Skip to content

Projects and Grants

Jump to: [NASA] [CMU]


Project: Versatile 3D Microscopy in 100 grams!
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 2020-2021
Program/Sponsor: NASA Center Innovation Fund
Description: Technical maturation of a miniaturized, solid-state 3D microscope concept for planetary micro-rovers and drones.

Project: Skylight Mission Concept
Role: co-Investigator
Duration: 2020-2021
Program/Sponsor: NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC Phase III)
Description: Development of a mission concept for the first robot to view and map a Lunar skylight by circumnavigating the rim.

Project: An Intelligent System for Measuring Real-time River Flow Velocity from an Unoccupied Aircraft System (StreamFlow)
Role: co-Investigator
Duration: 2020-2024
Program/Sponsor: USGS National Innovation Center, NASA Advanced Information Systems Technology (AIST)
Description: Development of a non-contact approach to measuring surface flow velocities using remotely sensed thermal-infrared data acquired from an Unoccupied Aircraft System (UAS).

Project: PHALANX: Projectile Hordes for Advanced Long-term & Networked Exploration
Role: co-Principal Investigator
Duration: 2018-2019
Program/Sponsor: NASA Ames Innovative Research and Development Fund
Description: Demonstration of networked swarms of projectile sensors for area monitoring and localization infrastructure.

Project: ICICLES: Intelligence for Choosing Icy Landing and Exploration Sites
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 2017-2019
Program/Sponsor: NASA SMD COLDTech
Description: Development of autonomy for landing on icy moons to maximize science return while leveraging non-traditional EDL sensors.

Project: BRAILLE: Biologic and Resource Analog Investigations in Low Light Environments
Role: co-Investigator, Robotics Lead
Duration: 2017-2019
Program/Sponsor: NASA Planetary Science and Technology through Analog Research (PSTAR)
Description: Development of science, operations, and robotics concepts for planetary cave astrobiology.

Project: NASA Ames Lunar Lab
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 2016-current
Program/Sponsor: Resource Prospector Mission, NASA SSERVI, NASA GCD, VIPER Mission
Description: Investigation of appearance modeling, photometry, and simulation for robotic operations at the Lunar poles.

Project: SPEARS: Smart Projectiles for Environmental Assessment, Recon and Sensing
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 2016-2017
Program/Sponsor: NASA Center Innovation Fund
Description: Demonstration of “lab in a bullet” configurable projectile payload for extending the science reach of planetary rovers.

Project: Skylight Run: Tethered Robots for Autonomous Cave Exploration
Role: co-Investigator
Duration: 2017
Program/Sponsor: NASA ARC Directors Discretionary Fund
Description: Robot teams using smart tethers for tandem climbing and exploration of vertical environments.


Project: Robotic Scouts: Augmenting Perception for Underground Rescue
Role: co-Investigator
Duration: 2013-2016
Program/Sponsor: National Robotics Initiative (NRI-small), NSF, NSF REU Supplement (2014)
Description: Fundamental research into robotic perception for underground rescue. Sensing through smoke, dust, flood, and fire.

Project: Exploration of Planetary Skylights and Caves
Role: co-Investigator
Duration: 2012-2014
Program/Sponsor: NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC Phase II)
Description: Robots for exploring and modeling planetary skylights and the caves to which they lead. Research in cable-traverse actuation, dynamic bouldering, expansive 3D mapping.

Project: Non-geometric Terrain Hazard Detection
Role: co-Investigator
Duration: 2012-2015
Program/Sponsor: National Robotics Initiative (NRI-small), NASA
Description: Investigation of technologies for non-contact detection of soil and ground hazards such as slip, sinkage and abrasion for planetary rovers. Research in vision for thermal diffusivity, stand-off microscopy and terramechanics.

Project: Robotic Mine Rescue Scout
Role: Project Manager
Duration: 2010-2011
Program/Sponsor: Mine of the Future, NIOSH
Description: Development of a robotic scout to cooperate with mine rescue teams by forging ahead and evaluating environmental conditions.

Project: Characterization of Range and Imaging Sensors for Underground Modeling
Role: Technical Lead, co-Investigator
Duration: 2010
Program/Sponsor: Counter Tunnel Exploitation, RTC/US Army
Description: Characterization of sensors for mapping, modeling and feature detection for robots designed to operate in tunnel environments.

Project: Mosaic Borehole Camera
Role: Technical Lead
Duration: 2008-2009
Program/Sponsor: Mosaic Company
Description: Long-distance borehole panoramic imager and dark photography techniques.

Project: Three-inch Diameter Borehole Mapping Robot
Role: Technical Lead
Duration: 2006-2007
Program/Sponsor: PA Department of Environmental Protection
Description: Small-diameter modeling robot for descending unlined boreholes by descending through the core of a drilling rig.