Core Faculty

Mark Campbell
Mark Campbell works in the area of estimation theory and control for autonomous and semi-autonomous systems, with a special emphasis on robotics and aerospace applications. Specific research areas include sensor fusion and probabilistic perception, control and planning in the presence of uncertainties, human decision modeling, and human-robot interaction. His educational focus is on control systems, estimation, and space systems, with an emphasis on experimental learning projects such as student built satellites and robotics competitions such as the DARPA Urban Challenge.
sf375Silvia Ferrari
Professor Ferrari’s research focuses on design and analysis of methods and algorithms for computational intelligence and sensorimotor learning and control. Her contributions include the development of new theories and algorithms on the learning and approximation properties of graphical models, such as neural and probabilistic networks, as well their applications in many areas of science and engineering, such as reconfigurable aircraft control and robotics. Professor Ferrari developed new methods for adaptive dynamic programming, reinforcement learning, optimal control, and information-driven planning and control for distributed systems and mobile sensor networks. Recent contributions also include the development of new mathematical models of learning and plasticity uncovered from biological brains, as well as cognitive models of complex decision making derived from data.
Architecture professor Keith Green.Keith Evan Green
Keith Evan Green’s Architectural Robotics Lab designs, prototypes, and evaluates cyber-physical environments that support and augment us at work, school, and home, as we roam, interconnect, and age. The novelty of Green’s research lies in its recognition of the physical, built environment, from furniture to the metropolis, as a next frontier of robotics. At the interface of design, robotics, and psychology, Green’s research extends across continuum robotics, HRI, non-verbal communication, and machine learning.
Guy HoffmanGuy Hoffman
My research field is human-robot interaction. I am particularly interested in the following topics: joint activities between humans and robots; human-robot teamwork and collaboration, in particular with respect to interaction fluency; robotic personal companions; non-anthropomorphic robot design; computational models for embodied cognition in robots, in particular with respect to artificial practice; anticipation and timing in HRI and multi-agent MDPs; entertainment, theater, and musical performance robots; robot improvisation; nonverbal communication in HRI; and embodiment in HCI.
Wendy Ju
Wendy Ju’s research examines how people will interact with automation in everyday environments. Her research incorporates interaction design, interactive technologies and advanced Wizard of Oz techniques to anticipate future robots, and uses laboratory and field experiments to understand how people will behave around them. Specific research areas include human robot interaction, autonomous vehicle interaction,  implicit interaction, machine learning in design and cross-cultural design research.
mfj28Malte Jung
Malte Jung’s research focuses on the intersections of teamwork, technology, and emotion. The goal of his research is to inform our basic understanding of technology supported teamwork as well as to inform how we design technology to support teamwork across a wide range of settings. He leads the Robots in Groups Lab, which seeks to contribute to our basic understanding of group dynamics and how group dynamics can be shaped by robots implicitly and by design.
rak286Ross Knepper
Ross Knepper’s research addresses the algorithmic aspects of advanced factory automation, enabling autonomous robots to function safely and comprehensibly alongside humans in environments structured for people. Doing so will open up many products still assembled by hand today to automation opportunities. Leveraging insights from psychology, sociology, and linguistics, robots will interact with factory workers through natural language and gesture, so that they can be programmed without special training and can operate as peers with human workers.
hk478Hadas Kress-Gazit
Hadas Kress-Gazit’s reseach focuses on verifiable high-level robot control. She is interested in creating autonomous robots that perform user-defined high-level tasks in dynamic environments while providing guarantees of correctness for their behavior. Her areas of research span traditional ME, CS and EE topics and include hybrid systems, symbolic control and connections between formal methods, logic, natural language and robotics.
Daniel Lee
It is ironic that computers excel at logical reasoning that take humans many years of specialized training and education to learn, yet machines are still unable to perform simple everyday tasks that we take for granted. My group’s research focuses on learning representations that enable autonomous systems to efficiently reason about real-time behaviors in an uncertain world. In particular, much of our work has used low-dimensional representations to overcome the curse of dimensionality in perception, planning and control tasks. We use machine learning algorithms and computational neuroscience models, in addition to implementations on a variety of robotic platforms to study how to build better sensorimotor systems that can adapt and learn from experience.
khp37Kirstin Petersen
Kirstin Petersen is interested in design of multi-robot systems inspired by social insects in nature, with distributed control and simple individuals to collectively achieve complex goals. Her research is especially focused around robot collectives capable of autonomous construction of user-specified structures in three-dimensions. The work spans electronics, mechanics, embedded software, algorithms, entomology, and architecture.
alr3Andy Ruina
Andy Ruina’s goal is to understand the mechanics of walking. The main route to this is through designing, simulating, building and testing walking robots. A special focus is on the energetics of walking. People, no matter how you measure, use much less energy than almost all walking robots. We want to make robots as energy-stingy as people, or even better, and we’d like the robots to be stable too.
rfs247Robert Shepherd
Robert Shepherd is focused on the material and mechanical design of soft machines. His work begins by identifying new material compositions for actuators, then mapping them onto a compatible mechanical system for motion. Due to the compliance of his soft material systems, the resulting machines are underactuated (e.g., they have more degrees of freedom than actuators) and much of their capabilities arise from this property. His interests lie in further developing the abilities of these soft machines.

Affiliated Faculty

Yoav Artzi
My current research focus is in the intersection of natural language processing and machine learning. I focus on designing and building algorithms for learning expressive models for context-dependent natural language understanding, with specific interest in situated interactive scenarios.
srf72Susan Fussell
My research focuses on interpersonal communication in face-to-face and computer-mediated contexts. My goals are to enhance our theoretical understanding of the mechanisms involved in conversational discourse and to apply this theory to the design and evaluation of new communications technologies. My current focus areas include intercultural computer-mediated communication, multilingual communication, online policy deliberation, the use of social network sites to promote energy saving behavior, human-robot interaction, and collaborative intelligence analysis. With my students and collaborators, I examine these issues within a variety of domains, including hospitals, educational settings, and corporations, using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods.
fvg3François Guimbretière
The overarching goal of my research is to bring the ease of use of pen and paper interactions to computer interfaces. Pen and paper are an extremely versatile tool used extensively by knowledge workers when sketching new concepts, exploring a design space by quickly sketching several variations, brainstorming during a meeting, or simply proofreading documents. Pen and paper interactions are rapid, fluid, and almost transparent to the user. Unfortunately, work captured on paper is often difficult to transfer back into the digital world where powerful computational resources are accessible. Through my work, I have demonstrated that the ease of use of pen and paper interactions and access to digital resources can be smoothly bridged.
Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao
Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao’s research focuses on the intersections of technology, culture, and aesthetics on the body surface. By hybridizing miniaturized robotics, machines, and materials with cultural body decoration practices, her work investigates how technology can be situated as a culturally meaningful material for crafting our identities. Through these hybrid body interfaces, she investigates opportunities for new modes of self-expression, and also ways to interact with others and our surrounding environments.
mp336Mason Peck
My long-term research objectives focus on what I see as the next frontiers in space-system design: spacecraft that exploit physics, particularly rigid and flexible dynamics at many length scales, to achieve innovative and surprising missions. My work represents initial steps toward the creation of a new field: a fusion of dynamical systems and systems engineering, two disciplines that are rarely considered in the same context. Innovation in space systems takes some courage; the industry and government environment is conservative. Risk aversion encourages a focus on short-term engineering products. However, research is characterized by emerging areas. I have recently taken a new direction for some of this work, focusing on crowd-sourcing for citizen science and funding.
sws6Steven Squyres
Steve Squyres’ research focuses on the robotic exploration of planetary surfaces, the history of water on Mars, geophysics and tectonics of icy satellites, tectonics of Venus, planetary gamma-ray and x-ray spectroscopy. Research for which he is best known includes study of the history and distribution of water on Mars and of the possible existence and habitability of a liquid water ocean on Europa. Dr. Squyres is currently the scientific Principal Investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover Project.

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