Robotics, Vision, and Sensor Networks Group (RVSN)

Mosaic of Robotics images

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Active and Past Research Projects

A Self-Driving Passenger Car

This page describes some of our efforts as part of the DARPA Grand Challenge to develop a full-size autonomous passenger vehicle. Team MIT was one of only 6 teams (out of 89 original entrants) to complete the DARPA Challenge, which required the vehicle to drive itself (with nobody inside, and no remote control) through an urban-like area.

Spatially-Adaptive Learning Rates for Online Incremental SLAM

Non-linear optimization has traditionally been considered out-of-reach of most SLAM applications do to its computational cost. However, a family of iterative batch algorithms has recently demonstrated remarkably fast convergence. Because they are batch algorithms, however, they are not well-suited to online applications. In this work, we extend the reach of these algorithms to incremental applications by describing a way of maintaining spatially-adaptive learning rates, and a way of accelerating convergence by preferentially optimizing the least-converged parts of the pose graph.

Distributed Sensor Network Localization and Tracking

Given a wireless sensor network consisting of low-power devices, localization is the task of discovering the 2D or 3D positions of the sensor nodes. We have devised a robust distributed localization algorithm that makes use of distance estimates between nodes to compute 2D positions. In addition, the motion of mobile nodes can be reliably tracked. Our experimental testbed consists of the Cricket Location System designed by the Networks and Mobile Systems Group at MIT.

Estimating 6-DOF Pose from Omnidirectional Video and Known Crude Structure

We are developing robust methods for estimating 6-DOF pose in world coordinates from omnidirectional video, given a crude geometric model of the environment.

Fast optimization of Pose Graphs (a SLAM approach)

SLAM can be posed as a nonlinear optimization problem on a graph of poses. We propose a technique for rapidly optimizing these graphs given a set of constraints. As published in ICRA2006.

Fine-Grained Semantic, Topological, and Geometric Modeling of Campus Spaces

Our project aims to extract, model, and provide access to the semantic, topological, and geometric data of the entire MIT campus. Using nearly 1000 floor plans representing 37,000 spaces on the MIT campus, our software models the fine-grain geometry of the campus, and builds a graph network representing space connectivity within the campus. Lastly, we provide an API that allows for straightforward access to this data via the web.

Machine Understanding of Narrated Guided Tours

We are developing a sensor pack and associated algorithms to enable a robot, or hand-held device, to construct a map-like representation from a narrated, guided tour. The idea is that a human user would "show" the device around a space, associating spoken labels (names) with specific locations and objects within the space. The device could then produce names from (later observations of) locations or objects, and (routes to) locations or objects from supplied names.

Particle Video

Our primary goal is the ability to model complex motion and occlusion. We want the algorithm to handle general video, which may include close-ups of people talking, hand-held camera motion, multiple independently moving objects, textureless regions, narrow fields of view, and complicated geometry (e.g. trees or other clutter). A particle approach provides this kind of flexibility.

Single Cluster Graph Partitioning for Robotics Applications

We have developed a graph partitioning algorithm which can identify a cluster of maximally-consistent points, rejecting those points which do not belong to a consistent set. This is in contrast to typical graph partitioning methods which assume that all points belong to one of K clusters. There are numerous robotics applications, including outlier rejection, feature detection and estimation, and data association. As published in RSS2005.

Video Matching (with Applications to Change Detection)

This page describes a method for bringing two videos (recorded at different times, along similar but not identical camera paths) into spatiotemporal alignment, then comparing and combining corresponding pixels for applications such as background subtraction, compositing, and increasing dynamic range. We have also developed a prototype change detection system based on the method.

Ground-Truth, As-Built 3D CAD Model of Stata Center

We have gathered and combined several legacy "as-planned" CAD models of the Stata Center interior (2D) and exterior (3D), and combined them into a single 3D CAD model of the building. The model is "as-built;" it incorporates thousands of field measurements of the actual locations of walls, floors, ceilings, doors, and interior and exterior windows. It contains 3D wall surfaces extruded from the 2D floorplans. Both vertical, non-vertical, planar and non-planar walls are represented. The students' reports, and the full model (in DXF format) can be found here.

Organic Indoor Location Discovery Service

We are developing an "organic" indoor location discovery service, in which each user in an extended community contributes a small amount of location-specific information (in our case, WiFi signature data) which can then be aggregated to support location discovery for other users moving through the same space. The students' progress reports, and example open-source code and data, will be archived here.

The Boston Home Connected Mobile Wheelchair

We are working with The Boston Home, a facility for people with MS, to develop an assistive wheelchair. The wheelchair will: provide communication between residents and staff; will localize within and around the facility; and will provide autonomous mobility under speech or other command mode. Our progress will be logged on our wiki.

People

NameEmailPosition
Jake Ware jakeware@csail.mit.edPhD Student 
Markus Achtelik achtelik@mit.edu  Alumni 
Jessi Ambrose jambrose@mit.edu  Alumni 
Matthew 'Matt' Antone antone@csail.mit.edu  Collaborating researcher 
Amelia Arbisser arbisser@mit.edu  Alumni 
Arthur "Troy" Astorino troyastorino@gmail.coAlumni 
Abe Bachrach abachrac@csail.mit.edPhD Student 
Alexander Bahr abahr@mit.edu  Alumni 
Eric Bakan ebakan@mit.edUndergraduate Student 
Ashis Banerjee ashis@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Patrick Barragan barragan@mit.edu  Alumni 
Daniel Barsky barsky.daniel@gmail.com  Visitor 
Kathryn Bartel kwbartel@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Jonathan Yoni Battat yonib@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Greg Belote gbelote@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Michael Benjamin mikerb@csail.mit.edu  Research Scientist 
Mitch Berger mitchb@mit.edDGC Sysadmin 
Radu Berinde radu.berinde@gmail.coAlumni 
Meghana Bhat mbhat@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Yves Boussemart yves@mit.edu  Postdoctoral Associate 
Bryt Bradley bryt@csail.mit.edSupport Staff (Teller) 
Oliver Brock oliver.brock@tu-berlin.de  Collaborating researcher 
Jonathan Brookshire jbrooksh@mit.edu  PhD Student 
Emma Brunskill emma@lcs.mit.edu  Alumni 
Katie Byl gonzo@mit.edu  Alumni 
Stefan Campbell scampbel@csail.mit.edAlumni 
Javier Castro javy@mit.edu  Alumni 
Jian-Hung Chen jhchen@csail.mit.edu  Postdoctoral associate 
Yuanyu Chen y2c@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Vanessa Hsu Chen vanehsu@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Han-Lim Choi hanlimc@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Rick Cory rcory@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Joe Curcio jacurcio@csail.mit.edResearch staff 
Dorothy Curtis dcurtis@csail.mit.edu  Research Scientist 
Darrel Deo ddeo@ucsc.edu  MSRP Intern 
Steven R. Dickerson stevend@mit.edu  Alumni 
Sophie Diehl sophiadiehl@gmail.com  Undergraduate Student 
David Diel ddiel@mit.edu  Alumni 
Christopher Dolan cdolan@mit.edUndergraduate Student 
Kenneth M. Donahue kennyd@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Finale Doshi finale@csail.mit.edu  PhD Student 
Will Drevo drevo@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Danny Eads dan_eads@mit.edu  Alumni 
Donald Eng don_eng@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Brady J Enstad benstad@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Ugur M. Erdem merdem@gmail.com  Collaborating researcher 
Isaac N Evans ine@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Maurice Fallon mfallon@mit.edu  Research Scientist 
Xue Feng xfeng@mit.edu  PhD Student 
Ross Finman rfinman@mit.edu  PhD Student 
Chelsea Finn cfinn@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Ryan Fish fishr@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Mike Flaxman mflaxman@mit.edu  Collaborating researcher 
Mike Fleder mfleder@mit.edu  MEng Student 
Luke Fletcher lukesf@csail.mit.edu  Postdoctoral Associate 
John Folkesson johnfolk@csail.mit.edAlumni 
Liz Fong lizfong@csail.mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Maria Frendberg mfrend@mit.edAlumni 
Ricky Galvao rgalvao@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Alborz Geramifard agf@csail.mit.edu  PhD Student 
Grayson Giovine ggiovine@mit.edu  Alumni 
Ross Glashan rng@mit.edu  Alumni 
Jared Glover jglov@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Valerie Gordeski valeriegor@gmail.com  Alumni 
Priscilla Graeff pgraeff@mit.edu  Alumni 
Forrest Green fgreen@mit.edAlumni 
William Nicholas Greene wnickgreene@gmail.com  Collaborating researcher 
Lee Gross leegross@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Riad I. Hammoud riad.hammoud@baesystems.com  Collaborating researcher 
Li Haoyi lihaoyi@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Sophia M. Hasenfus shasen@mit.edSupport Staff (Roy) 
David S. Hayden dshayden@mit.edu  PhD Student 
Ruijie 'RJ' He ruijie@mit.edAlumni 
Jonathan Hechtbauer jonathan.hechtbauer@googlemail.coVisitor 
Sachithra M. Hemachandra sachih@csail.mit.edu  PhD Student 
Garrett Hemann ghemann@mit.edu  Alumni 
Ted Hilk thilk@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Katherine Hobbs khobbs@mit.edAlumni 
Kyle Holmes klh554@mit.edAlumni 
Bianca S. Homberg bhomberg@mit.edu  Alumni 
Doug Horner dphorner@nps.edu  Visitor 
Thomas 'Tom' Howard tmhoward@csail.mit.edPostdoctoral Associate 
Andy Huang andyh@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Hank HsinHan Huang hnqar15@mit.edu  Alumni 
Albert Huang albert@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Karl Iagnemma kdi@mit.edu  Collaborating researcher 
Peter Iannucci iannucci@mit.edu  Alumni 
Paul Ilardi paul.ilardi@baesystems.coCollaborating researcher 
Richard T. Ivey richard.ivey@baesystems.com  Collaborating researcher 
Gregory Izatt gizatt@caltech.edUndergraduate Student 
Allison 'Allie' Jacobs ajacobs@csail.mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Jeong hwan Jeon jhjeon@csail.mit.edu  PhD Student 
Zijun Jia anita_z_jia@csail.mit.edu  Visitor 
Hordur Johannsson hordurj@csail.mit.edu  PhD Student 
Collin Johnson collinj@mit.edu  Alumni 
Troy B. Jones troy@draper.com  Alumni 
Steven Jens Jorgensen stevenjj@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Josh Joseph jmjoseph@csail.mit.edPhD Student 
Michael Kaess kaess@mit.edu  Research Scientist 
Akari Kameyama aka_kame@mit.edu  Alumni 
Arash Kani kania@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
James 'Jamie' Karraker jamesk@mit.edMEng Student 
Sisir Karumanchi sisir@mit.edu  Collaborating researcher 
Jonathan S. Kelly jonathan.kelly@gmail.com  Postdoctoral Associate 
Steven Keyes srkeyes@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Been 'Beenie' Kim beenkim@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Robert H. Klein rhklein@mit.edu  PhD Student 
Ara Knaian ara@mit.edu  Alumni 
Olivier Koch koch@csail.mit.edAlumni 
Michael 'Mike' Kokko kokkom@mit.edAlumni 
Thomas Kollar tkollar@mit.edu  Alumni 
Jaguar Kristeller jaguark@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Maithilee Kunda mkunda@mit.edAlumni 
Clayton 'Clay' Kunz clay@csail.mit.edAlumni 
David Lambeth dlambeth@mit.edu  Alumni 
Mitch Leammukda mleammukda@draper.com  Collaborating researcher 
Jonathan Ledlie ledlie@csail.mit.edu  Research Affiliate 
John Leonard jleonard@mit.edu  Faculty 
Rui Li rui@mit.edu  PhD Student 
Jennifer Li jennyli@mit.edu  Alumni 
William Li wpli@mit.edu  PhD Student 
Karim Liman-Tinguiri klt@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Mark D. Van de Loo mvdl@mit.edu  Alumni 
Cristina Lozano clozano@csail.mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Keoni Mahelona kkm2635@draper.coAlumni 
Kenny Mandel kmandel@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Pat Marion pmarion@csail.mit.edu  Collaborating researcher 
Benjamin I Mattinson bmatt@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Daniel Maturana dimatura@puc.cl  Visitor 
David McCoy dmccoy@csail.mit.edu  Collaborating researcher 
Bernard J Michini bmich@mit.edu  Collaborating researcher 
David Moore dcm@mit.edu  Alumni 
Battushig Myanganbayar btushig@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Rahul Kumar Namdev namdev@csail.mit.edu  PhD Student 
Shirish Nilekar shirish@mit.edu  Collaborating researcher 
Sebastian Nowak snowak77@gmail.coVisitor 
Edwin Olson eolson@mit.edAlumni 
Paruku 'Faruh' Paerhati paerhati@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Junfeng 'Jeff' Pan panjf@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Georgios Papadopoulos gpapado@mit.edu  PhD Student 
Leonid 'Lenny' Paritsky lparit@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Jun-geun Park jgpark@csail.mit.edu  PhD Student 
Sooho Park dreamneo@mit.edu  Alumni 
Alex Patrikalakis amcp@mit.edu  Alumni 
Alejandro Perez aperez@csail.mit.edu  Visitor 
Plamena Petrova plamena.petrova@gmail.com  Collaborating researcher 
Thao K. Phan tkphan@mit.edUndergraduate Student 
Sudeep Pillai spillai@csail.mit.edu  PhD Student 
Christian Plagemann plagem@informatik.uni-freiburg.de  Alumni 
Alec J Poitzsch alecp@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Ingmar Posner ingmar@robots.ox.ac.uVisitor 
Pallavi Powale ppowale@mit.edu  MEng Student 
Sam Prentice sam.prentice@gmail.coPhD Student 
Javier L. Prieto jlprieto@mit.edu  Collaborating researcher 
Akhil Raju araju@csail.mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Brooks Reed brooksr8@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Dwayne Reeves dwaynelreeves@gmail.com  Undergraduate Student 
Bryan Reimer reimer@mit.edCollaborating researcher 
Dane Richter drichter@draper.com  Alumni 
Charlie Richter car@mit.edu  PhD Student 
Khashayar Rohanimanesh khash@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Andres Romero andresr@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Nicholas Roy nickroy@mit.edu  Faculty 
Carlos R. Rubio crubio@csail.mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Peter Sand sand@mit.edu  Alumni 
Chris Sanders csanders@draper.com  Alumni 
Ashutosh Saxena asaxena@cs.cornell.edCollaborating researcher 
Marcello Scarnecchia marscar@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Toby E. Schneider tes@mit.edu  Postdoctoral Associate 
Benjamin Shaya bshaya@csail.mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Sabrina Q. Shemet sqshemet@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Alec Shkolnik shkolnik@csail.mit.edResearch Affiliate 
Dimitar Simeonov mitko@mit.edu  Alumni 
Raj R. Singh rajsingh@mit.edu  Visitor 
Manohar B Srikanth manohar@csail.mit.edu  PhD Student 
Harvey Tang harveyt@mit.edu  Alumni 
Seth Teller teller@csail.mit.edu  Faculty 
Stefanie Tellex stefie10@fefie.coAlumni 
Pratiksha R Thaker prthaker@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Eric M Timmons eric@erictimmons.org  Alumni 
John 'Mofe' Uku johnuku@mit.edu  Alumni 
Prithvi Undavalli prithviu@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
William R Vega-Brown wrvb@mit.edu  PhD Student 
Javier Velez velezj@csail.mit.edu  PhD Student 
Hon Fai Vuong hon@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Anna Waldo awaldo@mit.edUndergraduate Student 
Matthew Walter mwalter@csail.mit.edu  Research Scientist 
Amanda Wang amwang@mit.edUndergraduate Student 
Hsueh-Cheng 'Nick' Wang hchengwang@csail.mit.edu  Postdoctoral Associate 
Andrew Wang wangaj@mit.edAlumni 
Daniel 'Dan' Weber danweber@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Yuan Wei weiy@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Wu Weilun wuweilun@gmail.coUndergraduate Student 
Emily Whiting ewhiting@mit.edu  Alumni 
James Wiken wyken@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Evan Wilson evanw@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Jennifer L. Wong jenlwong@mit.edu  Undergraduate Student 
Geoffrey Peter Wright gpwright@gmail.coUndergraduate Student 
Christina Wright wright.tina@gmail.com  Alumni 
Brian Xiuken Wu reconwu@mit.edu  PhD Student 
Xiao Xiao x_x@mit.edu  Alumni 
Yang Yang yang2@csail.mit.edu  Alumni 
Ryan Young ryan786@mit.edu  Alumni 
Kuan-Ting 'Peter' Yu peterkty@gmail.coPhD Student 

Publications, Reports, Supplemental Materials

Online list of RVSN publications as available.

Older Research Projects

Robust Range-Only Beacon Localization

Most autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) rely on fixed navigational beacons whose locations are known in advance. We show how AUVs can build maps dynamically without any prior knowledge, using only range data. As published in AUV2004.



Robotics, Vision, and Sensor Networks Group
32 Vassar Street, 32-33x
Cambridge, MA 02139
Tel: 617-253-6583
Fax: 617-258-7413
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