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Robotics & Autonomous Systems

We work on aerospace systems that include networks of satellites circling the earth, spacecraft going beyond our orbit, machines that can perform complex tasks in space like fixing or assembling crafts, space stations, and other equipment, and even rovers on the Moon, Mars, or asteroids. These autonomous and robotic machines must work remotely, often without direct inputs, not knowing exactly what they will come across. They must navigate to avoid crashing into each other or other obstacles. We develop algorithms and software that work for guidance, navigation and control and enhance the stability, performance and robustness of these systems. Figuring out how to do all of these things well in space means that we can improve our autonomous and robotic systems here on earth as well.

Student club highlight

a group of students

Husky Robotics

Husky Robotics designs, builds, programs and competes Mars Rovers in simulated missions while providing students with experience in machining, circuit design, coding and project management.

Research highlights

Peering into snow

The Autonomous Flight Systems Lab outfits a drone to monitor snowpack.

Hide and seek

Inspired by origami, A&A researchers created a model that uses “folding creases” to soften impact forces for potential applications in spacecraft, cars and beyond.

members of the RAIN lab

RAIN Lab's research on the science of sync published in Science

Research on sync and the structure of networks by the RAIN Lab, led by Mehran Mesbahi, was published in Science.

A&A drone mapping project advances wildfire modeling

A&A’s Autonomous Flight Systems Lab is partnering with the US Forest Service to improve the efficiency of data collection for wildfire modeling.

Award highlights

Sarah Li

Sarah Li named Amelia Earhart Scholar

Ph.D. student Sarah Li wins Amelia Earhart Scholarship for her dynamic games approach to autonomous networks.

Behcet Acikmese

Açıkmeşe wins IEEE Technical Excellence Award

Açıkmeşe won the IEEE's Control Systems Society's 2019 Technical Excellence Award in Aerospace Control.

Related News

A spring day on the University of Washington campus

Thu, 07/22/2021

20 UW researchers elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences for 2021

A&A Chair Kristi Morgansen is among 20 UW researchers elected to WSAS

Sarah Li standing on a hill overlooking a river

Wed, 01/13/2021 | UW Aero & Astro

Sarah Li named Amelia Earhart Scholar

Ph.D. student Sarah Li wins Amelia Earhart Scholarship for her dynamic games approach to autonomous networks.

hawkmoth

Wed, 10/21/2020 | UW Aero & Astro

Hawkmoth research yields lessons in agile flight

A&A research of the biological sensing mechanisms of the hawkmoth informs the advancement of aerospace systems.

Wed, 12/18/2019 | UW Aero & Astro

Açıkmeşe wins IEEE Technical Excellence Award

Açıkmeşe won the IEEE's Control Systems Society's 2019 Technical Excellence Award in Aerospace Control.