VIP Undergraduate Research and Education

Our LIDAR group is leading a multi-disciplinary Vertically Integrated Program (VIP) team — Agile Locomotion & Manipulation (co-advised by Profs. Ye Zhao and Seth Hutchinson) — that offers a transformative mechanism to engineering and science education by engaging undergraduate students in a cross-college, multi-semester, and large-scale project team. Currently, the team is composed of 80 undergraduate students from diverse engineering, science, and computing disciplines. Over the past few years, the VIP team has been an indispensable and integrated component of our research team and actively contributed to various aspects of our experiment-focused research projects, including the design of a biomimetic upper-body manipulator, bipedal robot Cassie foot sensor pad design and integration, quadrupedal SLAM perception, Cassie and Digit locomotion control and experimentation, Kuka manipulation perception, and Gelsight tactile sensing. Our VIP research is supported by the NSF Grant # 1924978 and Georgia Tech Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

Team Achievements

2022 First place in the Robotics Track of the GaTech VIP Innovation Competition (Gelsight Manipulation Project)                                             click the image below for the competition video

2022 Georgia Tech Vertically Integrated Program (VIP) Outstanding Mentor Award and school-level winner of Georgia Tech CTL TA Award (Nathan Boyd)

2022 Most Outstanding Exhibit Award in STEM at the Yale Science and Engineering Association (YSEA) Science Fair (Silver awardee: E. Andrew Botchwey and Gold awardee: Noah Morales, students in Georgia Tech ENGAGES program)

2021 First place in the Hardware, Devices & Robotics Track of the GaTech VIP Innovation Competition (Athena Biomimetic Robot Avatar Project)

2020 IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics Best Late Breaking Results Poster Award

Georgia Tech President’s Undergraduate Research Awards  

2022 Spring awarded PURA project: Underactuated Motion Planning and Control for Bipedal Robot Running and Jumping                                Wei Pao (William), Mechanical Engineering, 2021 September – present, Graduate mentor: Zhaoyuan Gu

2022 Spring awarded PURA project: Routing Cables in 3D Space Using Soft Tactile Sensors                                                                                Achintya Mohan, Computer Engineering, 2021 January – present, Graduate mentor: Nathan Boyd                           

2022 Spring awarded PURA project: Development of a Human-Robot Collaboration Team with Safety Guarantee by Control Barrier Functions James Ni, Mechanical Engineering, 2020 January – present, Graduate mentor: Yunhai Han

2021 Fall awarded PURA project: Improving Trajectory Optimization Feasibility for Problems with Intermittent Contact Using Reinforcement Learning                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Abhinav Kumar, Computer Science, 2021 January – 2021 December, Graduate mentor: Luke Drnach

2021 Fall awarded PURA project: Design for Modular SLAMBox and Robust Real-time SLAM Pipeline for Legged Robots                            Vishwa Ramkumar, Mechanical Engineering, 2020 January – present, Graduate mentor: Dong Jae (Danny) Lee

2021 Summer awarded PURA project: Robotic Arm Perception and Manipulation with Robust Multi-Level Optimization                                        Nima Jadali, Computer Science, 2021 January – present, Graduate mentor: Zhigen Zhao

2021 Spring awarded PURA project: Computer-Aided Manufacturing and Dynamic Analysis of a Six Degree of Freedom Stewart Platform Manipulator                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dongheon Han, Mechanical Engineering, 2019 Sep. – 2021 May, Graduate mentor: Dong Jae (Danny) Lee

2020 Summer awarded PURA project: Design and Control of a Self-Balancing Unmanned Bicycle                                                                     James Ni, Mechanical Engineering, 2020 January – present

2020 Fall awarded PURA project: Athena Humanoid Upper Body Robot – Head Design, Eye Subsystem                                                                Lee Jun (Marina) Ahn, Mechanical Engineering, 2020, Graduate mentor: Dong Jae (Danny) Lee

2020 Fall awarded PURA project: Visual Servoing with Obstacle Avoidance in Robotic Arms                                                                                      Ziwei (Rebecca) Zheng, Mechanical Engineering, 2019 January – 2020 May, Graduate mentor: Zhigen Zhao

2020 Spring awarded PURA project: Robust Perception for Dynamic Grasping Skills in Clutter                                                                          Tanner Beard, Mechanical Engineering, 2019 July – 2020 May, Graduate mentor: Zhigen Zhao

2020 Spring awarded PURA project: Model and Control of Robust Contact-Rich Manipulation Skills.                                                                        Ziyang (John) Zhang, Mechanical Engineering, 2019 August – 2021 December, Graduate mentor: Zhigen Zhao

2020 Spring awarded PURA project: Athena Humanoid Upper Body Robot Design and Kinematics-based Motion Planning                   Zhengyang (Kris) Weng, Mechanical Engineering, 2021, Graduate mentor: Jeremiah Coholich