Builder of Humanoids
Washington Post Magazine called Dr. Dennis Hong, PhD “the Leonardo da Vinci of robots.” Dr. Hong, a TED alumnus, is a Professor and Founding Director of RoMeLa (Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory) of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at UCLA. His research focuses on robot locomotion and manipulation, autonomous vehicles and humanoid robots. He is the inventor of several novel robots and mechanisms, including the ‘whole skin locomotion’ for mobile robots inspired by how amoeba move, a unique three-legged walking robot STriDER, an air-powered robotic hand RAPHaEL, and the world’s first car that can be driven by the blind.
His work has been featured on numerous national and international media. Dennis has been named to Popular Science’s “Brilliant 10”, “Forward Under 40” by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Alumni Association and honored as “Top 40 Under 40” alumni by Purdue University. Hong’s other awards include the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award, the SAE International’s Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award and the ASME Freudenstein/GM Young Investigator Award to name a few.
Hong also actively leads student teams for various international robotics and design competitions, winning numerous top prizes. He is a serious gourmet chef and a magician performing annual charity magic shows and lectures on the science of magic. He also predicts that we will NOT yet have fully autonomous humanoid robots in our houses to help with everyday tasks by the year 2031. The movie he is most inspired by is Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977).