Campus News in Brief

Professor given $6-million DARPA grant

Franz Franchetti, an associate research professor of electrical and computer engineering, received a $6-million grant from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The grant provided by DARPA will be used to develop new software in order to protect motor vehicles from incoming cyberattacks.

Franchetti’s project is part of a DARPA effort called the High-Assurance Cyber Military System, which hopes to develop a greater level of security to protect against against cyberthreats.

“This is an extremely challenging project as we work to develop secure robotic systems that are resilient to cyberattacks,” Franchetti said in a university press release.

Franchetti will spearhead the software development project and will be joined by Carnegie Mellon faculty members.

The professors collaborating with Franchetti on this project include professor of electrical and computer engineering José M. F. Moura, professor of computer science Maria Manuela Veloso, assistant professor of computer science André Platzer, and assistant research professor of electrical and computer engineering Soummya Kar.

Cyberthreats targeting motor vehicles are growing to be a major problem for the economy, resulting in billions of dollars in lost revenue, according to a recent U.S. Department of Commerce report.

“Gauging an appropriate response to any of these cyberhreats is daunting, but we have the innovative talent and research expertise to begin developing some long-range solutions,” Ed Schlesinger, professor of engineering and the head of the electrical and computer engineering department said in a university press release.

The team’s research will also include improvement in GPS disruption in ground vehicles and high-end cars.

CMU robot nominated for Edison Awards

A robotic system developed at Carnegie Mellon to strip paint known as the Advanced Robotic Laser Coating Removal System (ARLCRS) was named a 2013 finalist for the Edison Awards.

The system, which was created by the National Robotics Engineering Center and the Concurrent Technologies Corporation, works by utilizing high-power lasers on mobile robotic platforms to remove paint from aircraft.

The ARLCRS is a finalist in material science, one of 12 categories honored by the Edison Awards.

The Edison Awards annually recognizes the most innovative new products, services, and business leaders in the United States.
The ballot of nominees for the Edison Awards is judged by around 3,000 national senior business executives and academics.

According to a university press release, the distinguished awards symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Edison, inspiring creative minds to remain in the forefront of innovation, creativity, and ingenuity in the global economy.

The awards will be presented April 24–25 at the Edison Awards Annual Gala in Chicago.