I am currently an Engineering Manager in a Silicon Valley company. Previously, I worked as a Senior Research Engineer in the Autonomous Technologies and Robotics group at The Bosch Research and Technology Center, Palo Alto. I have a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin where my advisor was Benjamin Kuipers.

Highly Automated Driving

At Bosch, I worked on highly automated driving to develop a car that was capable of driving itself on highways. I was part of the team that developed and implemented motion planning algorithms for the car.
Bosch showcased our project in a video that aired at Consumer Electronics Show (CES), 2013, where you can see me driving hands-off. This video won the Silver Screen Award and the Certificate for Creative Excellence in the 47th U.S. International Film and Video Film Festival. A Ward's Automotive video shows our car driving on highways in Michigan. You can hear me explain motion planning toward the end. Bosch test cars have driven autonomously on highways in California, Michigan, and on the Autobahn in Germany. Our project was covered by MSN, EE Times, Ward's Automotive, Automotive World, and many others.

Scientific exploration of ice-covered lakes with an AUV - Expeditions in the Antarctic Dry Valleys

I worked as an Autonomous Robotics Systems Engineer at Stone Aerospace from 2007-2010. I was part of the research, software, and field team for ENDURANCE, a NASA-funded project. ENDURANCE is a hovering AUV that was developed by Stone Aerospace as a platform for testing technologies for discovery of life form on watery moons such as Europa.
I was part of the team that went on expeditions to the Antarctic Dry Valleys in 2008 and 2009 for scientific exploration of West Lake Bonney with the ENDURANCE AUV. Antarctic Dry Valleys are the coldest, driest places on earth and serve as the closet analog to Europa on earth. We deployed the AUV through a hole melted in the ice and performed automated missions to collect data about the biogeochemistry of the lake. For this, I, along with colleagues, developed a novel vision-based homing algorithm for recovering the vehicle through a melt hole in the lake ice.
An episode in National Geographic Explorer TV series, Journey to an Alien Moon, described our project in detail. Our project was covered in a book chapter Frozen Secrets: Antarctica Revealed and in Astrobiology Magazine, Today, and Chicago Tribune. For more information check out my blog.

Ph.D.: Comfortable and Customizable Motion Planning for Mobile Robots

To be acceptable to a human user, the motion of an autonomous mobile robot that drives a human user (e.g. an intelligent wheelchair or a self-driving car) should be comfortable to a human user. Further, different users should be able to customize the motion according to their comfort.
For my Ph.D. research, I developed a nonlinear constrained optimization framework for planning comfortable and customizable motion of nonholonomic mobile robots. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first comprehensive formulation of kinodynamic motion planning for a nonholonomic mobile robot as an optimization problem that includes all of the following - an analysis of boundary conditions, continuity requirements on trajectory, dynamic constraints, obstacle avoidance, and a robust implementation. For details, check out my publications page.

Contact shilpa.gulati@gmail.com