Ankit is a PhD student advised by Professor Matthew Mason. His research interests lie in the design and control of transparent robotic systems applied to manipulation and locomotion. The direct-drive SIMbot and direct-drive hand are a few systems that Ankit has worked on. Prior to starting his PhD, Ankit spent two years working with Professor Matthew Mason and Professor David Bourne as a Research Associate where he designed and built robotic screwdriving systems and distributed factory sensing systems sponsored by Foxconn Technology Group. Ankit received his M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2014 and his B.E. degree in Mechatronics from Manipal University, India. Between these, Ankit was working as a product planner in the automotive sector at Mahindra and Mahindra. Ankit received the Presidential Fellowship from Carnegie Mellon University in 2017.
Professor Johnson's research aims to design intelligent interactions between a robot and its environment, with a focus on taking robots out of the lab and factory and into the real world. His interests include novel robot design - behavior design, controller design, and platform design - as well as dynamic transitions, contact, physics-based planning, bio-inspired robotics, actuator modeling, and robot ethics. He has tested his robots in the Mojave desert, at power plants, in a coal mine, and at military bases. He received his B.S. degree from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 2008, his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania in 2014, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Personal Robotics Lab, the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. He was formerly a Visiting Researcher with Boston Dynamics and an Electrical Engineering Intern at iRobot. Professor Johnson's work has been featured in many news stories including interviews with the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal, and in articles on technology news sites including IEEE Spectrum, Gizmodo, Wired, and Engadget.
Professor Mason's interests are in robotic manipulation, including pushing, squeezing, rolling, pivoting, throwing, grasping, regrasping, mechanical assembly, parts orienting, and screwdriving, as well as related issues in modeling, planning, and machine learning. He earned the BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at MIT, finishing his PhD in 1982. Since that time he has been on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University. He was Director of the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute from 2004 to 2014, and is presently Professor of Robotics and Computer Science. Since 2014 Mason has also been the Chief Scientist at Berkshire Grey. He is a Fellow of the AAAI, and a Fellow of the IEEE. He is a winner of the System Development Foundation Prize, the IEEE RAS Pioneer Award, and the 2018 IEEE Technical Field Award in Robotics and Automation.