Main Research Activities
I hold a double appointment as assistant professor of Robotics Engineering and Fire Protection Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where I direct NEST Lab. The focus of my research is swarm robotics, with applications to fire protection engineering, planetary exploration, and disaster recovery.
If you want to join my lab, please follow these instructions.
- Programming large-scale robot swarms
NEST Lab is developing Buzz, an innovative programming language specifically designed for real-world robot swarms. Buzz was widely covered in the media, most notably by MIT Technology Review, Communications of the ACM, and RoboHub.
- Human-swarm interaction
As robots become a part of our daily lives, it will be increasingly important to interact efficiently with teams of robots. NEST Lab is designing innovative, immersive interfaces based on augmented and mixed reality to study how humans and robots can form cohesive teams.
- Accurate, physics-based simulation of robot swarms
During my Ph.D., I have designed ARGoS, which is currently the fastest general-purpose robot simulator in the literature. ARGoS is used by many laboratories across the world to perform accurate physics-based simulations of large-scale robots swarms. NEST Lab continuously improves ARGoS to suit the diverse needs of the swarm robotics research community.
- Conference Chair
- MRS2021, MRS2019 (area chair)
- AHS2017 (technical co-chair), AHS2015 (tutorial chair)
- ANTS2016 (publication chair)
- Swarm Intelligence (associate editor, 2018-2021; guest editor, 2016-2017)
- ICRA (associate editor, 2020-2021)
- IROS (associate editor, 2016-2020)
- Frontiers Robotics&AI Multi-Robot Systems (guest editor, 2017-2020)
- Program Committee Member (last 3 years)
- IJCAI2021, AAAI2021, AAMAS2021, IRMAS@SAC2021, DARS2021
- AAAI2020, ARMS@AAMAS20, ANTS2020
- GECCO2019, IJCAI2019, RSS Pioneers Workshop 2019, DroNet19, ARMS@AAMAS19
Selected Awards and Honors
- 2020 recipient of a Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education
- 2019 recipient of an Amazon Research Award
- 2019 nominee for Best Faculty Advisor Award at WPI
- 2018 Rho Beta Epsilon Award for Excellence in Robotics Education
- 2015 F.R.S.-FNRS Chargé des Recherches, 3-year postdoctoral fellowship
- 2012 winner of the Most Innovative Technology award at the Robot Film Festival for Swarmanoid, the movie
- 2011 winner of the AAAI video competition for Swarmanoid, the movie
Awards and Honors for Undergraduate Projects
- 2020 winner of the WPI Robotics Engineering Director MQP Award for the Major Qualifying Project 3D Swarm Construction (students: Cameron Collins, Josue Contreras, Neel Dhanaraj, Hannan Liang, Trevor Rizzo, Caleb Wagner; co-advised with Proff. Gregory Lewin, Raghvendra Cowlagi, Xinming Huang)
- 2019 winner of the WPI Robotics Engineering Provost MQP Award for the Major Qualifying Project Oddisy Drone Dispatch System (students: Noah Hillman, Nick Sorensen, Marek Travnikar, Steven Viola; co-advised with Proff. Nick Bertozzi, Reinhold Ludwig, Brad Miller)
- 2019 honorable mentions in the WPI Computer Science Provost MQP Award and Robotics Engineering Director MQP Award for the Major Qualifying Project Diagnosing Robotic Swarms (Dr. Swarm) (students: Josiah Boucher, Jerish Brown, Erika Snow, Alexandra Wheeler; co-advised with Prof. Lane Harrison)
- 2018 winner of the WPI Computer Science Provost MQP Award and honorable mention in the Robotics Engineering Provost MQP Award for the Major Qualifying Project Autonomous Strategic Games and Robotic Design (students: Griffin Tabor, Jonathan Berry, Evan Gilgenbach; co-advised with Prof. Ken Stafford)