Friends and colleagues were aware, at some level, that CSAIL researcher Nick Roy had been using his sabbatical to take on some sort of robotics-related role at Google.
But few people knew the full scope of his work until this past week, when Google X — the infamous idea incubator known for Google Glass, self-driving cars, and wireless hot-air balloons — unveiled a video introducing Project Wing, an ambitious delivery-drone initiative that Roy has overseen for the past two years.
At Google X’s secret Mountain View headquarters, Roy, an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics, led a team of several dozen autonomy experts to determine the technical feasibility of self-flying delivery vehicles.
Project Wing lined up nicely with Roy’s work as head of CSAIL’s Robust Robotics Group, which focuses in part on sensing, planning, and controlling unmanned vehicles in environments without GPS. He even brought on board a handful of key MIT collaborators, including recent graduates Abraham Bachrach PhD ’13 and Adam Bry SM ’11, whose state-estimation algorithms have drastically improved unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) navigation in indoor spaces.
Read more at MIT News: http://bit.ly/Zilaxc