I am interested in the dynamics and control of robots interacting with the world. My long term goal is to make this interaction faster, safer, more robust and with simpler actuation. I founded and direct the Personal Robotics Lab, co-direct the Manipulation Lab, and lead the HERB effort of the QoLTbots systems area and the Mobile Manipulation effort of the Mobility and Manipulation Thrust at the Quality of Life Technologies NSF ERC.
My main research focus is on Manipulation Planning: extending randomized planners to constraint manifolds, functional gradient optimization with CHOMP, and leveraging the mechanics of manipulation for planning under uncertainty. I am also interested in Perception for Manipulation: my group has developed MOPED: an efficient object recognition and pose estimation system for manipulation. Matt Mason and I were recently awarded an NSF grant to explore the design and algorithms for Simple but General Robot Hands. I have also recently begun working on Human-Robot Interaction, in particular on the problem of collaborative manipulation.