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School of Engineering

CS professor receives Acorn Award

Thursday, March 7, 2019
Professor Matthias Scheutz received an Acorn Award from the MTTC to develop an autonomous feeding arm.
Professor Matthias Scheutz and Ph.D. candidate Theresa Law looking at large robot together in the HRI Lab
Professor Matthias Scheutz (left) and Ph.D. candidate Theresa Law in the Human-Robot Interaction Lab.

The Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center awarded Professor Matthias Scheutz of the Department of Computer Science a grant from the UMass Acorn Innovation Fund.

Scheutz will develop software for an autonomous feeding arm. The autonomous arm is being programmed to pick up food and feed a user in a manner tailored to that person's preferences. Scheutz’s team from the Human-Robot Interaction Lab plans to develop visual tools and recognition abilities for different food items, and develop tools so that the grasping capabilities of the arm are able to use silverware. The team will adapt their software interface to the two robotic arms that they plan to use for testing.

“Tufts University’s faculty and researchers are committed to innovation and making a positive impact on the world, and MTTC’s support helps us advance those causes and speed the introduction of important discoveries to market,” said Tufts University School of Engineering Dean Jianmin Qu.

Thirteen grants of $15,000 each were awarded to faculty researchers from Boston University Medical Center, Northeastern University, Tufts University, the University of Massachusetts and Western New England University to assist them in testing the viability of their technologies and potentially bringing their research to market. The MTTC Acorn Awards are funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and overseen by MTTC.

Hosted at the UMass President’s Office, MTTC enables public and private research universities and medical centers in Massachusetts to lead the nation in translating basic research to the market, creating jobs and spurring economic development.