John Jairo Posada

John Jairo Posada

Scholar Title

MIT AeroAstro | Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar

Research Title

Development of Energy-Efficient Algorithms for Pose Estimation, Mapping, and Activity Planning Onboard Small Robots and Groups of Robots




Aeronautics and Astronautics

Research Areas
  • Robotics
  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Sertac Karaman


Miniature robots have incredible potential for long-duration missions in fields such as environmental monitoring, search and rescue, space robotics, and medicine. In order for these robots to be capable of those missions, they have to be extremely energy-efficient to preserve their energy as long as possible. In these cases, the energy they spend on running algorithms that enable them to be autonomous is non-negligible and comparable to the energy they spend moving around. This research will focus on the intersection of mapping, planning, and path execution; all under low power constraints. The work will develop and analyze algorithms that best balance robotic performance and energy efficiency, and lead to demonstrations with three small autonomous robots: a car, a boat, and a blimp.


This SuperUROP offers me the opportunity to delve into algorithms for autonomy and what really makes robots work. My main experience is with robot dynamics and control, but I’m excited to explore visual navigation, activity planning, robot communcation – the works. Beyond just studying the cutting edge of robotics research, I’m hoping to bring this project to fruition and go from just ideas to concrete, publishable work.

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