Matei Ciocarlie


Matei Ciocarlie is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Columbia University, with affiliated appointments in Computer Science and the Data Science Institute. His main interest is in robotics, looking to discover how artificial mechanisms can interact with the world as skillfully as biological organisms. Matei’s current work focuses on robot motor control, mechanism and sensor design, planning and learning, all aiming to demonstrate complex motor skills such as dexterous manipulation.

Matei completed his Ph.D. at Columbia University in New York; his doctoral dissertation, focused on reducing the computational complexity associated with dexterous robotic grasping, was the winner of the 2010 Robotdalen Scientific Award. Before joining the faculty at Columbia, Matei was a Research Scientist and then Group Manager at Willow Garage, Inc., a privately funded Silicon Valley robotics research lab, and then a Senior Research Scientist at Google, Inc. In these positions, Matei contributed to the development of the open-source Robot Operating System (ROS), and led research projects in areas such as hand design, manipulation under uncertainty, and assistive robotics. In recognition of his work, Matei was awarded the Early Career Award by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, a Young Investigator Award by the Office of Naval Research, a CAREER Award by the National Science Foundation, and a Sloan Research Fellowship by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

complete CV can be found here. For more details on Matei's current work please see:

  • The lab publication list.
  • 1 hour presentation (from November 2020) of Matei presenting a subset of the projects in our lab. This was recorded at the Stevens Institute of Technology Mechanical Engineering Department Seminar.
  • 20 minute video (from March 2019) of Matei presenting two of the current projects in the lab: optical tactile sensing, and design of underactuated hands for space. This presentation was recorded at the MARS 2019 conference.
  • 1 hour video (from September 2015) of Matei presenting his older research, spanning results from Willow Garage and doctoral work, recorded at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute Seminar Series.