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Faculty

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Ph.D., Dr. Techn. h.c. Henrik Iskov Christensen
Research Director

Henrik I. Christensen is the director of Robotics at UC San Diego and the Qualcomm Chancellor’s chair of robot systems. Dr. Christensen received his academic training (M.Sc and Ph.D.) from Aalborg University in Denmark. He has since then held positions at Aalborg University, University of Pennsylvania, and Georgia Tech before joining UC San Diego. Dr. Christensen does research on robotics, computer vision and AI with an emphasis on a systems approach to problems. He has published more than 350 papers and serves on multiple editorial boards. He is the Editor of Trends and Foundations in Robotics. Dr. Christensen was the editor of the US National Robotics Roadmap 2009, 2013 and 2016. He won the Joseph Engelberger Award 2011, which is the premier robotics industry award. He was also named Boeing Supplier of the Year and received an honorary doctorate (Dr. Techn. h.c.) from Aalborg University 2014. Dr. Christensen is the co-founder of multiple companies and serves as an advisor to companies, governments, and organizations across 4 continents.

Postdoctoral Researchers

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Vikas Dhiman

Vikas Dhiman is currently a joint Postdoc with Prof. Nikolay Atanasov and Prof. Henrik Christensen. He received his Ph.D. in 2019 from Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor under the supervision of Prof. Jason J Corso.

Prior to this, Vikas obtained his Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India in 2008.

His research interests are in the area of Machine Learning and its applications to Robotics & Computer Vision. He is currently working on applications of Reinforcement Learning for navigation in unseen environments.

PhD Students

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Akanimoh Adeleye

Akanimoh Adeleye is a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego.

His research focuses on optimal mobile robot exploration for mapping.

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Carlos Nieto-Granda

Carlos Nieto-Granda is a Ph.D. Candidate in Intelligent Systems, Robotics, and Control in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of California San Diego under the advisement of the Qualcomm Chancellor’s Chair of Robot Systems Prof. Henrik Christensen and Prof. Nikolay Atanasov. He is also affiliated with the Cognitive Robotics Laboratory in the Contextual Robotics Institute.

He holds a Master degree in Computer Science with specialization in Computational Perception and Robotics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.S. degree in Electronics and Computer Engineering from Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Estado de Mexico.  He has held visitor researcher positions at the United States Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Mathematics Research Center (CIMAT) and Tecnologico de Monterrey.

His research focuses on developing autonomous navigation and mapping architectures for heterogeneous multi-robot teams through place recognition and categorization techniques.

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Anwesan Pal

Anwesan Pal is currently an MS student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in UC San Diego (UCSD). He will be starting his Ph.D. in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Henrik I. Christensen in UCSD from Fall 2019.

Prior to this, Anwesan obtained his Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, India in 2017.

His research interests are in the area of Machine Learning and its applications to Robotics & Computer Vision. He is currently working on Object based Semantic Mapping of indoor and outdoor environments.

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Priyam Parashar

Priyam Parashar is a 4th year Ph.D. student at the University of California, San Diego and holds a M.S. in Robotics from Robotics Institute, CMU. Co-advised by Dr. Henrik I. Christensen and Dr. Ashok K. Goel (Georgia Institute of Technology), Priyam is interested in using deep knowledge to formulate hybrid models (driven by both reasoning and data) to support human-robot collaboration.

She currently uses the metareasoning framework to model an assembly task where the abilities of the agents and expectations from the task progression can be used for better sub-task selection and assignment.

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David Paz

David Paz is a graduate student in Intelligent Systems, Robotics, and Control at UC San Diego’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

While earning his B.S. in Computer Engineering at UC San Diego, he contributed to a number of research projects involving sensor development, hardware accelerators, high-performance computing, and autonomous vehicles.

At the moment, he is working for the Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory (AVL) at the Contextual Robotics Institute under the supervision of Dr. Henrik I. Christensen. AVL aims to develop self-driving cars for mail-delivery and micro-transit applications on campus while collaborating with its network of industry experts. Paz’ research focus is on robust self-driving car technology under stochastic environments: motion planning and intersection logic, perception, SLAM, and controls.

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Quan Vuong

Quan Vuong is a PhD student at the University of California San Diego. His advisor is Professor Henrik I. Christensen. He also works closely with Professor Hao Su and Professor Sean Gao.

His research focuses on Reinforcement Learning for control.

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Shengye Wang

Shengye Wang is a PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. His research interest includes robotics reliability engineering, long-term autonomous systems, robot software infrastructure, fault-injection on robots, and human-robot interaction. Before joining UC San Diego, he worked on accelerating applications with FPGAs. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Microelectronics from Fudan University in 2014.

Shengye Wang currently works with Prof. Henrik Christensen at Contextual Robotics Institute, UC San Diego. He lives in La Jolla, California.

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Ruffin White

Ruffin White is a Ph.D. student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also affiliated with the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) at Georgia Tech.

He was a summer research assistant at the Robotics Institute at CMU. He holds B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a Multidisciplinary Minor in Robotics from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

His area of research interests is mobile robotic mapping, with a focus on semantic understanding for robot SLAM and planning.

Masters Students

Po-Jung Lai

Po-Jung Lai is a master candidate in Intelligent Systems, Robotics, and Control in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of California San Diego. He is advised by Dr. Henrik I. Christensen to benchmark performance of Autonomous Vehicles at Contextual Robotics Institute.

Before he joined Cognitive Robotics Laboratory in the Contextual Robotics Institute, he worked in WeMo Scooter as Embedded System Engineer. He holds both B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and B.S. in Finance Management from National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan.

He is currently working on Autonomous and Manual driving comparison and environmental impact modelling.

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Shixin Li

Shixin Li is a master student in the CSE Department at UC San Diego. She is advised by Dr. Henrik Christensen. Shixin is interested in robotic perception, SLAM, and Human-Robot-Interaction.

During her first master year, she worked on Reinforcement Learning-based people tracking and following for service robot. Currently, she is working on building the framework of controlling quadcopters using gestures. Before joining UC San Diego, Shixin holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Sichuan University, during which she did research in Neuromorphic computing and deep learning.

Photo of Yiding (Cassie) Qiu
Yiding (Cassie) Qiu

Yiding Qiu is a MS student in the CSE Department at UC San Diego. She is advised by Dr. Henrik Christensen. Prior to this, she obtained B.S in Cognitive Science and Physics from UCSD. She is interested in SLAM, semantic mapping, and robotic perception.

James Smith

James is a MS student in the Intelligent Systems, Robotics and Control depth, under the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He holds a BS in Computer Engineering from UC San Diego in 2017 and has worked previously on developing software for Cubesats and quadrotors.

James’ interests are in utilizing perception, control, and reinforcement learning to enable robotic manipulators to grasp novel objects in the real world.

Alumni

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Samarth Brahmbhatt

Samarth is currently pursuing a PhD in Robotics. He is interested in Computer Vision and Machine Learning applied to robots. In particular, he is interested in the classical problems of object detection and pose estimation in the face of clutter and occlusion and applications thereof.

He has authored ‘Practical OpenCV’, a fun book exploring the popular OpenCV computer vision library through projects. Samarth holds a Masters’ degree in Robotics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelors’ degree in Electronics from Nirma University, India. He also likes to swim, run and read about history.

Sneha Chandrababu (MS, 2009)
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Dr. Changhyun Choi

Changhyun Choi is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) working with Prof. Daniela Rus. He obtained a Ph.D. in Robotics at the School of Interactive Computing, College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, wherein he was also affiliated with the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM). He was a research intern in the Imaging Group of Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, an intern researcher at the Imaging Media Research Center (IMRC) at Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), and an undergraduate researcher at the Intelligent Systems Research Center at Sungkyunkwan University. He holds a B.S. in Information and Communication Engineering from Sungkyunkwan University. His broad research interests are in Visual Perception for Robotics, with a focus on object recognition and pose estimation, visual tracking, and 3D registration.

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Siddharth Choudhary

He is a PhD student in the School of Interactive Computing, which is a part of College of Computing at Georgia Tech. He is associated with Cognitive Robotics and BORG lab and is being advised by Henrik I. Christensen and Frank Dellaert. He is also affiliated with Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines and Computational Perception laboratory.

Prior to joining Gerogia Tech in 2012, he worked with P J Narayanan at CVIT in IIIT-H, India. Here he worked on improving the efficiency of SfM using efficient localization, triangulation and bundle adjustment.

His primary research interests are in the areas of Robotics and Computer Vision and its intersection with Machine Learning and GPGPU Computing. He is currently working on resource efficient long term mapping and navigation in large scale environments.

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Akansel Cosgun

Akansel’s expertise in robot navigation enables him to design and implement algorithms that allow robots to navigate safely in human environments. His research interests also include Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), robot manipulation and computer vision. He also has a passion to learn about business and finance. Akansel holds a MS in Computer Science from Georgia Tech and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Bilkent University in Turkey.

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Dr. Neil T. Dantam

Neil Dantam received his Ph.D. in robotics at Georgia Tech and was a lab manager for the Humanoid Robotics Lab directed by Prof. Mike Stilman.

Neil’s research focuses on reliable control policies, particularly for robot manipulation. He has applied context-free grammars to robot policy generation and analysis. In addition, he has worked on practical aspects of robot manipulation andsoftware design.

Neil received the Georgia Tech President’s Fellowship, the Georgia Tech/SAIC paper award, and an American Control Conference ’12 presentation award. He received bachelors’ degrees in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and has worked at iRobot Research, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and Raytheon.

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Eohan George
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Steven Hickson

I’m currently a computer science graduate student at Georgia Tech working with Dr. Henrik Christensen and Dr. Irfan Essa. I graduated magna cum laude at Clemson University in December 2012 with a BS in Computer Engineering. I then went on to work for INSCOM/NSA before deciding to go back to school. My research interests include robotics, automation, computer vision, deep learning, and computer security. My current projects are segmentation in 3D and 4D spaciotemporal regions and gesture recognition with RGBD images. My work has been featured by websites/magazines such as The Washington Post, the Huffington Post, Techcruch, the Daily Dot, Mashable, Slashdot, Engadget, Linux User and Developer Magazine, raspberrypi.org, Hackaday, StackOverflow, and Lifehacker. I’ve been featured due to my Snapchat Captcha solver, Google Voice API, and voice-controlled software.

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Ana Huamán Quispe

Ana Huamán Quispe is a Ph.D. student in the School of College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is also affiliated with the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) at Georgia Tech.

She was a research programmer in BioRobotics Lab – Carnegie Mellon University and a student developer for OpenCV for Google’s Summer of Code. She holds B.S. in Computer Science from Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria in Peru, and M.S. in the same major department from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Her area of research interests focus on whole-body manipulation for humanoids and motion planning for high-dimensional robotic systems.

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Dr. Jake Huckaby
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Pushkar Kolhe
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Dr. Tobias Kunz

I am a software engineer on Google’s self-driving car team working on motion planning. I received a PhD in robotics and a MS in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology where I was advised by Prof. Henrik Christensen and Prof. Mike Stilman. My research focussed on motion planning with differential constraints and my dissertation more specifically on sampling-based planning for robot arms with joint acceleration limits.

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Kimoon Lee

Kimoon Lee is a Ph.D. student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also affiliated with the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) at Georgia Tech.

He was a senior engineer in the Mechatronics group of Samsung Electronics in South Korea. He holds B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Hanyang University, and M.S. in the same major department from the Pohang university of Science and Technology.

His area of research interests is tasks models for robot automation, with a focus on verification and error recovery for task based robot programming.

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Dr. Martin Levihn

Martin Levihn is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Interactive Computing, College of Computing at Georgia Tech. He is affiliated with the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) at Georgia Tech. Previously, he held appointments as visiting researcher at the Japan Science and Technology Agency and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tokyo, Japan. He was also a visiting graduate student at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT.

His PhD research focuses on robot task and motion planning in unknown and/or uncertain environments and has been featured in the IEEE Spectrum.

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Varun Murali

Varun Murali is a double major M.Sc. student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also affiliated with the Cognitive Robotics Lab in the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) at Georgia Tech.

He holds a BEng (Hons) in Electronics and Communications Engineering with a year in Industry from the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. He has held engineering positions at Dynamic Load Monitoring, Southampton, UK and BMW, Munich, Germany.

His area of research interests is creating reconfigurable frameworks for cognitive systems to facilitate industrial automation and collaboration between robots and humans.

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Dr. Charles Pippin

Charles Pippin is a senior research scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). His research interests include collaborative autonomy algorithms, machine learning, multi-robot systems and unmanned systems. Pippin’s research includes investigation on both indoor robot platforms performing patrolling tasks and on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). He has led a team of researchers performing autonomous collaboration using GTRI’s research fleet of UAVs, resulting in multiple successful field demonstrations of collaborative autonomy with unmanned aerial and ground vehicles. Pippin was also a member of the DARPA program for Learning Applied to Ground Robotics (LAGR). In his current work, he is studying issues related to task sharing, as well as performance and trust on cooperative, multi-robot teams.

Photo of Dev Priya
Dev Priya
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Akshit Proothi
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Dr. John G Rogers III
Photo of Dr. Alex Trevor
Dr. Alex Trevor

Visitors

Photo of Dr. Heni Ben Amor
Dr. Heni Ben Amor

Heni Ben Amor is a Research Scientist at the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at GeorgiaTech in Atlanta. At GeorgiaTech, he is leading a project on the future of manufacturing robots. Heni studied Computer Science at the University of Koblenz-Landau (GER) and earned a Ph.D in robotics from the Technical University Freiberg and the University of Osaka in 2010 where he worked with Hiroshi Ishiguro and Minoru Asada. Prior to moving to GeorgiaTech, Heni was a postdoctoral scholar at the Technical University Darmstadt working with Jan Peters. Heni’s research topics focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning, human-robot interaction, robot vision, and automatic motor skill acquisition. He received the highly competitive Daimler-and-Benz Fellowship as well as several best paper awards at major robotics and AI conferences. He is also in the program committee of various AI and robotics conferences such as AAAI, IJCAI, IROS, NIPS, and ICRA.

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Sungtae An

Sungtae An is a Ph.D. in Computer Science student in the School of Interactive Computing, College of Computing at Georgia Tech. He is also affiliated with the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) at Georgia Tech.

He holds B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Hanyang University, and M.S. in the same major department from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

His research area focuses on Computer Vision and Sensory Fusion for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) and Structure-from-Motion problems.

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Thomas T Andersen
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Richard Bormann
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Martin Bünger

I am a M.Sc. in engineering specialized in Informatics. I have primarily been working with Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Pattern Classification and Artificial Intelligence. Through my bachelor degree I have learned about Embedded Programming, Network Programming and Real time Systems. I am currently a Software Developer at Gamblify.

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Alexander Lambert

Alexander (a.k.a. Sasha) Lambert is a Ph.D student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. He is also affiliated with the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) at Georgia Tech.

Sasha earned a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University, Canada, and an MS with thesis in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

His research area focuses on high-accuracy control systems for robotic manipulators conducting industrial machining tasks.

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Benoît Milville

Benoît Milville is an Arts & Métiers engineer, from France. Recently gratuaded with masters’ degree in Robotics, he is currently visiting the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) at Georgia Institute of Technology.

He has worked in the automotive industry, for PSA Peugeot Citroen as intern in a R&D departement, and also for the semi-conductor industry, for YLS as R&D engineer.

His fields of expertise range from embedded electronics and 3D printing to path planning for robotic arms

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Rahul Sawhney
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Daniela Steidl

Daniela Steidl is a consultant of CQSE GmbH for software quality. She studied computer science at the Technische Universität München (TUM), the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois (both USA) and obtained a Master of Science degree.

She was working in the Distributor’s Pallet Packing Problem and participated in the Virtual Manufacturing Automation Challenge (VMAC) during the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2010 in Anchorage, Alaska.

Currently she is a PhD candidate in software engineering at TUM.