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Brad S

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor




I am a full-stack roboticist. I deal with software, the hardware, the electronics, and the systems engineering required to make machines perform behavior that appears intelligent. Most often I design and program algorithms for robots, but on any given day you might find me 3D printing, soldering, wiring, or machining robot components. I also tend to tinker on personal projects in my free time. I am pursuing my PhD in Robotics at the University of Michigan. My work focuses on motion planning in cluttered environments under the supervision of professor Dmitry Berenson. I completed my Masters at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon, and my BS at Caltech. I have previously worked as a software engineer at Amazon, and as a robotics engineer traveling the world building robots that build airplanes.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

1) Deep Learning for Object Recognition:

We will design and train a deep neural network for detecting people and objects in images in python using tensorflow. We will cover state of the art methods in computer vision. This will require a student with strong programming experience.

2) Balancing Robot:

We will build and program a two-wheeled balancing robot, similar to a "Segway". We will build the physical robot, program the software, and discuss the mathematics of the controller. Depending on student interest, we can focus on hardware, software, or theory.

Coding skills

python, C++, Java, git, ROS

Teaching experience

I have supervised advanced high school, undergraduate, and masters students since 2015 in academic robotics research. I have mentored a FIRST robotics team year-round since 2013.


Work experience

Amazon (2014 - 2015)
Software Engineer
Electroimpact (2012 - 2014)
Robotics Engineer


California Institute of Technology (CalTech)
BS Bachelor of Science (2012)
Mechanical Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
MS Master of Science (2017)
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate

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