I am the Boeing Endowed Professor at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. I moved to UW in 2017 after 18 yearsGeekWire has a couple of articles about the move and my continued love for Pittsburgh. at The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. I founded the Personal Robotics Lab in 2005. I am an IEEE Fellow for contributions to robotic manipulation and human-robot interaction.

I am a full-stack roboticist.

I enjoy proving theoremsOur work on Lazy Planning has won back to back best paper awards at ICAPS 2018 and ICAPS 2019. and designing algorithms (CBiRRT, CHOMP, BIT*, Legibility …), but I’m most passionate about building end-to-end systems (HERB
HERB starred in an Oreo commercial!
, ADA
ADA was featured on IEEE and the BBC.
, CHIMP, MuSHR, …) that integrate machine learning, perception, planning, and control in the real world. My algorithms have run on the NASA Robonaut and the Mars rover, and have been used by Google,
CHISEL performs room-sized 3D reconstruction real-time on the Google Project Tango mobile phone.
among others.

I have led large projects, including Intel’s research in robotics, the Quality of Life Technologies NSF ERC, the DARPA ARM-S, DARPA Robotics Challenge, and most recently the HONDA Curious Minded Machine program. I was an author of the Roadmap for US Robotics that was presented to Congress in 2013, ran RSS Robotics: Science and Systems 2017, and am an Editor for The International Journal of Robotics Research.

My lab has over 100 alumni. My PhD students and postdocs are faculty at top schools (Berkeley, CMU, Michigan, Technion, USC, …), industry (Boston Dynamics, Facebook, Google, iRobot, Waymo, …), and startups. Together we have developed software frameworks such as OpenRAVE and DART.

I am a first wave founder of Berkshire Grey, which focuses on material handling. I also enjoy consulting with industry.

I have been live on the BBC, on the cover of National Geographic, and have an IMDB page,
Going Deep with David Rees.
but my robot HERB is way more famous. I am deeply committed to STEM, and always excited to talk about robots to a broad audience.

Nowadays, I like to run competitively. I captained the CMU squash team, and played tennis and badminton for IIT Madras.

To learn more about my work, visit my lab, watch our robot videos, or listen to my seminars on Human-Robot Interaction at Georgia Tech, Physics-Based Manipulation at Harvard, or my farewell seminar at CMU. Or, you can watch me being interviewed by kids about robots!

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