2024 Rice Engineering Magazine Cover

The spring 2024 issue of Rice Engineering Magazine is here!

At Rice Engineering, we are driven by a passion for innovation and a commitment to responsible engineering practices. It’s with great excitement that we unveil the new design of Rice Engineering magazine, which underscores our dedication to excellence in research, education, and service. The 2023-24 issue is full of news about how Rice Engineering is solving for greater good.


Arm with haptics

Rice University researchers are pioneering the transformation of robots into wearable devices for rehabilitation and daily use by integrating haptic feedback systems into textiles. This innovative approach aids in post-stroke or spinal cord injury rehabilitation. By involving patients early in the design process, the researchers are advancing towards a personalized and patient-centric approach in robotics development. Through interdisciplinary efforts that blend mechanical engineering and materials science, they are creating soft robotics and responsive textiles, ultimately enhancing mobility and comfort.

barclay jumet

Wearable, textile-based device taps into sense of touch

Rice University researchers are revolutionizing the concept of robots by integrating them into wearable devices tailored for rehabilitation and sensory enhancement. Led by Marcia O’Malley and Daniel Preston, they focus on developing haptic feedback systems embedded in textiles, allowing for fluidic controls to provide sophisticated sensations. Their recent innovation, a textile-based wearable device, not only aids patients with sensory impairments but also holds promise for amputees, showcasing the potential for robots to collaborate seamlessly with humans.

Marcy O'Malley

A Patient-Centric Approach

Robotics researchers are increasingly prioritizing the input of patients to enhance the effectiveness of prosthetic devices. Marcia O’Malley, Thomas Michael Panos Family Professor in Mechanical Engineering and director of the Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces Lab, emphasizes the gap between user needs and available technology, highlighting the importance of understanding user preferences.

Veronica Sanchez

From Fashion to Function: Creating robots that look and feel good

Starting July 1, 2024, Vanessa Sanchez, a fashion-designer-turned-engineer, will bring her diverse background to Rice University as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, focusing on wearable robotics. She explores soft robotics, aiming to create safer, more flexible, and customizable assistive wearables that eliminate bulky power sources and tethers.