Older news

  • Aug 19, 2013: we have a postdoctoral position available. Click here for details.
  • Aug 1, 2013: former lab member Andreas Kolling obtained a faculty position at the University of Sheffield. Congratulations to Andreas!
  • May 21, 2013: Gorkem Erinc successfully defended his PhD thesis. Congratulations!
  • May 2013: Gorkem Erinc received the 2013 EECS Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Congratulations to Gorkem!
  • February 2013: we welcome our new PhD student Seyedshams "Shams" Feyzabadi. Shams joins UC Merced after having obtained a MS degree from Jacobs university and having worked at DFKI. He will work on robot manipulation and safety.
  • December 2012: Derek Burch successfully defended his MSc thesis.
  • August 2012: we welcome our new PhD student Shuo Liu. Shuo joins UC Merced after having obtained a BSc in EE at the University of Minnesota and will work on robot manipulation. 
  • August 2012: Benjamin Balaguer successfully defended his PhD thesis. Congratulations!
  • July 2012: we received a 200K grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology for a one year grant on "Grasping and Simulation for Next-Generation Manufacturing Robots".
  • June 2012: Dr. Nicola Basilico has been awarded by AI*IA (Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence) for the best PhD thesis in the field of Artificial Intelligence.
  • May 2012: Prof. Stefano Carpin and Prof. Roberto Manduchi (UC Santa Cruz) obtained a 50K CITRIS seed grant for their new project "Towards Semantic Spatial Awareness:  Robust Text Spotting for Assistive Technology Applications".
  • January 2012: three papers accepted for ICRA 2012.
  • November 2011: field experiments at Camp Roberts with our AirRobot.
  • June 1, 2011: Dr. Nicola Basilico joins Robotics@UC Merced as postdoctoral fellow.
  • May 2011: we obtained a 53K grant from the Office of Naval Research for our project "Hierarchical search with heterogeneous UAVs".
  • May 2011: as part of our ongoing collaboration with Tim Chung at the Naval Postgraduate School, Derek Burch will spend Summer 2011 as intern in Tim Chung's lab extending our work on variable resolution search.
  • May 2011: we received a 300K grant from IBM for an 18 months project part of the DARPA Synapse project. The project "Virtual Environments for High Fidelity Testing of Robotic Behaviors" builds upon the USARSim software we developed in the past. The grant is in collaboration with Prof. Chris Kello (Co-PI).
  • April 2011: Benjamin Balaguer has been awarded a 2011-12 Fletcher Jones fellowship. It is a highly prestigious award, made available through funding from the Fletcher Jones Foundation. Congratulations to Ben!
  • February 1, 2011: we received today an AirRobot. More information about related forthcoming projects will appear soon.
  • August 2010: we welcome Derek Burch as new PhD student in the EECS program. Derek joins the robotics group after having been part of the team taking first place in the 2009 Robocup Rescue Virtual Robots competition. He is supported by an Eugene Cota-Robles fellowship. 
  • July 2010: I am serving as founding director of CAIS, the newly established Center for Autonomous and Interactive Systems. CAIS is UC Merced Centralized Research Unit promoting interdisciplinary research in robotics, virtual agents, and cognitive science. CAIS has been established thanks to the support of CITRIS and the National Science Foundation.
  • July 1, 2010: I have been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure.
  • May 2010: I am now an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Robotics.
  • May 2010: I am an invited speaker at the workshop Search and Pursuit/Evasion in the Physical World: Efficiency, Scalability, and Guarantees to be held at ICRA 2010.

  • April 2010: CITRIS funds our new seed project Virtual reality technologies for robotic aided first response. This project is in collaboration with the Merced Sheriff Office.
  • April 19, 2010: BAIA (Business Association Italy America) will introduce ISSNAF (Italian Scientists and Scholars in North America Foundation) in the San Francisco Bay area, and I will represent UC Merced at the event. A detailed program is available here.

  • January 2010: UC Merced Robotics adopts its new official logo. The artwork was designed by Thomas Balaguer.
  • December 8, 2009: Andreas Kolling obtained his PhD degree in EECS. He is the first student ever to graduate with a PhD with emphasis area in EECS from UC Merced. Adreas has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship with a primary appointment at the University of Pittsburgh to work on AFOSR Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) and ONR Science of Autonomy grants under principal investigator, Prof. Katia Sycara, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.  Congratulations to Andreas!
  • October 2009: we held a very successful URSARSim workshop at IROS 2009. More than 25 people registered and many more attended. Here you find the final program and the accepted papers. Presented papers have also been included in the official IROS Workshop/Tutorials CD.
  • July 2009: UC Merced wins the RobocupRescue simulation competition in Robocup 2009 in Graz (Austria)! Full details are available in the RobocupRescue website.  Press coverage: UC Merced blogMerced SunStarUC Merced website

  • June 2009: The National Science Foundation provides funding to support undergraduate students working in the robotics lab during Summer 2009. The grant is awarded as a Research Experience for Undergraduates supplement for our ongoing MRI project.
  • April 2009: our proposal for a workshop entitled Robots, Games, and Research: Success stories in USARSim to be held at IROS 2009 has been approved. Click here for more details.
  • March 2009: we completed the installation of a humanoid torso based on two WAM arms equipped with the Barrett Hand. Clickhere and here for a couple of photos of the final system.
  • February 2009: we received the first WAM arm funded by the NSF. Check back in a few weeks for pictures of the final system.
  • December 2008: the December CITRIS newsletter features our research in robotic urban search and rescue.
  • December 2008: a Hoap 3 robot is now available for interdisciplinary research in cognitive science and robotics at UC Merced. This robot is supported thanks to the generous support by the NSF. Check out its first photo.
  • September 2008: the UC Merced robotics group presents 4 papers a the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) in Nice.
  • September 2008: the National Science Foundation has funded our proposal MRI: Acquisition of Robotic Hardware for Humanoid Research in Cognitive Science and Engineering. Coverage: UC Merced news blog.
  • July 2008: UC Merced wins the second place in the Virtual Robots Competition at Robocup 2008. Coverage: University of California WebsiteUniversity of California Office of the PresidentUC Merced website.