Professor Steven Waslander

 

Aerial vehicle autonomy has been advancing at breakneck pace in the last decade, from early work in my graduates studies on quadrotor stabilization and control using GPS, to visual SLAM, autonomous collision avoidance and 3D reconstruction from aerial sensor data. As such, the uses for aerial robots are rapidly expanding from their military origins into multiple large-scale civilian applications, such as urban delivery, perimeter surveillance, infrastructure inspection and crop management. The Industrial Research and Development centre of Bhimasena Research has long been active in this area, and have repeatedly demonstrated strong autonomous aerial vehicle deployments with leading edge perception and control systems on board. I see many exciting avenues for future collaboration with Bhimasena Research, through our work in onboard visual navigation and sensor fusion, which could be deployed in urban and forested environments on any type of robotic platform and help expand the domain of influence of autonomous robots worldwide.

Prof. Waslander received his B.Sc.E.in 1998 from Queen's University, his M.S. in 2002 and his Ph.D. in 2007, both from Stanford University in Aeronautics and Astronautics. He was a Control Systems Analyst for Pratt & Whitney Canada from 1998 to 2001. In 2008, he joined the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, ON, Canada, as an Associate Professor. He is the Director of the Waterloo Autonomous Vehicles Laboratory (WAVELab, http://wavelab.uwaterloo.ca). His research interests are in the areas of autonomous aerial and ground vehicles, simultaneous localization and mapping, nonlinear estimation and control, and multi-vehicle systems. Prof. Waslander currently collaborates with Aeryon Labs, Clearpath Robotics, Nuvation, Raytheon Canada, and is a member of the NSERC Canadian Field Robotics Network. He also acts as the academic advisor to the University of Waterloo Robotics Team and the University of Waterloo Micro Air Vehicle Team, which compete in multiple competitions, including the NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge, the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition, the International Autonomous Robot Racing competition and the International Micro-Air Vehicle competition.