Positions Available in the Robotic Personal Assistants Lab

  1. Postdoctoral Associate
  2. Doctoral (Ph.D.) Student
  3. Master of Engineering Student
  4. Undergraduate Research Assistant

Postdoctoral Associate

Robotic Manipulation: We aim to rethink contemporary techniques for manipulation by developing a novel formalism for the basic manipulation problem. Resulting algorithms aspire to achieve greater speed and dexterity than current pick-and-place solutions. Experience in robotic motion planning and manipulation preferred. Please email me your CV, a cover letter describing why you are a good fit for the position, and one or two sample papers.


I am looking for great Ph.D. students in robotics. If you are currently enrolled in a Cornell University doctoral program, please email me. Otherwise, please apply.

Master of Engineering Projects

Science Education -- Moon Pointer

This project is a collaboration with the Ithaca ScienCenter to build an educational installation to teach visitors about the motion of the moon. This new display will be a human-safe. outdoor device that always points at the moon, whether it is above or below the horizon. A cross-disciplinary team will install the Moon Pointer on site at the ScienCenter by May 2016. The task involves programming motor controllers for a two-axis robot to do gravity compensation and compliant control. Robotics experience (e.g. CS 5750, CS 5752) is a plus, but all enthusiastic M.Eng. students will be considered.

Robotics Education -- A Programming Curriculum for High School Students

This project is a collaboration with 4-H of New York State to develop a programming environment and curriculum to teach computational thinking to 10-12 grade students. The environment is based on dragging and dropping blocks and wires to control robot functionality for manipulating real-world objects. Students will build loops, conditionals, functions, and other programming concepts. The work is a continuation of the project that won the Best M.Eng. project award in May 2016. Following on the heels of this award and a successful trial run with 4-H students this past summer, we plan to do a major re-write and expansion of capabilities. Expertise in robotics, programming languages, or HCI is desired.

Undergraduate Research Assistant


Need expertise in maintaining various public-facing websites, including the Robotic Personal Assistants Lab site and the Cornell Robotics site. Duties involve static and dynamic content, collecting media from faculty to be posted on the web, and obtaining robotics content to be shown on TV screens in Gates hall and elsewhere.

Building an Airship for Conservation Science

We are building an unmanned, solar-powered airship (aka blimp) for studying the problem of persistent autonomy. The airship will eventually collect data for mapping and surveillance for endangered species tracking, drought monitoring, and other conservation applications. Areas of expertise we need help with include mechanical engineering, electronics (power systems and data), and software.