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Center for Design Research (CDR)
is a community of scholars focused on understanding and augmenting engineering design innovation and design education.

Founded in 1984, CDR is a nexus for PhD students and researchers collaborating in the realm of design thinking, robotics, rehabilitative technologies, engineering design education, STEM education, neurodesign and business innovation.


The broad research objective of the Assistive Robotics and Manipulation Lab, directed by Professor Monroe Kennedy, is to develop robots that improve everyday life by anticipating and acting on the needs of human counterparts.  Our primary focus is collaborative robotic assistants (often mobile manipulators and humanoids) with the goal of deployment for service tasks that may be highly dynamic and require dexterity, situational awareness, and human-robot collaboration.


The Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Lab (BDML), led by Professor Mark Cutkosky, conducts research activities that include modeling and control of dextrous manipulation with robotic and teleoperated hands; force and tactile feedback in telemanipulation and virtual environments; and design and control of compliant "biomimetic" robots with embedded sensors and actuators. Towards our goal of more human centered computing, we believe that interaction must be grounded in the physical world and leverage our innate abilities for spatial cognition and dexterous manipulation with our hands.


Researchers in the Collaborative Haptics and Robotics in Medicine Lab (CHARM Lab), led by Professor Allison Okamura, design and study haptic systems using both analytical and experimental approaches. This research has applications in robot-assisted surgery, simulation and training, rehabilitation, exploration of hazardous or remote environments, enabling technologies, manufacturing, design, mobile computing, and education. 


The Designing Education Lab (DEL), led by Professor Emerita Sheri Sheppard, investigates a broad range of engineering education topics, from the persistence of students and alumni in engineering fields to the impact of exposure to entrepreneurship on engineering students' career interests.


The Stanford SHAPE Lab, directed by Professor Sean Follmer, develops advanced technologies in robotics, mechatronics, and sensing to create interactive, dynamic physical 3D displays and haptic interfaces that allow 3D information to be touched as well as seen. We are specifically interested in using these novel interfaces to support richer remote collaboration, computer-aided design, education, and interfaces for people with visual impairments.

Prof. Sheri Sheppard
Sheri Sheppard
Professor, Emeritus

“ How do we educate a new kind of engineer? ... ”