Matei Ciocarlie

Dr. Matei Ciocarlie is a Research Scientist and Manager at Willow Garage, focusing on autonomous and Human-in-the-Loop mobile manipulation, shared autonomy and teleoperation, assistive robotics, and novel hand design and control. His main interest is in reliable robotic performance in unstructured, human environments, looking to add new capabilities to mobile manipulators and to make contributions to ROS, the open source Robot Operating System. He is also interested in novel hand designs that combine mechanical and computational intelligence, and make use or tactile, proprioceptive or range sensing in novel ways. In recognition of his work, Matei was awarded the 2013 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award

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Contact

Email: matei@willowgarage.com


Research interests

  • Grasping and manipulation
    • grasp analysis and quality metrics
    • grasp planning using various object models and representations
    • real-life sensor data processing for grasping and manipulation
    • eigengrasps, postural synergies and low-dimensional hand posture subspaces
    • underactuated hands
    • passively adaptive and compliant hand mechanisms
    • GraspIt!: a simulator for robotic grasping
    • The Velo2G Gripper: a versatile single-actuator design for envelopping, parallel and fingertip grasps
  • Interactive or Human-in-the-Loop mobile manipulation
    • shared autonomy for mobile manipulation
    • assistive robotics
    • The Robots for Humanity Project: mobile manipulators assisting persons with motor impairments
  • Dynamic simulators and virtual environments
    • rigid body dynamics
    • contact models, joint and contact constraints, LCP formulations
    • collision detection engines
    • finite element analysis
  • Perception and modeling
    • object modeling and recognition
    • acquisition and rendering of large 3D models (e.g. buildings)
    • using depth cameras for manipulation tasks

Internship opportunities

We are looking for exceptional interns for a wide range of exciting projects in robotic grasping, manipulation and perception. Positions are available and applications are reviewed year-round. For more details, please see our internships page.


Short bio

Dr. Matei Ciocarlie is a Research Scientist and Manager at Willow Garage, focusing on areas such as autonomous and Human-in-the-Loop mobile manipulation, shared autonomy and teleoperation, assistive robotics, and novel hand design and control. His main interest is in reliable robotic performance in unstructured, human environments, looking to add new capabilities to mobile manipulators and to make contributions to ROS, the open source Robot Operating System. He is also interested in novel hand designs that allow part of the effort of finding a stable grasp to be performed at a mechanical rather than computational level, and make use or tactile, proprioceptive or range sensing in novel ways. In recognition of his work, Matei was awarded the 2013 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award

Matei earned his B.S.Eng. from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, then completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Columbia University in New York, where he was a member of the Robotics Group. His thesis, "Low-dimensional Robotic Grasping: Eigengrasp Subspaces and Adaptive Underactuation", focuses on the following central question: how do we reduce the complexity of robotic grasping without compromising versatility? The thesis proposes using low-dimensional hand posture subspaces, that can act as planning spaces (for dexterous robotic hands), interaction spaces (for hand prosthetics) and design spaces (for adaptive underactuated hands). Matei's dissertation was the winner of the 2010 Robotdalen Scientific Award.

Starting in 2003, Matei has also been one of the main developers of the GraspIt! simulator for robotic grasping, designed and implemented in the Robotics Lab at Columbia University. This open-source simulator is a tool for research on autonomous grasping algorithms, robotic hand designs, interaction methods for hand prostheses, and other topics relating to robotic grasping and manipulation. As a member of the robotics research community, Matei has contributed to the organization of events such as the Mobile Manipulation Challenges, part of the IJCAI and ICRA conferences, served on the Program Committee of conferences such as RSS, AAAI and SIMPAR, helped organize numerous conference workshops and symposia, and also served as a reviewer and panelist for the National Science Foundation.

A complete CV can be found here.


Publications

View Matei Ciocarlie's publications