Summary

Professor Koren was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), recognized for his innovative contributions to reconfigurable manufacturing systems, flexible automation, and robotics. Indeed, his career has been marked by notable firsts in all three of these areas.

Koren is credited with conceiving the novel paradigm of Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems (RMS) and creating its scientific underpinnings, which have dramatically impacted manufacturing research and practice worldwide. New powertrain factories are designed according to RMS principles, which enables their rapid capacity expansion when needed by the market.

Professor Koren is known as a pioneer in establishing Flexible Automation and CNC as a research field, and as the first developer of adaptive control systems for computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines. These inventions significantly contributed to higher productivity of manufacturing systems and improved product quality, thereby enhancing U.S. competitiveness.

In the field of Robotics, Koren is a co-inventor of a notable obstacle-avoidance algorithm that ensures safe travel of autonomous mobile robots while operating in real environments (see paper [130], which has 1,700 citations). He designed and built unconventional robots such as a ‘mechanical snake’ robot [166], and the inflatable robot, which is based on his patent [163] and had inflatable arm linkages for deployment in hostile and confined spaces. His innovative approach to robotics has found applications in rehabilitation engineering, such as prostheses, wheelchairs that are adaptive automatically to patient’s ability, and navigation aids for the blind. (Paper numbers refer to Paper List by Topic in Koren’s website.)