In this episode, Jack Rasiel interviews Vijay Kumar, Professor and Dean of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Kumar discusses the guiding ideas behind his research on micro unmanned aerial vehicles, gives his thoughts on the future of robotics in the lab and field, and speaks about setting realistic expectations for robotics technology.
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.
Dr. Kumar received his Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1987. He has been on the Faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics with a secondary appointment in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania since 1987. In his time at the university, Dr. Kumar has held numerous positions including director of the GRASP Laboratory, Chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, and Deputy Dean for Education in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. From 2012 to 2013, he served as the assistant director of robotics and cyber physical systems at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.