IRIM Robotics Seminar–Vijay Kumar

Vijay Kumar, from the University of Pennsylvania, presents “Aerial Robot Swarms” as part of the IRIM Robotics Seminar Series. The seminar will be held in the TSRB Banquet Hall from 12-1 p.m. and is open to the public.


Autonomous micro aerial robots can operate in three-dimensional indoor and outdoor environments, and they have applications relevant to search and rescue operations, first response scenarios, and precision farming. I will provide an overview of our work and describe the challenges in developing small, agile robots. Specifically, I will discuss our recent work in the areas of control and planning, state estimation and mapping, and coordinating large teams of robots. 


Vijay Kumar is the UPS Foundation Professor at the University of Pennsylvania with appointments in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Computer and Information Science, and Electrical and Systems Engineering.

Kumar is currently on sabbatical leave at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he serves as the assistant director for robotics and cyber-physical systems.

After receiving his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1987, Kumar joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has held many leadership positions, including serving as the deputy dean for research in the School of Engineering and Applied Science from 2000 to 2004, and director of the GRASP Laboratory (a multidisciplinary robotics and perception laboratory) from 1998 to 2004. Kumar also served as chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from 2005 to 2008, followed by his tenure as deputy dean for education in the School of Engineering and Applied Science from 2008 to 2012.

Additionally, Kumar is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2003), a fellow of the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (2005), and a member of the National Academy of Engineering (2013).

Kumar’s research interests are in robotics, specifically multi-robot systems and micro aerial vehicles. He has served on the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics and the Springer Tract in Advanced Robotics (STAR).

Among his numerous awards and honors, Kumar received the 1991 National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator award, the 1996 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (University of Pennsylvania), the 1997 Freudenstein Award for significant accomplishments in mechanisms and robotics, the 2012 ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Award, the 2012 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Distinguished Service Award, and a 2012 World Technology Network Award. Additionally, he has won best paper awards at DARS 2002, ICRA 2004, ICRA 2011, RSS 2011, and RSS 2013, and he has advised doctoral students who have won Best Student Paper Awards at ICRA 2008, RSS 2009, and DARS 2010.

Event Details


  • Wednesday, April 30, 2014
    12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Location: TSRB Banquet Hall

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