I am currently the Director of Robotics Research at Autodesk. I was the Founder & CEO of Kinema Systems, a venture-backed startup in the Bay Area developing robotic solutions for logistics which I sold to Boston Dynamics in 2019, where I was Managing Director in the Silicon Valley office. At Kinema Systems, I created Kinema Pick, the world's first deep-learning based robotic solution for picking boxes off mixed pallets. Kinema Systems won the Nvidia Inception AI Startup competition in 2018 in the Autonomous Systems category.
I was a manager and research scientist at Willow Garage from 2007-2013 and was a core member of the team that developed the PR2 robot and the Robot Operating System (ROS). I created the MoveIt!, Arm Navigation and ROS Control software platforms to enable advanced manipulation capabilities for any robot. This software is now used by hundreds of developers, researchers and companies around the world. I co-founded Redwood Robotics, a joint venture between Willow Garage, MEKA and SRI.
I was a finalist for the 2013 World Technology Award in the IT Software (Individual) category. I was the keynote speaker at ROSCON 2013. My work has won best paper awards at ICAR (2009), ASME IDETC (2008) and been nominated for a best paper award at ICRA 2011. My work on the Open Motion Planning Library (in collaboration with Lydia Kavraki's group at Rice University) won the OSS World Challenge Grand Prize in 2012.
I received a Ph.D. from the Grasp Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. My current research interests include manipulation, motion planning and learning for manipulation.