I am in the process of starting a resarch program at The University of Utah in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Visit the Haptics and Embedded Mechatronics website for more information.
Haptics, Tactile Sensing and Feedback (see description at bottom of the Robotics Program project page).
Meso-scale manufacturing and embedded mechatronics
(Smart Materials) using manufacturing techniques such as LIGA, SDM (Shape Deposition
Manufacturing), or other layered manufacturing.
Climbing Robots focusing on foot/surface interactions,
tactile sensing, and adhesion.