Research Projects

Synthesizing near-optimal grasp of convex polygons

(Mechanics of manipulation course)

Investigated several methods to find an optimal or near-optimal grasp on convex shapes that produces force/form closure for both planar and spatial objects and also evaluated the grasp quality. [Project Report]

Surface reconstruction for grasp synthesis

(Robot hand design for dexterous manipulation: special research course)

Set up an end to end system with state of art dense mapping algorithm to improve object surface reconstruction for performing accurate grasp synthesis. This entailed performing dense 3D reconstruction, point cloud segmentation of objects, filtering (MLS and Poisson surface generation) and using the final model for force closure and manipulation evaluation. [Project Report]

Food manipulation and detection for robust food bite locations; pre-grasp pose estimation

(Manipulation algorithms course)

Using 3D feature histograms on dense scans to train models for food bite locations. Using these trained classifiers on unseen food scans to do detection in clutter and predicted bite location using supervised machine learning models with an accuracy of 96%. [Project Report]

Localization using inertial augmentation for accurate mapping and reconstruction

(Statistical techniques in robotics course)

Integrated inertial data (IMU) to inform optimization to reduce drift in dense mapping algorithm (ElasticFusion) to create consistent global maps. [Project Report]

Large data based geometric surface reconstruction and investigation of registration algorithms

(Computer vision course)

Analyzed and implemented Generalized iterative closest point (G-ICP) algorithm and compared it with standard Iterative Closest Point algorithm for doing 3D point cloud registration pairwise and across multiple frames, done for 1000+ kinect frames. [Project Report]

Accurate dense 3D surface reconstruction, localization and 3D detection

(Master's research, Advisor Prof. Michael Kaess)

Creating dense 3D maps for large surfaces with millimeter level accuracy.
- Dense mapping: This entailed stereo camera disparity matching, camera calibration and dense depth frame generation. Mapping and localization using RGB frame tracking and depth frame matching via point-to-plane ICP.
- 3D Point Cloud recognition using Machine Learning: Represented 3D point cloud based object features using Point feature histograms (PFH and its variants FPFH). Trained non-linear classifier (SVM and RFC) for various 3D feature identification. Used Conditional random fields (CRF) for filtering in order to achieve accurate scene recognition to apply to surface damage detection and assessment.
- Constraint based state integration: Used sensor fusion to integrate inertial state to improve loop closure and reduce drift. Applied pose graph based constrained optimization for accurate mapping and localization (in progress).


Masters in Robotics (Research thesis track)
Carnegie Mellon University

2015 - 2017(expected)

Pittsburgh, PA

Global Solutions Program (GSP) (Certificate Course)
Singularity University

JUN 2013 - AUG 2013

NASA Ames Research Center, NASA, Moffett Field, CA, USA

Bachelor of Engineering, Computer Science
R V College of Engineering, Bangalore University

AUG 1997 - JUL 2001

Bangalore, India

Awards and Recognition

Granted Scholarship to attend Singularity University GSP-13 Program at NASA Ames research centre, 2013

Awarded US/ European Patent: Dental device for automatically cleaning a person's oral cavity, 2013 [US Patent] [European Patent]

Selected as one of the top 93 entrepreneurs (out of 16000 applicants) in India by Economic Times Power of Ideas, 2010

Awarded US Patent for designing a storage system comprising of an apparatus to consolidate portions of free space from plurality of remote storage units and an apparatus to present the consolidated portions as a single file system. 2008 [US Patent]

Awarded an India Patent for desinging a method or apparatus for providing storage in a network. 2007 [India Patent]

Invited for podium presentation in HP Asia Technology Conference for paper on Autonomous grid for distributed storage. Conference is conducted once in 2 years with 10% acceptance rate for podium presentations (600 submissions), 2006

Invited for podium presentation in HP Worldwide Technology Conference, Phoenix Arizona for paper on Self managing storage grid. HP Tech Con, Hewlett Packard Company’s most prestigious global technology conference is conducted annually with 3.3% acceptance rate for podium presentations. Only 40 papers out of over 1200 submissions are selected from HP worldwide every year. 2005

Work Experience

Founder, Chief Robotics Engineer

JUL 2009 - JUL 2015

Research Projects

- Wind turbine inspection using helicopter UAVs for GE R&D Labs. Patent filed by GE:US 20120136630.
- Co-PI for development of autonomous helicopter MAV (under 500gms) with full sensor telemetry (wireless), ground software & instrumentation for MSRSAS, Bangalore.
- Led the team in designing full indigenous Inertial measuring unit (IMU) quaternion based Extended Kalman Filter 9 DOF (3-axis Acc/Gyro/Mag), with no “Gimbal Lock” issues and attained a calculation response rate of over 300 hz.
- Built fully indigenous Autopilot using IMU and applied detailed control system theory and PID loops for stabilization of the UAV.
- Designed and built Helicopter UAV systems of 1 kg, 3 kgs, 12 kgs and 20 kgs AUW with indigenous chassis designs.
- Created patentable designs of robots which carry X-Ray emitter and detector for external oil/gas pipeline inspection.

External Research Projects (Pro-Bono)

- As a consultant for Team Indus, Google Lunar X-prize participant, authored report on lunar conditions and created detailed specification for a lunar rover.
- Working with students in UC Berkeley Lab, integrated Mavlink ROS node to Ardupilot and developed external range PID loop and Kalman Filter based ranging control system for constant distance flight from wall surface.
- As a student in Singularity University, built a prototype design for 3D printed robotic oral teeth cleaning solution. US Patent Publication no. US20160206415 A1.

Software Architect / Engineer

JUL 2001 - JUL 2009

- Developed embedded system control for multiple large volume enterprise storage system. This required controlling logical volume manager and adding virtualization features to enable RAID-1 to 5.
- Awarded two patents for the research on building distributed storage architecture over Logical volume manager (LVM) to repurpose unused drive space with iSCSI node and create one large virtual storage with node redundancies.