My research spans planning, control, and design of mobile robot systems that:

  • must navigate environments with many obstacles and narrow passageways, and/or
  • cannot access resources such as GPS or computer vision (ex: micro-scale, underwater), and/or
  • are highly reliant on agent-environment interactions to complete tasks (either through direct contact with obstacles / objects, or by sensing or creating environment structures such as lower-resistance paths).

Given these design constraints, we develop systems that are minimal in terms of the sensing, actuation, computational, or other resource requirements. Minimal agents enable scalable systems, but the research challenge is in developing representations and algorithmic approaches that allow for provable guarantees on performance and robustness. Part of achieving real-world robustness and safety is the principled design of interfaces and specifications, so my work also involves (human | animal)-(computer | robot) interaction research.

I am targeting applications in entomology, forestry, ecology, micro-robotics for health and microbiology, by leveraging embodied intelligence and approaches from complex systems. I am interested in learning algorithms in the broader context of embodied adaptation and attunement in robotic and bio-hybrid systems.

I have published at conferences such as ICRA, IROS, MRS, DARS, MoCo, and WAFR, as well as journals IJRR and MDPI. I was involved in the development of The Robot Design Game.

My Ph.D. in Computer Science (2020) is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, advised by Dr. Steven M. LaValle. I am now a Postdoc in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Cornell University, in Dr. Kirstin Petersen’s Collective Embodied Intelligence Lab.

My CV is here. My most up-to-date publication record is on Google Scholar; contact me if you cannot access a publication.

Code and simulators that I publish and maintain can be found on my github or the CEI github.

Recent News

  • November 2022: Attended DARS for the first time and presented work on collective systems of Braitenberg vehicles. Such a wonderful conference, and so encouraging to see so much discussion of environmental and public health applications!
  • May 2022: I will be attending ICRA 2022 in-person in Philly to co-organize workshops on math and art!
  • Spring 2022: I have assisted with one paper and led another on soft, inflatable robot collectives. I am excited about the implications of this work for micro-robotics as well as macro-scale robot collectives in aquatic and human-robot interaction settings!
  • February 2021: Our IJRR paper on bouncing robots was published! This is the reference I recommend for my work on the bouncing robots. Now we can synthesize robust periodic orbits for robots that reorient when they collide with environment boundaries!