CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Feb. 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In the not-too-distant future, roadways will be filled with driverless vehicles. Robots will help all surgeons operate more precisely and safely. Homes will sense how their occupants want to live, and adjust systems to make it happen. The University of Virginia School of Engineering & Applied Science's new Link Lab will catalyze this cyber age.
On Thursday, February 22, UVA Engineering officially opened the Link Lab, a 17,000-square-foot space where researchers will develop and deploy systems that link the cyber and physical worlds.
Cyber-physical systems are defining technologies of the 21st century. In October 2015, UVA Engineering announced its cyber-physical systems initiative and its intent to build the Link Lab to bring together researchers from across the Engineering School and the University with expertise in a variety of technologies and their applications. High on the list of priorities is cyber security, keeping the increasing numbers of networked systems reliable and secure.
Educating students who can become leaders in developing the cyber-physical systems of the future is also a priority. UVA Computer Science Professor John A. Stankovic, Link Lab director, makes that point in a 2016 National Academy of Sciences report he co-authored, "A 21st Century Cyber-Physical Systems Education."
The lab was one of the first projects funded through UVA's Strategic Investment Fund, with $4.8 million to build out the space and house a collaborative team of more than 30 faculty members and more than 100 graduate students.
The Link Lab will focus on three primary areas:
- Autonomous systems - Link Lab faculty members are developing the systems that will make previously human-dominated tasks effective and efficient. This includes mobile, wireless communication for autonomous cars; interfaces that allow driverless cars to keep riders informed of what the cars are doing so riders will feel safe and secure; and LED light-wave-enabled Internet connectivity for navigation in places where GPS or WiFi are not available.
- Smart cities, including intelligent storm water management for coastal communities dealing with rising tides, and sensors to detect deterioration in infrastructure such as bridges.
- Smart health solutions such as surgical robots and wireless health monitors for in-home care of dementia and Alzheimer's patients.
"Everything in our future is going to be connected through the internet – everything in the world in which we work and spend our lives," said UVA Engineering Dean Craig H. Benson. "Cyber-physical systems form the link between computers, data, decision-making and the physical world, and cyber-physical systems let us do things in a much faster, more efficient and effective way. Our Link Lab is an environment where scholars and students can work together developing cyber-physical systems that will solve real-world problems and make the world a better place."
About UVA Engineering: As part of the top-ranked, comprehensive University of Virginia, UVA Engineering is one of the nation's oldest and most respected engineering schools. Outstanding students and faculty from around the world choose UVA Engineering because of our growing and internationally recognized education and research programs, focused on developing interdisciplinary solutions to global challenges. Our mission is to make the world a better place by creating and disseminating knowledge and by preparing future engineering leaders. Learn more at engineering.virginia.edu.
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SOURCE University of Virginia, School of Engineering