Nikolay A. Atanasov joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC San Diego in Fall 2016 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania. Atanasov received his Ph.D. in electrical and systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015. His work proposed sensing models that enable the use of context and semantic information in robot localization, mapping, and navigation and developed algorithms for active information acquisition using autonomous robot teams. His contributions were recognized by the Joseph and Rosaline Wolf award for the best Ph.D. dissertation in electrical and systems engineering at the University of Pennsylvania in 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Trinity College and a Master of Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Nikolay Atanasov's research focus is on controlling teams of aerial and ground robots to collect metric, semantic, and topological information in applications such as environmental monitoring, security and surveillance, localization and mapping, search and rescue. His work investigates how to perform distributed sensing and estimation of the evolution of physical processes of interest, how to plan robot motion that minimizes the estimation uncertainty, the energy expenditure, and the information exchange among the robots, and how to have the robots autonomously execute these motion plans in a safe and robust manner. In addition to system modeling, algorithm design, and theoretical analysis, his work involves experimental validation in real robot deployments.