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The built environment made “intelligent” by embedded robotics and smart materials has great promise to support and augment the lives of people. The Clemson University Institute for Intelligent Materials, Systems and Environments (CU-iMSE) focuses its efforts on the design and evaluation of interactive and intelligent built environments. The novelty of CU-iMSE lies in its recognition of the physical, built environment, from furniture to the metropolis, as the next frontier of computing.

Partnering Architecture, Electrical & Computing Engineering, and Materials Science & Engineering, CU-iMSE is home to human-centered, trans-disciplinary research-and-teaching teams sufficiently complex in composition to address problems and opportunities in an increasingly digital society. CU-iMSE strives to realize the kinds of “cyber-physical systems” that cultivate interactions across people and their surroundings that define places of social, cultural and psychological significance.

CU-iMSE focuses its efforts on five primary applications: healthcare, learning and creativity, working life, disaster relief, and mass urbanization. In designing for these human applications, CU-iMSE dedicates itself to understanding populations sometimes overlooked by designers: children, adults aging in place, and individuals of all ages suffering from illness, disabilities and the challenges of dislocation/relocation.