About Me

IMG_20140418_063352I am a Robotics Researcher with the Toyota Research Institute, Cambridge MA, USA working with the Simulation and Control Group under Prof. Russ Tedrake. I am a member of the development team behind the Drake Toolbox.  I am currently interested in state estimation, and system identification for robot systems and in manipulation in domestic environments.  I am also a visiting researcher with the Robotics and Perception Group of the University of Zürich working with Prof. Davide Scaramuzza. My research interests here are in Quadcoptor model identification and control strategies.

Prior to joining TRI, I was a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Genova in the  Dynamic Interaction Control  Group where I worked on state estimation for humanoids and humans; in particular on the iCub humanoid robot.

I hold a PhD from the University of Zürich, Switzerland, an MS from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea and a BE from the Anna University, Chennai. I have worked for several years at the Artificial Intelligence Lab of the University of Zurich as a Marie Curie Research Fellow. Prior to that, I have worked at the R&D Labs of Yujin Robotics, a consumer robotics company based in Seoul, South Korea and at the Robot Intelligence Technology (RIT) Lab of KAIST.  I have also served as the Project Manager for DWENGO pzw, a non-profit based in Belgium focusing on taking micro-controller programming and robotics to under-privileged children worldwide.

I strongly believe that the path to functional robots in our lives is for robots to be “good enough”. i.e. learn to compensate for reality in approaches similar to what living beings seem to do. While my PhD research focussed on dimensionality reduction – i.e. coping with complexity through mathematically feasible simplifications, my current research is instead aimed at coping with uncertainties. i also believe that a key to unlocking the potential of highly capable robots in assisting us is in ‘holistic development’, i.e simultaneous development in all aspects of a robot such as in controls, planning, estimation, cognition, human interaction etc; and not of just one in isolation of the others. This also necessitates a large degree of cooperation between roboticists towards achieving such capabilities – something I have always striven to do. Lastly, I sincerely believe that all of this research is fundamentally and necessarily tied back into natural sciences – i.e. into the fundamental questions of understanding why are living beings the way they are – both as a source of inspiration to robotics and as a conclusion from our insight gained on synthetic machines. Thus, I believe that roboticist must never lose sight of the natural reality around themselves

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Robotics – State estimation – human movement – bio-inspiration