Vijay Kumar from the University of Pennsylvania has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious 2020 IEEE Robotics and Automation Technical Field Award. He was honored for “Contributions to cooperative robotics; networked mobile manipulation systems, particularly unmanned aerial vehicles; and leadership in robotics research, policy, and education.” CRA provided funding support to Kumar when he spent a year at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Obama administration.
From the IEEE announcement:
Considered one of the top roboticists of his generation, Vijay Kumar’s vision and technical accomplishments have shaped the fields of cooperative and networked robotics and autonomous micro aerial vehicles. He developed several novel capabilities for swarms of ground and aerial vehicles ranging in size from micro to macro that can move in formation, transport objects, and operate both indoors and outdoors. Central to his work is the synthesis of decentralized controllers that allow a group of robots to produce a desired global behavior by coordinating only with their immediate neighbors. Kumar has also served as an advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which was instrumental in increasing federal funding for robotics and cyber physical systems.