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I Have Moved

In July 2014, I moved to the Computer Science Department at Cornell University as an Assistant Professor.

Research Interests

My research addresses the algorithmic aspects of advanced factory automation, enabling autonomous robots to function safely and comprehensibly alongside humans in environments structured for people. Doing so will open up many products still assembled by hand today to automation opportunities. Leveraging insights from psychology, sociology, and linguistics, robots will interact with factory workers through natural language and gesture, so that they can be programmed without special training and can operate as peers with human workers. Robots must be aware of their environment and responsive to changes within it. In multi-robot deployments, a distributed planning and control approach is vital to enable scalability and provable correctness. I use IKEA furniture in the laboratory to demonstrate techniques in planning, control, perception and human interaction for automated assembly in the field.


Ross A. Knepper is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University. His research focuses on the theory, algorithms, and mechanisms of automated assembly. Previously, Ross was a Research Scientist in the Distributed Robotics Lab at MIT. Ross received his M.S and Ph.D. degrees in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2007 and 2011. Before his graduate education, Ross worked in industry at Compaq, where he designed high-performance algorithms for scalable multiprocessor systems; and also in commercialization at the National Robotics Engineering Center, where he adapted robotics technologies for customers in government and industry. Ross has served as a volunteer for Interpretation at Death Valley National Park, California.

CSAIL Person Page

Curriculum Vitae


IkeaBot Included in IEEE Spectrum "Year In Robots" Recap

IEEE Spectrum included our IkeaBot in a recap article on the amazing robots of 2013. Scroll down to "Robotic Furniture Assembly".

IkeaBot Featured in MIT President's Holiday Greeting

The IkeaBot video was included as a part of MIT president Rafael Reif's holiday greeting to the MIT community.

Robots asking humans for help

Our new video on Robots asking humans for help is getting a lot of attention. It was covered by IEEE Spectrum and Gizmodo among others.

IkeaBot Featured in White House Event

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy hosted an event on Google+ Hangout about robotics. The event featured a panel of five robotics experts, and it included a live demo of part of our IkeaBot system. Watch the video at We the Geeks: Robots.

Some coverage by CNET highlighted the IkeaBot segment of the Hangout.

Our 2009 JFR Paper One of the Top Ten Most Cited

The Journal of Field Robotics released a list of its most cited papers since 2009, including ours:

  • Mihail Pivtoraiko, Ross A. Knepper, and Alonzo Kelly, “Differentially Constrained Mobile Robot Motion Planning in State Lattices,” Journal of Field Robotics (JFR), 26(3): 308-333, March 2009. [PDF]

IEEE Spectrum Publishes a Detailed Article on IkeaBot System

IEEE Spectrum Magazine visited ICRA 2013 in Karlsruhe, Germany this week, and they stopped by to interview us at the IkeaBot booth.

IkeaBot profiled in the New Scientist

Our IkeaBot work was recently profiled in the New Scientist online.

Best Automation Paper nomination at ICRA

Our paper "IkeaBot: An Autonomous Multi-Robot Coordinated Furniture Assembly System" has been nominated for Best Automation Paper at ICRA 2013. The paper describes a multi-robot IKEA furniture assembly system.

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