I'm an assistant professor at Georgia Tech in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. I study how to make robots safe and practical.
Lab Website: https://sites.gatech.edu/saferoboticslab/
25 Apr 2023: I've been invited to give a talk at the ETH Autonomy Talks! Thanks to Gioele Zardini for organizing.
8 Feb 2023: I'll be giving today's IRIM seminar at Georgia Tech.
1 Jan 2023: I started as an Assistant Professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech!
See all past updates here.
I work on bridging the gap between theory and application to ensure that formal safety guarantees are practical to implement on real-world systems. I use techniques from control theory, robot motion planning, and data-driven design.
I received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in December 2014, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2020. I finished my postdoctoral training at Stanford. For more details, check out my CV.
My research is focused on guaranteeing safety in autonomy, which usually means collision avoidance for robots. The key challenge I address is to translate safety in math to safety on real robots.
During my postdoc, I explored ways to model uncertainty from autonomous perception and estimation systems, and ensure that these models are practical for downstream planning and control tasks.
My current work focuses on safety in "full-stack" autonomy. How do we co-design a robot's hardware, perception, planning, and control to work together and ensure safety?
To read more about my work, and check out videos, click here.
Teaching and Outreach
One of the main reasons I have stayed in academia is to teach and mentor students. I first realized my passion for teaching with Georgia Tech's Public Speaking Club. As a volunteer and graduate student instructor, I've continued pursuing opportunities to spread STEM in Michigan and at Stanford.
At Stanford, my labmate Derek Knowles gave me the chance to teach kids (over Zoom) about soft robots and how math is music for the Stanford Science Bus. With Derek, Anni Zhang, and Larraine Zappert, I hosted several "Sharing Stories" community-building discussion sessions. I also volunteered with AI4ALL.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
In the long term, I see autonomous systems as a way to increase equity in society, because they have the potential to help people across boundaries of ability or advantage. As I have found in my outreach work, robots in particular are a great way to bring a wide variety of people together in inclusive environments.
But, it's also critical that we as engineers do the hard work now of creating diverse and inclusive communities that strive towards equitable applications of technology. I am eager to discuss these topics and efforts, so feel free to send me an email!
S. Kousik*, S. Vaskov*, F. Bu, M. Johnson-Roberson, and R. Vasudevan. “Bridging the gap between safety and real-time performance in receding-horizon trajectory design for mobile robots.” The International Journal of Robotics Research, September 2020. [link].
S. Kousik, P. Holmes,and R. Vasudevan. “Safe, aggressive quadrotor flight via reachability-based trajectory design.” DSCC 2019. [link].
P. Holmes, S. Kousik, B. Zhang, D. Raz, C. Barbalata, M. Johnson-Roberson, and R. Vasudevan. "Reachable sets for safe, real-time manipulator trajectory design." R:SS 2020. [link].