Bruce Randall Donald
PhD MIT, 1987
My interests include robotics, microelectromechanical systems,
computational geometry and artificial intelligence. Robotics is the
science that seeks to forge an intelligent, computational connection
between perception and action.
Working with graduate student Jim Jennings, research associate Daniela Rus,
graduate student Russell Brown, and lab alumnus Jonathan Rees (now at MIT),
we developed a team of autonomous mobile robots that can perform
sophisticated distributed manipulation tasks (such as moving furniture).
The robots run robust SPMD protocols that are completely asynchronous and
require no communication. With graduate student Karl Böhringer, EE
Professor Noel MacDonald, and postdoctoral associate Rob Mihailovich, we
are building a massively parallel array of microactuators in the Cornell
National Nanofabrication Laboratory. The array contains over 100 actuators
in 1 square millimeter and can orient small parts without sensory feedback.
Our microfabricated actuator arrays could be used to construct programmable
parts-feeders (at any scale) or to build self-propelled IC's (walking VLSI
chips). Graduate student Amy Briggs worked with Dan Huttenlocher's vision
group to develop a sensor planning and surveillance system for a team of
mobile robots. The robots use onboard vision to detect and intercept
targets in the lab. Graduate student David Chang completed a new result
intended to place computational topology on a firm algorithmic footing. We
developed a randomized algorithm to compute the integral homology of a
simplicial complex in expected quadratic time (in the geometric
- Director, Computer Science Department Master of Engineering Program
- Chair, Computer Science Department Master of Engineering Curriculum Committee
- Chair, Computer Science Department Master of Engineering Admissions Committee
- Co-Director, Cornell Robotics and Vision Laboratory
- Applied Mathematics Computing Resources Committee
- College of Engineering Graduate and Professional Programs Committee
- Editor, IEEE Transactions on Robotics
- Member, NSF Advisory Panels
- Member, Impact Task Force on Computational Geometry.
- Organizing Committee, AAAI 1994, Spring Symposium Series, Stanford
University Special Symposium on “Detecting and Resolving Errors in
- National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award (1989-1994)
- A theory of manipulation and control for microfabricated actuator
arrays. National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C., October 21, 1993.
- Manipulation and control of microfabricated actuator arrays. Air Force
Office of Sponsored Research, Washington, D.C., October 22, 1993.
- Distributed manipulation using mobots and MEMS. UCLA Computer Science
Colloquium, Los Angeles, CA, 1995.
- Distributed manipulation using massively parallel micro-fabricated
actuator arrays. Berkeley Engineering Systems Colloquium, Berkeley,
- Small and large: distributed robotic manipulation. Computer Science
Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, March 1995.
- Model-based geometric algorithms for animation and multimedia. Interval
Research, Palo Alto, CA, February 1995.
- Large and small: distributed robotic manipulation. SRI, Menlo Park, CA,
- Sensorless manipulation using massively parallel micro-fabricated
actuator arrays. Xerox PARC, Palo Alto, CA, December 1994.
- Distributed robotic manipulation, large or small. Computer Science
Department, Dartmouth College, November 1994.
- ___. Computer Science Department, U. C. Berkeley, November 1994.
- ___. Robotics Laboratory, Computer Science Department, Stanford
University, October 1994.
- Information invariants in robotics. Artificial Intelligence 72, 1 and 2
(Jan. 1995), 217-304.
- Information invariants for distributed manipulation. The First Workshop
on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics, A. K. Peters, Boston, MA,
ed. K. Goldberg, R. Wilson, and J.-C. Latombe (February 1995),
(with J. Jennings and D. Rus).
- Moving furniture with teams of autonomous mobile robots. Proceedings
IEEE/Robotics Society of Japan International Workshop on Intelligent
Robots and Systems, Pittsburgh, PA, (June 1995), (with J. Jennings
and D. Rus).
- Distributed robotic manipulation: experiments in minimalism.
International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, Stanford, CA,
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Last modified: 24 November 1995 by Denise Moore