Mobile Robots

Terra (2018): iRobot's robot lawnmower, currently in beta testing.  I worked on the navigation, sensing, and behavior software for Terra.




Dynamo (2012): A PackBot that is capable of climbing tall obstacles by shifting its center of gravity using its manipulator arm.  As part of DARPA's Maximum Mobility and Manipulation Program, I developed the Dynamic Threshold Learning algorithm, which allows the robot to learn the appropriate arm position based on experience.


Stingray (2008): A high-speed prototype iRobot Warrior x700 UGV equipped with a Chatten Associates Head-Aimed Remote Viewer (HARV) system.  This project is funded by TARDEC to develop techniques for high-speed teleoperation of small UGVs.  Stingray combines immersive telepresence with semi-autonomous driver assist behaviors to allow the operator to control the UGV at high speeds.

Stingray Video


Daredevil (2008): A PackBot mobile robot equipped with ultra wideband (UWB) radar, LIDAR, and stereo vision.  The goal of this TARDEC-funded project is to develop an all-weather perception payload for the PackBot that can use UWB radar to see through adverse weather (rain, snow, etc.) as well as foliage and fuse these readings with high-resolution sensor data from LIDAR and stereo vision.


Wayfarer (2005): A fully-autonomous PackBot that can perform urban reconnaissance missions including perimeter reconnaissance, route reconnaissance, and street reconnaissance.  Wayfarer is equipped with LIDAR, stereo vision, GPS, and INS, and can travel beyond communications range to map urban environments and autonomously return with a video log of what lies ahead.  Wayfarer is a two-year, $1.3 million project funded by the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Tank-Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC).  I am the Principal Investigator for the Wayfarer Project.

Wayfarer Videos

Indoor Mapping
Outdoor Obstacle Avoidance
Perimeter Reconnaissance
Perimeter Reconnaissance with 3D Mapping (3D Map, Video Log)

Route Reconnaissance
Rugged Navigation Payload



CHARS (2003): A chemical weapons, hazardous gas, and radiation sensor payload developed at iRobot Corporation for the PackBot mobile robot.  I was the technical lead for this project, which was funded by the U.S Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) under direction of the Department of Defense Robotic Systems Joint Project Office (RS JPO).  Based on a laboratory prototype initially developed at SPAWAR, iRobot developed a ruggedized payload using off-the-shelf portable sensors to detect chemical weapons, hazardous gases, and gamma and neutron radiation.  Four PackBots with CHARS payloads were deployed to Iraq.


Valkyrie (2003): A battlefield casualty recovery robot developed at iRobot Corporation based on the PackBot and NEOMOVER (Warrior prototype) platforms and funded by the U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC).  Valkyrie includes a Sked flexible stretcher that is delivered to the casualty using a PackBot and towed to safety by robots or other soldiers.

Valkyrie Videos


Griffon (2003): A hybrid UGV/UAV developed at iRobot Corporation based on the PackBot platform.  I was the Principal Investigator for this project, which was funded by the U.S. Army's Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Armaments Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC).  The Griffon prototype was designed by Pavlo Rudakevych.  Griffon combines the ground mobility of the PackBot platform with an Air Mobility System (AMS) including a steerable parafoil wing and a gasoline-powered propeller motor.

Griffon Videos

Griffon Test Flight
Griffon Blooper ("Watch out for that tree!")


Bloodhound (2002): A battlefield medical robot prototype developed at iRobot Corporation based on the PackBot platform and funded by the U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC).


Deployer (2001): A DARPA-funded project at iRobot Corporation to develop techniques to control heterogeneous robot teams consisting of a large, sophisticated robot (the Deployer) and many small, simple robots (the Swarm).  I developed the mapping system that enables the Deployer to build a topological map from local sensor information provided by the Swarmbots.  The Deployer can then use this information to navigate through the Swarm.


iRobot-LE (2000): A robot developed by iRobot Corporation for Internet telepresence.  The iRobot-LE was the predecessor of the CoWorker telepresence robot.  I was the primary developer of the mapping and navigation system used by the iRobot-LE.


Roadrunner (1998): A Nomad 200 mobile robot equipped with sonar, infrared, and laser range sensors. I used Roadrunner to develop ARIEL (Autonomous Robot for Integrated Exploration and Localization) at the Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence at the Naval Research Laboratory (Washington, DC).  ARIEL combines frontier-based exploration with continuous localization.  I also used this robot to develop ELDEN (Exploration and Spatial Learning in Dynamic ENvironments) for my Ph.D. research with the CWRU Autonomous Agents Research Group (Cleveland, OH).



Coyote (1997) : Another Nomad 200 mobile robot at the the Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence, equipped with passive infrared motion sensors to detect people. We entered Coyote in the the Hors d'Oeuvres Event at the AAAI-97 Robot Competition - where mobile robots served refreshments to conference attendees at the opening reception. We won first place in the technical competition and second place overall.


Nomad 200 (1996): I used another Nomad 200 in my research on place learning and place recognition at the Institute for the Study of Learning and Expertise (Palo Alto, CA), 


Rocky III (1991): A minirover built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, CA) as a prototype for a Mars rover/sample return mission. I developed a reactive navigation system for Rocky III using a set of simple sensors (contact switches, compass, wheel encoders, inclinometer). Later versions of the Rocky series of rovers were used as prototypes for the Sojourner rover on the Mars Pathfinder mission.


Denning MRV-1 (1990): A mobile robot equipped with sonar sensors at Hughes Research Laboratories (Malibu, CA) which I used to develop behaviors for hallway following and obstacle avoidance.

Autonomous Vehicles


Scorpion (2007): An autonomous vehicle developed for the DARPA Urban Challenge by Raytheon, iRobot, Preferred Chassis Fabrication, Tucson Embedded Systems, and the University of Arizona.  I worked with iRobot's team on the route navigation and GPS/INS localization software.




R-Gator (2004): An autonomous version of John Deere's M-Gator all-terrain vehicle.  iRobot developed the autonomy system for the R-Gator, which was capable of following a trained waypoint path while avoiding obstacles using LIDAR and radar.  I worked on the R-Gator's RTK GPS/INS localization and navigation software.

Robot Arms


ARID (1992): A robot arm equipped with vision and sonar sensing, built at Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral, FL) for inspection of the radiator panels on the space shuttle orbiter payload bay doors. I developed the software to determine the orbiter position based on visually detected features, and to align the robot with the orbiter using the sonar sensors.


Grasper (1990): A behavior-based grasping robot consisting of a Utah/MIT Dextrous Hand mounted on a Puma 761 robot arm that I developed software for at the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY).  A ceiling-mounted camera provided the locations of objects, and reactive grasping behaviors were used to pick up and arrange objects.

Grasper Video


Juggler (1989): A behavior-based balloon-bouncing robot I developed at the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) using a Puma 761 robot arm equipped with real-time vision (and a racket).

Juggler Video