for the solution of commonly encountered engineering problems. Includes methods for linear and nonlinear algebraic equations, data analysis, numerical differentiation and integration, ordinary and partial differential equations.
  • MCEN 4085 - Mechanical Engineering Design Project 2
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020
    Second part of a two-course capstone design experience in mechanical engineering. Includes refinement of prototype, design optimization, fabrication, testing, and evaluation. Students orally present the final design and prepare a written report and operation manual for the product. GEEN-BS and GEEN-BSEPL students are not required to complete MCEN 4026.
  • MCEN 4228 - Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021 / Spring 2022
    Subject matter to be selected from topics of current interest. May be repeated up to 15 credit hours. Same as MCEN 5228.
  • MCEN 5228 - Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2022
    Subject matter to be selected from topics of current interest. May be repeated up to 15 credit hours.
  • MCEN 5930 - Professional Internship
    Primary Instructor - Summer 2023 / Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
    This class provides a structure for Mechanical Engineering graduate students to receive academic credit for internships with industry partners that have an academic component to them suitable for graduate-level work. Participation in the program will consist of an internship agreement between a student and an industry partner who will employ the student in a role that supports the academic goals of the internship. Instructor participation will include facilitation of mid-term and final assessments of student performance as well as support for any academic-related issues that may arise during the internship period. May be taken during any term following initial enrollment and participation in ME graduate programs. Department permission required to enroll.
  • MCEN 6949 - Master's Degree Candidacy
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021 / Summer 2021 / Fall 2021
  • MCEN 6959 - Master's Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020 / Summer 2021 / Spring 2023 / Fall 2023


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