I am currently leading the VICARIO project which will create next-generation, collaborative teleoperation systems for intuitive operation in hazard-prone environments and industry. Specifically, the objectives are the development and integration of technologies including: (i) novel hydraulic quadruped field robot; (ii) new dexterous robotic manipulator arm; (iii) novel master hand exoskeleton haptic device; and (iv) new user interaction interfaces with augmented and virtual reality systems.
My previous research focused on the design and development of robot-assisted surgical tools for microsurgery, particularly, transoral laser microsurgery. The research also involved holistic design, development, and assessment of novel devices and intuitive user interfaces for robot-assisted technologies using GUI software, computer vision techniques, and human factors and usability studies. My research background is in distributed wireless sensing, autonomous navigation, sensor fusion, mechanical design, and user interface development.
Originally from Pune, India, I graduated with a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from the Government College of Engineering (COEP), in 2003. The bug to tinker with robots led me to an applications engineering position with Rockwell Automation India Ltd., in New Delhi, India, which introduced me to the basics of plant automation and industrial robots for manufacturing processes and automobile assembly lines. The curiosity to design robots and improve them got me to pursue graduate studies in USA.
Beginning with my Master’s in Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in 2005, I got the opportunity to design and program mobile robots, and work on state-of-the-art technologies including wireless sensor networks. Here, under the guidance of Prof. Steve Jackson, I developed a smart-home automation solution for in-situ wall-moisture sensing using low-power WSNs. Subsequently, I joined the Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (CRIM) at NCSU to continue on for my PhD in Electrical Engineering with Prof. Edward Grant. My dissertation was on sensor-network assisted mobile robot navigation.
In the summer of 2011, I interned at the Robert Bosch Robotics Research Center in California, working manipulator state estimation using low cost sensing technology - accelerometers and gyroscopes. I collaborated with the Stanford Biorobotics group (Prof. Kenneth Salisbury) and adapted my solution for the PR2 robot arm as well as the new low-cost Stanford Arm.
(1) "Sistemi Cibernetici Collaborativi - Teleoperation" (2017 - 2020), in collaborazione con INAIL ("Istituto Nazionale per l'Assicurazione contro gli Infortuni sul Lavoro") CUP J32F17000950005
(2) μRALP (2012 - 2014, www.microralp.eu)
European Union Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013 – Challenge 2 – Cognitive Systems, Interaction, Robotics