Upcoming Events

Robotics 8970 Colloquium: Jairong Hong

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Robotics 8970 Colloquium: Ognjen Ilic (MnRI Seminar Rewind)

Opto-mechanics: A vision of long-range manipulation enabled by subwavelength metamaterials and metasurfaces

In this MnRI Seminar Rewind, Dr. Ilic discusses his team's approach to engineer artificial materials with subwavelength structure—i.e., metamaterials and metasurfaces—that exhibit self-stabilizing mechanical behavior.

About Dr. Ognjen Ilic
Ognjen Ilic is a Benjamin Mayhugh Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He completed his Ph.D. in physics at MIT and was a postdoctoral scholar in applied physics and materials science at Caltech. His research themes encompass wave-matter interactions in nanoscale structures and low-dimensional materials. His recent awards include the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award and the Bulletin Prize of the Materials Research Society. More details can be found at

Past Events

Robotics 8970 Colloquium: Julianna Abel

Design and Manufacture of Multifunctional Yarns and Textiles

Highlighting recent advancements in the design and manufacture of yarns and textiles fabricated from shape memory alloys.

About Dr. Abel
Dr. Julianna Abel is a Benjamin Mayhugh Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Abel earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and her B.S. from the University of Cincinnati. She is a NSF CAREER Award recipient, Toyota Programmable Systems Innovation Fellow, Glenn Research Center Faculty Fellow, and recently earned the 2020 ASME Ephrahim Garcia Best Paper Award. Her research combines innovative design processes and advanced manufacturing techniques with material and structural modeling to lay the scientific foundation necessary for the design of multifunctional yarns and textiles.

Robotics 8970 Colloquium: Suhasa Kodandaramaiah

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Robotics 8970 Colloquium: Changhyun Choi

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Robotics 8970 Colloquium: Brad Holshuh

Human Factors and Ergonomics at the University of Minnesota

View the preview video here.

AEM Seminar: Enabling Robots to Cooperate with Distributed Optimization and Compete with Game Theory

For robots to effectively operate in our world, they must master the skills of dynamic interaction. Autonomous cars must safely negotiate their trajectories with other vehicles and pedestrians as they drive to their destinations. UAVs must avoid collisions with other aircraft, as well as dynamic obstacles on the ground. Disaster response robots must coordinate to explore and map new disaster sites.

In this talk, Dr. Schwager will describe recent work in my lab using distributed optimization to obtain algorithms for robots to cooperate, and game-theoretic methods to obtain algorithms for robots to compete. He will describe a general and flexible method, called SOVA, for deriving distributed optimization algorithms for a variety of multi-robot collaborative problems. He will present an algorithm for fleets of autonomous cars to cooperatively track a large number of vehicles and pedestrians in a city, an algorithm for multiple robots to manipulate an object to a goal while avoiding collisions, and a distributed multi-robot SLAM algorithm, all derived using the SOVA method.

Additionally, Dr. Schwager will also discuss algorithms based on the theory of dynamic games, in which each actor has its own objective and constraints. I will describe examples in autonomous drone racing, car racing, and autonomous driving that use game theoretic principles to solve for Nash equilibrium trajectories in real-time, in a receding horizon fashion. Throughout the talk, he will show results from hardware experiments with ground robots, autonomous cars, and quadrotor UAVs collaborating and competing in the scenarios above.

About Dr. Schwager

Mac Schwager is an Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. He directs the Multi-robot Systems Lab (MSL) where he studies distributed algorithms for control, perception, and learning in groups of robots and autonomous systems. He is interested in a range of applications including cooperative surveillance with teams of UAVs, autonomous driving in traffic, cooperative robotic manipulation, distributed SLAM, distributed trajectory planning, and autonomous drone and car racing. He obtained his BS degree from Stanford, and his MS and PhD degrees from MIT. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania and at MIT. Prior to joining Stanford, he was an assistant professor at Boston University from 2012 to 2015. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2014, the DARPA YFA in 2018, and has received numerous best paper awards in conferences and journals including the IEEE Transactions on Robotics best paper award in 2016, the Best Paper Award in Robot Manipulation in ICRA 2018, and the Best Paper Award in Multi-Robot Systems in ICRA 2020.

Robotics 8970 Colloquium: Suma Jacob (MnRI Seminar Rewind)

Using technology to study disorders and shift neurodevelopment

You can find the full event page here.

Robotics 8970 Colloquium: Nicholas Heller

"Characterizing Renal Tumors with 3D Semantic Segmentation"

Robotics 8970 Colloquium: Junaed Sattar

Perception, Learning, and Systems for Underwater Human-Robot Collaboration

This talk will present a brief overview of the IRV Lab's research and present an in-depth discussion of some recent projects in underwater human-robot interaction and imagery enhancement.

About Dr. Junaed Sattar

Sattar is an assistant professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota and MnDrive (Minnesota Discovery, Research, and Innovation Economy) faculty. He is the founding director of the Interactive Robotics and Vision Lab, problems in field robotics, robot vision, human-robot communication, assisted driving, applied (deep) machine learning, and develop rugged robotic systems are investigated.

He received his graduate degrees from McGill University (Canada) and has a B.S. in Engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. Before coming to the University of Minnesota, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia, working on service and assistive robotics, as well as at Clarkson University (upstate New York) as an Assistant Professor.

You can find out more about this work on Dr. Sattar's personal website and the IRV Lab website. You can also follow @IRVLab on Twitter or visit the IRV Lab Youtube page.


Robotics 8970 Colloquium: MnDOT Robotics

MnDOT scientists and MnRI collaborators Ted Morris and Kule Hoegh give a rundown of their research for MnDOT.

Robotics 8970 Colloquium: Nick Fragale (Rover Robotics)

Rover Robotics and ROS 2

Nicholas Fragale is the founder and CEO of Rover Robotics, which was founded in 2018 and based out of Wayzata, Minnesota. The company sells rugged, modular, ROS-enable ground robots.  Nick graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2014 and went on to get his Master's in Robotics from Cornell University. He is now a member of the ROS 2 technical steering committee which is redefining what you can do with open source code.

You can learn more on Rover Robotics' website.