Outreach + Media
Vijayakumar FRSE holds a
Personal Chair in Robotics
School of Informatics at the University
of Edinburgh and is the Director of the
Edinburgh Centre for
Robotics. Since 2007, he holds the Senior Research
Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering, co-funded by
Microsoft Research and is also an
Faculty of the
University of Southern California (USC), Los
Angeles and a Visiting Research Scientist
Computational Neuroscience Labs,
Kyoto-Japan. He has a Ph.D.('98) in Computer Science and Engineering from
the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
Prof. Vijayakumar previously held the position of
the Director of IPAB
(2005-2015), Reader (2007-2010) and Lecturer (2003-2007) at the
University of Edinburgh, a Research Assistant Professor
('01-'03) at USC and a Staff Scientist ('98-'00) at the
RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Tokyo. His research
interest spans a broad interdisciplinary curriculum involving basic research
in the fields of robotics, statistical machine learning, motor control,
planning and optimization in autonomous systems and computational neuroscience.
His latest project (2016) involves a collaboration with NASA Johnson
Space Centre on the Valkyrie
humanoid robot being prepared for unmanned robotic pre-deployment
missions to Mars. See here for a list of his
Scholar]. Sethu is a keen science communicator and in recent years,
has been active in conceptualising, producing and presenting several
public outreach events
to engage with the general public and children on all things science and
engineering. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society
of Edinburgh and the winner of the 2015 Tam Dalyell Prize
for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science.
He is the
judge on the latest edition of
BBC Robot Wars, a hugely popular technology show as well as
involved with the
launch of the BBC micro:bit coding initiative.
Studentships: Are you passionate
about Robotics? Interested in a fully funded PhD with us on topics such
as Machine Learning for Robotics, Humanoid and
Anthropomorphic Robot planning, sensing and control,
Prosthetics and Human Motor Control? Would you like to work
on exciting robotic platforms such as the
UoE-NASA Valkyrie Humanoid?
Coverage] [Prospective PhD Students apply
here -- fully funded 4-year studentships]
June 2014: Our paper 'Robots Driven by Compliant Actuators:
Optimal Control under Actuation Constraints' has been awarded the
2013 IEEE Transactions on Robotics Best Paper Award [News] [Paper] [IEEE
Edinburgh Centre for Robotics (2014): I direct our new
Centre for Excellence in
Robotics at Edinburgh, in collaboration with Heriot-Watt
University, secured through a £11.5M investment from EPSRC [news]
announcement] that includes the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral
Training (CDT) in Robotics and Autonomous Systems to train
over 65 PhD students in the area.
News Coverage of ECR, March 2015]
Conferences: I was the publicity chair for the
R:SS 2015 in Rome.
I have served as the Program/Area Chairs for various editions of R:SS,
NIPS and ICML.
Outreach: Please look at my
Outreach and Media pages for public
engagements, keynotes and media coverage.
Our research has been featured on the
EPSRC website [1,2], on the BBC Bang Goes the Theory
programme and on the British Council
webpages. More on media coverage and the outreach
activities here including the inaugural
lecture of Edinburgh International Science Festival 2009 with ASIMO!
2007: I have been
awarded the Microsoft/Royal Academy of Engineering Senior
Check out our research home since June 2008: The
Informatics Forum, in this
my research group, the Statistical Learning & Motor Control
(SLMC) lab can be accessed
Selected Publications (for full list, see
Jun Nakanishi, Andreea Radulescu, David Braun and Sethu Vijayakumar,
Spatio-temporal Stiffness Optimization with Switching Dynamics,
Autonomous Robots, vol. 41(2), pp. 273-291 (2017). [pdf][DOI]
David Braun, Florian Petit, Felix Huber, Sami Haddadin, Patrick van der
Smagt, Alin Albu-Schäffer and Sethu Vijayakumar,
Robots Driven by Compliant Actuators: Optimal Control under Actuation
IEEE Transactions on Robotics (IEEE T-RO), 29(5), pp. 1085-1101 (2013). [pdf]
IEEE Transactions on Robotics Best Paper
Konrad Rawlik, Marc
Toussaint and Sethu Vijayakumar,
On Stochastic Optimal Control and Reinforcement Learning by Approximate
Proc. Robotics: Science and Systems (R:SS 2012), Sydney, Australia
Aaron D'Souza and Stefan Schaal,
Incremental Online Learning in High Dimensions,
Neural Computation, vol. 17, no. 12, pp. 2602-2634 (2005).
software] [see next for usage guide]
Stefan Klanke, Sethu Vijayakumar and Stefan Schaal, A Library for Locally Weighted Projection Regression,
Journal of Machine Learning Research (JMLR), vol. 9, pp. 623--626 (2008).