Faculty


PhD Students

  • Mahmoud Ali

    Mahmoud has been working on perception and navigation. His current project is about integration of perception, navigation, and exploration with Gaussian Processes.

  • Zheng Chen

    Zheng is interested in visual perception, as well as mobile robot navigable space construction for on/off-road autonomous driving, using various self-supervised learning methods.

  • Paul Coen

    Paul has been working on perception with camaras, radars as well as their various applications including autonomy. Paul is co-advised by Prof. David Crandall and Prof. Lantao Liu.

  • Hassan Jardali

    Hassan is working on perception and also motion planning methods. His recent work includes navigation of UGVs on rough terrains.

  • Md. Al-Masrur Khan

    Khan is interested in visual perception for navigating mobile robots. He designed visual perception methods for autonomous pavement health inspection before joining the lab in Fall 23.

  • Ihab Mohamed

    Ihab has been working on path integral control with applications on various autonomous platforms such as aerial, ground and manipulator robots.

  • Alejandro Murillo Gonzalez

    Alejandro has research experience in vision based hybrid control and aerial image processing and learning. He is currently exploring reseach directions.

  • Durgakant Pushp

    Durgakant's research interests include UAV design and control, as well as multi-robot systems (including UAV+UGV teaming and drone swarms).

  • Youwei Yu

    Youwei Joined the lab in Fall 2023. In the past he worked on state estimation for ground vehicles. He is still exploring research areas.

Master Students

  • Divya Dhaipullay

    Divya is a Master student joined the lab in Summer 2023. She is exploring research interest on deep learning and imitation learning of robot navigation.

  • Pragat Wagle

    Pragat is a Master student joined the lab in Fall 2022. He is working on visual data analysis for UGV navigation with limited data.

PhD Alumni

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    Dr. Weizhe Chen (2018-2024)

    Current position: Founding member of a robotics startup

    Thesis: Towards Automated Science: Active Robot Learning for Information Gathering.

    Weizhe defended his Ph.D. thesis in Spring 2024. He was co-advised by Prof. Lantao Liu from Intelligent Systems Engineering and Prof. Roni Khardon from Computer Science. His research focuses on enabling robots to proactively gather important data from the environment through data-efficient learning and informative planning, with applications in active mapping using Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASVs). Upon his graduation, he became a founding member of a robotics startup (more information forthcoming).

  • Dr. Junhong Xu (2018-2023)

    Current position: Nuro (self-driving)

    Thesis: Robust Motion Planning and Control for Autonomous Robots under Uncertainty.

    Junhong graduated as a PhD from VAIL in Summer 2023. His research has been focusing on data-driven planning and decision making for ground robots in complex on-road and off-road conditions. After his graduation, he became a group lead in a self-driving company.

Master's, Undergraduate, and Vistor Alumni

  • AJ Funari (2021-2023)

    First position: OKSI

    AJ worked on imitation learning applicable to UGV maneuver with his PhD mentor Junhong Xu. He obtained his Accelerated Master degree in Winter 2023.

  • Nicholas Riina (2022-2023)

    First position: Mount Sinai

    Nick joined the lab in Fall 2022 and obtained his Master's degree in Summer 2023. He worked on reinforcement learning applicable to UGV maneuver with his PhD mentor Ihab Mohamed.

  • Deepak Duggirala (2022-2023)

    First position: Research Software Developer at IU

    Deepak joined the lab in Fall 2022. He worked on semantic map completion that can be used for navigating autonomous vehicles.

  • Adam Will (2021-2023)

    First position: NSWC-Crane

    As a receipient of DoD SMART Scholarship, Adam's research interest has been the development and control of autonomous underwater vehicles, for both hardware and software. Adam obtained his Master degree in Spring 2023.

  • Manuja Sanjay Bandal (2019-2021)

    First position: Amazon

    Manuja worked on a project of designing hardware and software systems of an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) since Fall 2019 and graduated with a Master degree in Spring 2021. She joined Amazon in Seattle after graduation.

  • Shreyas Bhujbal (2019-2021)

    First position: Bytedance

    Shreyas worked on a project of designing hardware and software systems of an AUV since Fall 2019 and graduated with a Master degree in Spring 2021. Together with Manuja, Shreyas has led and mentored a few undergraduate students working on the AUV projects.

  • Sam Migirditch (2019-2020)

    First position: Metron (Unmanned Systems Division)

    Sam joined the lab in Fall 2019 and graduated with a Master degree in Fall 2020. Sam worked on decision-theoretic planning and integrated his background in Physics with robotics decision making.

  • Malintha Fernando (2017-2020)

    First position: PhD student in Indiana University

    Malintha's research project is to control a team of small aerial vehicles. His work combines high-level swarm coordination mechanisms (e.g., behaviors inspired from bird flocking) with low-level trajectory control.

  • Kristopher Jung (2019-2020)

    First position: General Motors (as software engineer)

    As an undergrad, Kristopher worked on building an autonomous underwater vehicle. Kristopher obtained his undergrad dgree from Indiana University.

  • Rushabh Patel (2018-2019)

    First position: Uber (as machine learning engineer)

    Rushabh worked on ground vehicle planning and learning with his research mentor Junhong Xu. Rushabh obtained his Masters' dgree from Indiana University.

  • Jay Rajendrakumar Patel (2018-2019)

    First position: Unity (as computer vision/machine learning engineer)

    Jay worked on data-driven planning with his research mentor Weizhe Chen. Jay got his Masters' dgree from Indiana University.

  • Gabrielle Cantor (2018-2019)

    First position: Boeing (as robotics engineering intern)

    As a senior undergraduate student at Indiana University, Gabrielle helped graduate students for research tasks such as robot design and control in VAIL.

  • Paula Madetzke (2018-2019)

    First position: National Security Innovation Network (as X-Force program intern)

    As a senior undergraduate student at Indiana University, Paula finished two robotics term projects with ground vehicles in VAIL.

  • Isaiah Makonnen (2019 summer)

    First position: IU graduate student (Accelerated Master of Science in Information Systems)

    As an undergrad, Isaiah worked on navigation of a ground robot. He was supported by NSF Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program.

  • Nawaz Hussain Khazielakha (2018-2019)

    First position: IBM

    Nawaz worked on small quadrotor swarm control. Nawaz got his Masters' dgree from Indiana University.

  • Jamon Gaines (2018 summer)

    First position: IU graduate student (Accelerated Master of Science in Information Systems)

    As an undergrad, Jamon worked on navigation of a ground robot. He was supported by NSF Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program.

  • Danial Nawaz (2017-2018)

    First position: Qualcomm

    Danial worked on autonomous maneuvers of micro drones and tested Crazyflie 2.0. Danial got his Masters' dgree from Indiana University.

  • Yezhen Zhao (2016-2018)

    First position: AutoX (self-driving car startup)

    Yezhen worked on robotic environmental exploration and mapping, especially the underwater environment. Yezhen got his Masters' dgree from University of Southern California and his BS from the University of Science and Technology of China.

  • Chen Huang (2016-2018)

    First position: Microsoft (Natural Language Processing group)

    Chen worked on Deep Reinforcement Learning that allows marine robot to effectively act under ocean dynamics. Chen got his Masters' dgree from USC and his BS from Tsinghua University.

  • Shoubhik Debnath (2016-2018)

    First position: Nvidia (Robotics group)

    Shoubhik worked on Decision-theoretic Planning and Reinforcement Learning. Shoubhik got his Masters' dgree from USC and his BE from Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi.

  • Kai-Chieh Ma (2015-2017)

    First position: Brain Corp (self-driving vehicles)

    Kai-Cheih worked on Robotics, informative planning, and environmental sensing and monitoring. Kai-Chieh got his Masters' dgree from University of Southern California and BS from National Taiwan University.

  • Steven Ly (2015-2016)

    First position: Iterable (as machine learning engineer)

    Steven worked on web development for the 2017 Southern California Robotics Symposium. Steven got his Masters' dgree from USC and his BS from UCLA.

  • Zhibei Ma (2015-2017)

    First position: TuSimple (self-driving truck startup)

    Zhibei worked on the Traveling Salesman Problem, as well as the multi-robot coordination. Zhibei got his Masters' dgree from USC and BS from Fudan University.

  • Hesen Zhang (2015-2016)

    First position: Google

    Hesen worked on Markov Decision Processes and stochastic shortest paths. Hesen got his Masters' dgree from USC and BEng from University of Liverpool.