In this interview, Lilly interviews Vijay Kumar, Professor and Dean at the University of Pennsylvania. He discusses coordination, cooperation, and collaboration in multi-robot systems. He also explains where he draws inspiration from in his research, and why robotics has yet to meet science fiction.
Vijay Kumar is the Nemirovsky Family Dean of Penn Engineering with appointments in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Computer and Information Science, and Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Kumar’s group works on creating autonomous ground and aerial robots, designing bio-inspired algorithms for collective behaviors, and on robot swarms. They have won many best paper awards at conferences, and group alumni are leaders in teaching, research, business and entrepreneurship. Kumar is a fellow of ASME and IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Vijay Kumar has held many administrative positions in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, including director of the GRASP Laboratory, chair of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, and the position of the Deputy Dean. He served as the assistant director of robotics and cyber physical systems at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.