J. E. Colgate
Allen K. and Johnnie Cordell Breed Senior Professor in Design
EducationPh.D. Mechanical Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA
S.M. Mechanical Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA
S.B. Physics, MIT, Cambridge, MA
Robotics; human-machine interaction; haptic interface; cobots
Professor Colgate's principal research interest is the power-level haptic interaction of humans and machines. He is the inventor (with M.A. Peshkin) of cobots, a class of robotic devices intended for direct, physical collaboration with human operators. Cobots have been applied to industrial material handling, rehabilitation, remote manipulation and human factors studies. Current work focuses on the application of cobots to advanced prosthetic limbs.
Colgate has also worked extensively in the field of haptic display. He pioneered the application of passivity techniques to the study of haptic display stability and performance. Currently, his work in this area focuses on "fingertip haptics." Conventional haptic devices require a user to feel the virtual environment through a probe such as a stylus or thimble. The goal of fingertip haptics is to eliminate the probe and allow the user to feel the virtual environment directly via the fingertips.
Professor Colgate is also quite interested in technology transfer. He is the holder of numerous U.S. patents, and is co-founder of Stanley Cobotics, a manufacturer of human-assist devices for the industrial marketplace, and of Chicago PT, a developer of robotic technologies for physical rehabilitation. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Methode Electronics, a manufacturer of component and subsystem devices with manufacturing, design, and testing facilities in the United States, Mexico, Malta, United Kingdom, Germany, Czech Republic, Singapore, and China.
- Best Paper Award, CHI 2011 for “Enhancing Physicality in Touch Interaction with Programmable Friction” by Vincent Lévesque, Louise Oram, Karon MacLean, Andy Cockburn, Nicolas D. Marchuk, Dan Johnson, J. Edward Colgate and Michael A.Peshkin.
- Best Demonstration Award, 2007 World Haptics Conference, Tsukuba, Japan
- Alumnae of Northwestern Professor of Teaching Excellence, September 2003 - August 2006
- Leonardo Da Vinci Award for Contributing Significantly to Design Engineering, 2003. Presented by Design Engineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
- Freshman Programs Division (FPD) 2002 Best Paper Award for paper "Enriching Freshman Design Through Collaboration With Professional Designers" by P. Hirsch, J. Anderson, J. E. Colgate, J. Lake, B Shwom, and C. Yarnoff
- Northwestern University Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award, 2000
- 1998 ASME Material Handling Engineering Division Best Paper Award
- Discover Magazine, 1997 Annual Technology Awards
- Best Conference Paper, 1997 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
- Best Conference Paper, MHED Division, 1998 ASME Material Handling Engineering Division
- Henry Hess Award for outstanding paper by a young author in an ASME journal, 1995
- Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award of the SAE, 1995 Northwestern University Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award
Significant Professional Service
- Allen and Johnnie Breed University Professor of Design, September 2010 – present
- Visiting Professor, University of Siena, Siena, Italy, July 2008.
- Guest Researcher, Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Tsukuba Science City, Japan, 2/96
- Associate Editor, IEEE Trans. Robotics and Automation
In the ClassroomProfessor Colgate led a team of faculty from two of Northwestern's largest schools (McCormick and Weinberg) in the development of an ambitious freshman program called "Design Thinking and Communication" (DTC). DTC introduces students to a user-oriented process of engineering design, and it teaches design and technical communication in a highly integrated fashion. DTC is project-based, drawing clients from the university, local community, and local industry. It is a required course for all engineers at Northwestern.
Prof. Colgate and Prof. Donald A. Norman (emeritus) served as the founding co-directors of Northwestern's Segal Design Institute. Among other activities, the Segal Design Institute offers a Master of Science degree in Engineering Design and Innovation, a certificate in Engineering Design, and a bachelor's in Manufacturing and Design Engineering (MaDE).
Colgate also teaches ME 390, Introduction to Dynamic Systems.
- Colgate, J. Edward; Meyer, David J.; Peshkin, Michael A., “Fingertip friction modulation due to electrostatic attraction”, 2013 World Haptics Conference, WHC 2013, (2013)
- Colgate, J. Edward; Peshkin, Michael A.; Manuel, Steven G.; Klatzky, Roberta L., “Perceptual collapse: The fusion of spatially distinct tactile cues into a single percept”, 2013 World Haptics Conference, WHC 2013, (2013)
- Armiger, Robert S.; Tenore, Francesco V.; Katyal, Kapil D.; Johannes, Matthew S.; Makhlin, Alexander, “Enabling closed-loop control of the Modular Prosthetic Limb through haptic feedback”, Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest (Applied Physics Laboratory), (2013)
- Dai, Xiaowei; Gu, Jiawei; Cao, Xiang; Colgate, J. Ed; Tan, Hong Z., “SlickFeel: Sliding and clicking haptic feedback on a touchscreen”, Adjunct Proceedings of the 25th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, UIST'12, (2012)
- Colgate, J. Edward; Peshkin, Michael A.; Mullenbach, Joe; Johnson, Dan, “ActivePaD surface haptic device”, Haptics Symposium 2012, HAPTICS 2012 - Proceedings, (2012)
- Colgate, J. Edward; Peshkin, Michael A.; Dai, Xiaowei, “LateralPaD: A surface-haptic device that produces lateral forces on a bare finger”, Haptics Symposium 2012, HAPTICS 2012 - Proceedings, (2012)
- Colgate, J. Edward; Adelstein, Bernard, “Message from the 1992 inaugural haptics symposium cochairs”, Haptics Symposium 2012, HAPTICS 2012 - Proceedings, (2012)
- Colgate, J. Edward; Peshkin, Michael A.; Manuel, Steven G.; Klatzky, Roberta L., “Surface haptic feature attenuation due to contact on opposing surface”, Haptics Symposium 2012, HAPTICS 2012 - Proceedings, (2012)