Brendan Englot

Associate Professor

School: School of Engineering and Science

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Building: ABS

Room: 217

Phone: (201) 216-3631

Email: benglot@stevens.edu

Website

Research

I am interested in perception, planning, optimization, and control that enables mobile robots to achieve robust autonomy in complex physical environments. Specific goals include improving the reliability of autonomous navigation for unmanned underwater, ground and aerial vehicles subjected to noise-corrupted and drifting sensors, incomplete knowledge of the environment, and tasks that require interaction with surrounding objects and structures. My recent work has considered sensing tasks motivated by underwater surveillance and inspection applications, and path planning with multiple objectives, unreliable sensors, and imprecise maps.

General Information

• Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2012
• S.M., Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2009
• S.B., Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007

Institutional Service
  • Stevens CAREER Club Chair
  • School of Engineering and Science Research Committee Member
  • Stevens Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Perception, and Human-Machine Interaction Cluster Chair
Professional Service
  • Conference on Robot Learning Area Chair
  • AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence Program Committee Member
  • IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) Associate Editor
  • Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR) Program Committee Member
  • IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering Associate Editor
Appointments

• Associate Professor (with tenure), Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, 2020-Present
• Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, 2014-2020
• Research Scientist, United Technologies Research Center, 2012-2014
• Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yale University, 2013-2014
• Research Assistant, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007-2012

Honors and Awards

• ONR Young Investigator Award, 2020
• W!SE Innovations Award (awarded to one recipient annually to recognize innovations that improve quality of life), 2019
• Appointed the Geoffrey S. Inman Endowed Junior Professor of Mechanical Engineering, 2018
• NSF CAREER Award, 2017
• Bluefin Robotics Award for Best Navigation/Localization Paper and Poster, awarded at the Marine Robot Localization and Navigation Workshop at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2016

Professional Societies
  • ASME – American Society of Mechanical Engineers Member
  • IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (Robotics and Automation Society, Oceanic Engineering Society) Senior member
Grants, Contracts, and Funds

Approximately $1.8M in funds awarded as Principal Investigator:

• 2015, National Science Foundation, IIS 1551391, EAGER: Toward Descriptive Mapping for Underwater Exploration
• 2017, National Science Foundation, IIS 1652064, CAREER: Belief Space Planning and Learning for Uncertainty-Immersed Underwater Robots
• 2017, National Science Foundation, IIS 1723996, S&AS: FND: Learning-Enabled Autonomous 3D Exploration for Underwater Robots
• 2017, Schlumberger Technology Corporation, MIT Subaward No. 82590, Robust Autonomous Mapping, Navigation and Inspection of Complex Marine Environments
• 2018, SeaRobotics Corporation, STTR Phase I Award for ONR Topic N18A-T020, Autonomous Hull Grooming Vehicle
• 2020, Office of Naval Research, N00014-20-1-2570, Distributional Reinforcement Learning for Safe Autonomous Navigation

Patents and Inventions

1. X. Ding, J.C. Derenick, B.J. Englot, I. Cherepinsky, H.S. Sane, and C. Stathis, “Optimal Safe Landing Area Determination,” United States Patent No. 10,676,213, issued Jun. 9, 2020.
2. H.S. Sane, G.N. Loussides, I. Cherepinsky, and B.J. Englot, “Coordinated Planning with Graph Sharing Over Networks,” United States Patent No. 10,319,244, issued Jun. 11, 2019.
3. H.S. Sane, J.C. Derenick, B.J. Englot, and T.A. Frewen, “Space Partitioning for Motion Planning”, United States Patent No. 10,254,768, issued Apr. 9, 2019.
4. H.S. Sane, T.A. Frewen, and B.J. Englot, “Aircraft Motion Planning Method,” United
States Patent No. 9,620,022, issued Apr. 11, 2017.

Selected Publications

JOURNALS
1. T. Shan, J. Wang, F. Chen, P. Szenher, and B. Englot. (Dec 2020). "Simulation-based Lidar Super-resolution for Ground Vehicles," Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 134, Article 103647.
2. D. Gao, J. Luo, W. Ma, and B. Englot. (May 2020). "Online Feedback Motion Planning for Spacecraft Obstacle Avoidance using Positively Invariant Sets", Advances in Space Research, 65 (10), 2424-2434.
3. K. Doherty, T. Shan, J. Wang, and B. Englot. (Aug 2019). "Learning-aided 3D Occupancy Mapping with Bayesian Generalized Kernel Inference", IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 35 (4), 953-966.
4. D. Gao, J. Luo, W. Ma, and B. Englot. (Apr 2019). "Parameterized Nonlinear Suboptimal Control for Tracking and Rendezvous with a Non-cooperative Target", Aerospace Science and Technology, 87 15-24.
5. S.D. Bopardikar, B. Englot, A. Speranzon, and J. van den Berg. (Oct 2016). "Robust Belief Space Planning under Intermittent Sensing Via A Maximum Eigenvalue-based Bound", The International Journal of Robotics Research, 35 (13), 1609-1626.
6. S.D. Bopardikar, B. Englot, and A. Speranzon. (Jun 2015). "Multi-Objective Path Planning: Localization Constraints and Collision Probability", IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 31 (3), 562-577.
7. B. Englot and F.S. Hover. (Sep 2013). "Three-Dimensional Coverage Planning for an Underwater Inspection Robot", The International Journal of Robotics Research, 32 (9-10), 1048-1073.
8. G.A. Hollinger, B. Englot, F.S. Hover, U. Mitra, and G.S. Sukhatme. (Jan 2013). "Active Planning for Underwater Inspection and the Benefit of Adaptivity", The International Journal of Robotics Research, 32 (1), 3-18.
9. F.S. Hover, R.M. Eustice, A. Kim, B. Englot, H. Johannsson, M. Kaess, and J.J. Leonard. (Oct 2012). "Advanced Perception, Navigation, and Planning for Autonomous In-Water Ship Hull Inspection", The International Journal of Robotics Research, 31 (12), 1445-1464.

CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS
1. F. Chen, P. Szenher, Y. Huang, J. Wang, T. Shan, S. Bai, and B. Englot. (May 2021). "Zero-Shot Reinforcement Learning on Graphs for Autonomous Exploration Under Uncertainty," IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). Accepted, To Appear.
2. J. McConnell and B. Englot. (May 2021). "Predictive 3D Sonar Mapping of Complex Underwater Environments via Object-specific Bayesian Inference," IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). Accepted, To Appear.
3. T. Shan, B. Englot, C. Ratti, and D. Rus. (May 2021). "LVI-SAM: Tightly-coupled Lidar-Visual-Inertial Odometry via Smoothing and Mapping," IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). Accepted, To Appear.
4. T. Shan, B. Englot, F. Duarte, C. Ratti, and D. Rus. (May 2021). "Robust Place Recognition using an Imaging Lidar," IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). Accepted, To Appear.
5. T. Shan, W. Wang, B. Englot, C. Ratti, and D. Rus. (Dec 2020). "A Receding Horizon Multi-Objective Planner for Autonomous Surface Vehicles in Urban Waterways", Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC). 4085-4092.
6. F. Chen, J.D. Martin, Y. Huang, J. Wang, and B. Englot. (Oct 2020). "Autonomous Exploration Under Uncertainty via Deep Reinforcement Learning on Graphs", Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). 6140-6147.
7. J.D. Martin, K. Doherty, C. Cyr, B. Englot, and J. Leonard. (Oct 2020). "Variational Filtering with Copula Models for SLAM", Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). 5066-5073.
8. J. McConnell, J.D. Martin, and B. Englot. (Oct 2020). "Fusing Concurrent Orthogonal Wide-aperture Sonar Images for Dense Underwater 3D Reconstruction", Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). 1653-1660.
9. T. Shan, B. Englot, D. Meyers, W. Wang, C. Ratti, and D. Rus. (Oct 2020). "LIO-SAM: Tightly-coupled Lidar Inertial Odometry via Smoothing and Mapping", Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). 5135-5142.
10. J.D. Martin, M. Lyskawinski, X. Li, and B. Englot. (Jul 2020). "Stochastically Dominant Distributional Reinforcment Learning", Proceedings of the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML). 6931-6940.
11. J. Wang, T. Shan, and B. Englot. (Nov 2019). "Virtual Maps for Autonomous Exploration with Pose SLAM", Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). 4899-4906.
12. F. Chen, J. Wang, T. Shan, and B. Englot. (Oct 2019). "Autonomous Exploration Under Uncertainty via Graph Convolutional Networks", Proceedings of the 19th International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR).
13. J. Wang, T. Shan, and B. Englot. (May 2019). "Underwater Terrain Reconstruction from Forward-Looking Sonar Imagery", Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). 3471-3477.
14. J. Martin, J. Wang, and B. Englot. (Oct 2018). "Sparse Gaussian Process Temporal Difference Learning for Marine Robot Navigation", 2nd Annual Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL). Proceedings of Machine Learning Research. 87 179-189.
15. T. Shan, K. Doherty, J. Wang, and B. Englot. (Oct 2018). "Bayesian Generalized Kernel Inference for Terrain Traversability Mapping", 2nd Annual Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL). Proceedings of Machine Learning Research. 87 829-838.
16. T. Shan and B. Englot. (Oct 2018). "LeGO-LOAM: Lightweight and Ground-Optimized Lidar Odometry and Mapping on Variable Terrain", Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). 4758-4765.
17. J. Wang and B. Englot. (Oct 2018). "Robust Exploration with Multiple Hypothesis Data Association", Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). 3537-3544.
18. J. Wang and B. Englot. (Dec 2017). "Autonomous Exploration with Expectation-Maximization", Proceedings of the 18th International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR).
19. J. Martin and B. Englot. (Nov 2017). "Extending Model-Based Policy Gradients for Robots in Heteroscedastic Environments", 1st Annual Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL). Proceedings of Machine Learning Research. 78 438-447.
20. T. Shan and B. Englot. (Sep 2017). "Belief Roadmap Search: Advances in Optimal and Efficient Planning Under Uncertainty", Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). 5318-5325.
21. S. Bai, F. Chen, and B. Englot. (Sep 2017). "Toward Autonomous Mapping and Exploration for Mobile Robots through Deep Supervised Learning", Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). 2379-2384.
22. J. Wang, S. Bai, and B. Englot. (May 2017). "Underwater Localization and 3D Mapping of Submerged Structures with a Single-Beam Scanning Sonar", Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). 4898-4905.
23. K. Doherty, J. Wang, and B. Englot. (May 2017). "Bayesian Generalized Kernel Inference for Occupancy Map Prediction", Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). 3118-3124.
24. B. Englot, T. Shan, S.D. Bopardikar, and A. Speranzon. (Dec 2016). "Sampling-Based Min-Max Uncertainty Path Planning", Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC). 6863-6870.
25. S. Bai, J. Wang, F. Chen, and B. Englot. (Oct 2016). "Information-Theoretic Exploration with Bayesian Optimization", Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). 1816-1822.
26. J. Wang and B. Englot. (May 2016). "Fast, Accurate Gaussian Process Occupancy Maps via Test-Data Octrees and Nested Bayesian Fusion", Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). 1003-1010.
27.K. Doherty, J. Wang, and B. Englot. (May 2016). "Probabilistic Map Fusion for Fast, Incremental Occupancy Mapping with 3D Hilbert Maps", Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). 1011-1018.
28. T. Shan and B. Englot. (Dec 2015). "Sampling-Based Minimum Risk Path Planning in Multiobjective Configuration Spaces", Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC). 814-821.
29. S. Bai, J. Wang, K. Doherty, and B. Englot. (Sep 2015). "Inference-Enabled Information-Theoretic Exploration of Continuous Action Spaces", Proceedings of the 17th International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR).

Selected Publications
Other
  1. Yang, E.; Xu, J.; Xu, W.; Choi, C.; Englot, B. (2020). In Situ Oil Cleanup And Recovery Using Smart Polymer Integrated Surface Vessels.