The Robotic Exploration Lab in The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University conducts research in control, motion planning, and navigation for robotic systems that explore our planet and our universe.

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Research

Pixels to Torques with Linear Feedback

Pixels to Torques with Linear Feedback

Data-driven, linear output-feedback policies can effectively control a robotic system using vision.

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Convex Trajectory optimization for the Soft-Capture Problem

Convex Trajectory optimization for the Soft-Capture Problem

A safe and real-time trajectory optimization algorithm for agile spacecraft maneuvers.

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Model-Predictive Control on Resource-Constrained Microcontrollers

Model-Predictive Control on Resource-Constrained Microcontrollers

A high-speed MPC solver with a low memory footprint that works on microcontrollers common on small robots.

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High-Expansion-Ratio Deployable Structures for Long Duration Space Missions

High-Expansion-Ratio Deployable Structures for Long Duration Space Missions

A hierarchical mechanism capable of 50x expansion ratios enabling kilometer scale structures from a single launch.

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Motion Reconstruction and Imitation from Monocular Videos

Motion Reconstruction and Imitation from Monocular Videos

An end-to-end motion transfer framework from monocular videos to legged robots.

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State Estimation For Legged Robots

State Estimation For Legged Robots

Several different state estimation methods for legged robots.

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Differentiable Fluid-Structure Interaction for Robotics

Differentiable Fluid-Structure Interaction for Robotics

A fully differentiable solver for simulating coupled fluid-robot dynamics

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Enhanced Balance for Legged Robots Using Reaction Wheels

Enhanced Balance for Legged Robots Using Reaction Wheels

Novel hardware design to enhance quadruped robots

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Data-Efficient Model Learning for Control

Data-Efficient Model Learning for Control

Building new algorithms for learning dynamics models that are sample efficient and generalizable.

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Differentiable Collision Detection

Differentiable Collision Detection

Smooth and differentiable collision detection between pairs of convex primitives, enabled by differentiable convex optimization.

CALIPSO - A Differentiable Solver for Trajectory Optimization with Conic and Complementarity Constraints

CALIPSO - A Differentiable Solver for Trajectory Optimization with Conic and Complementarity Constraints

Trajectory optimization with conic and complementarity constraints–plus differentiable!

Dojo - A Differentiable Simulator for Robotics

Dojo - A Differentiable Simulator for Robotics

Differentiable rigid-body-dynamics with contact simulator for robotic systems.

Trajectory Optimization with Optimization-Based Dynamics

Trajectory Optimization with Optimization-Based Dynamics

Bi-level trajectory optimization with dynamics represented as constrained optimization problems.

Fast Contact-Implicit Model-Predictive Control

Fast Contact-Implicit Model-Predictive Control

Fast model-predictive control for systems that make and break contact with objects and the environment.

Direct Policy Optimization

Direct Policy Optimization

Directly optimizing robust policies for feedback motion planning.

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Motion Planning for Soft Robots

Motion Planning for Soft Robots

Real-time simulation and trajectory optimization for soft robots.

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Dynamic Games Solver

Dynamic Games Solver

Developing a fast and robust solver for constrained dynamic games aimed at identifying Nash equilibrium strategies.

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Trajectory Optimization in the Circular Restricted Three-Body Problem (CR3BP)

Trajectory Optimization in the Circular Restricted Three-Body Problem (CR3BP)

The CR3BP is a useful model for designing and analyzing spacecraft trajectories that pass between multiple large bodies. We use optimization techniques to find trajectories that meet mission constraints while being dynamically feasible in the CR3BP.

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Intelligent Radiation Protection of Commercial Components in Space

Intelligent Radiation Protection of Commercial Components in Space

Extending lifetimes of commercial microelectronic devices in harsh radiation environments without additional shielding or device alterations.

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Fast Trajectory Optimization

Fast Trajectory Optimization

Building new solvers for trajectory optimization problems that are fast, accurate, and numerically robust.

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Design and Control of Agile Quadrupeds

Design and Control of Agile Quadrupeds

Designing a new, lost-cost quadrupeds with state-of-the-art control.

Low-Thrust Trajectory Optimization

Low-Thrust Trajectory Optimization

Optimizing long duration spacecraft maneuvers for electric propulsion.

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Underactuated Attitude Control of Small Satellites

Underactuated Attitude Control of Small Satellites

Developing algorithms and hardware for underactuated control of small satellites, mainly through trajectory optimization techniques of magnetorquer attitude manipulation.

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Distributed Trajectory Optimization

Distributed Trajectory Optimization

Scalable Cooperative Transport of Cable-Suspended Loads with UAVs using Distributed Trajectory Optimization

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Fast Solution of Optimal Control Problems With L1 Cost

Fast Solution of Optimal Control Problems With L1 Cost

Developing a fast, low memory footprint algorithm to solve minimum-fuel problems with possible implementation onboard a CubeSat for embedded trajectory optimization.

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PyCubed

PyCubed

An open-source, radiation-tested reliable cubesat framework programmable entirely in python.

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Control and Motion Planning with Contact Interactions

Control and Motion Planning with Contact Interactions

Controlling systems that make and break contact with objects and the environment. Applications to robotic locomotion and manipulation.

Robust Motion Planning

Robust Motion Planning

Making things get where they’re supposed to go when we don’t know exactly how they move and what disturbance forces might be pushing on them.

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KickSat Project

Tiny low-cost satellites made on printed circuit boards

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People

Faculty

Zac Manchester
Assistant Professor

Researchers

Jon Arrizabalaga
Visiting from Technical University of Munich | Differential Geometry, Optimization and Control

Staff

Aaron Trowbridge
Quantum Optimal Control
Neil Khera
Small Satellite Hardware and Avionics

PhD Students

Kevin Tracy
Optimization and Control
Swaminathan Gurumurthy
Deep Equilibrium Models
Rianna Jitosho
Motion Planning for Soft Robots
Shuo Yang
Legged Robots State Estimation, Mapping and Control
Fausto Vega
Small Spacecraft and Navigation
Jeong Hun (JJ) Lee
Swimming Dynamics and Control
Paulo Fisch
Small Satellite Vision and Localization
Mitchell Fogelson
Design and Control Optimization
Arun Bishop
Contact-rich Optimization and Control
Juan Alvarez Padilla
Learning and Optimization Based Controls
Pedro Cachim
Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation and Control

Masters Students

Sofia Kwok
Bipedal Optimization and Control
John Zhang
Contact-rich Simulation and Control
Khai Nguyen
Optimization-based Planning and Control
Sam Schoedel
Optimization-based Planning and Control
Ibrahima S. Sow
Optimization and Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Will Kraus
Planning and Control for Legged Robots
Ashley Kline
Small Spacecraft Design and Navigation

Undergraduate Students

Past Undergraduate Students

Alumni

Taylor Howell Model-predictive Control and Differentiable Simulators for Contact
Brian Jackson Albedo Space
Max Holliday NASA Ames
Simon Le Cleac'h Boston Dynamics AI Institute
Jan Bruedigam PhD at TU Munich
Laura Lee Boston Dynamics
Remy Derollez Loft Orbital
Jared Blanchard PhD at Stanford
Benjamin Jensen Johns Hopkins APL
Suvansh Sanjeev Brilliantly
Ben Bokser Boston Dynamics AI Institute
Chiyen Lee Dextrous Robotics
Alexander Bouman Dextrous Robotics
Brandon Hung Boston Dynamics AI Institute
Jacob Willis Albedo Space
Zixin Zhang PhD at Northwestern University
Giusy Falcone Assistant Professor at University of Michigan
Prakrit Tyagi Optimization and Control
Anoushka Alavilli NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Pedro Andrade Small Satellite Avionics and Control
Tae Rugh Robotic State Estimation and Control
Elakhya Nedumaran Optimization-based Control