The Robotics and Intelligent Systems Lab (CCNY Robotics Lab) is a research laboratory directed by Dr. John (Jizhong) Xiao, in the Electrical Engineering Department of The City College of New York - the flagship campus of the City University of New York system.


We can now import our 3D maps into Minecraft.

PRISM Lecture Series on Robotics, Computer Vision and Human-Machine Interactions

Title: Bio-inspired control and learning in cognitive robot systems

Prof. Dr. Jianwei Zhang
Director, Institute TAMS (Technical Aspects of Multimodal Systems)
Department of Informatics, University of Hamburg, Germany

Date: March 5, 2013
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: NAC-8/207 (CS Conference Room)


In a dynamic and changing world, a robust and effective robot system must have adaptive behaviors, incrementally learnable skills and a high-level conceptual understanding of the world it inhabits. I will first show several developed platforms of intelligent service robot systems, e.g. in medical assistance, rehabilitation, home service, and edutainment, etc. I will then present the bio-inspired control of multi-joint modular robots and a multifinger hand. Finally, I will introduce a framework for representing robot experiences, planning and learning which is used in the EU RACE project.


Jianwei Zhang is professor and head of TAMS, Department of Informatics, University of Hamburg, Germany. He received both his Bachelor of Engineering (1986, with distinction) and Master of Engineering (1989) from the Department of Computer Science of Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and his PhD (1994) at the Institute of Real-Time Computer Systems and Robotics, Department of Computer Science, University of Karlsruhe, Germany. His research interests are cognitive robotics, robot autonomous learning, bio-inspired robot systems, and service robot applications. In these areas he has published over 300 journal and conference papers, technical reports, six book chapters and three research monographs. He has been the PI and Coordinator of numerous EU and German National Projects on cognitive robotics and service robots. He has received several awards, including the IEEE ROMAN Best Paper Award in 2002 and the IEEE AIM Best Paper Award 2008. He is the IEEE ICRA 2011 Program Co-chair, IEEE MFI 2012 General Chair, and IROS 2015 General Chair. He is elected as the AdCom member of IEEE RAS 2013-2015.

The lecture series is supported by Grove School of Engineering and a NSF grant to establish PRISM (Perceptual Robotics, Intelligent Sensors and Machines) center at CCNY.

Fast Visual Odometry and Mapping from RGB-D Data

ccny_rgbd is collection of tools for real-time visual odometry and 3D mapping using RGB-D cameras such as the Kinect. The software is available for download.

Humboldt Research Fellowship

Dr. Jizhong Xiao was selected by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to receive a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers to establish long-term collaboration with scientists/engineers in Germany. The fellowship award will support Dr. Xiao to conduct joint research on "Human Centric Assistive Navigation to Help Blind People" at University of Hamburg, Germany.

CityFlyer: Open-Source Navigation System for MAV's

We present open-source indoor navigation system for quadrotor micro aerial vehicles (MAVs), implemented in the ROS framework. The system requires a minimal set of sensors including a planar laser range-finder and an inertial measurement unit. We address the issues of autonomous control, state estimation, path-planning, and teleoperation, and provide interfaces that allow the system to seamlessly integrate with existing ROS navigation tools for 2D SLAM and 3D mapping. All components run in real time onboard the MAV, with state estimation and control operating at 1Khz.

Ford Foundation Fellowship Program

In 2012, a predoctoral fellowship was awarded to Carlos Jaramillo in a national competition administered by the National Research Council (NRC) on behalf of the Ford Foundation. The awards are made to individuals who, in the judgment of the review panels, have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. The Ford program offer approximately 60 predoctoral awards each year.

IEEE MFI-2012: Best Paper Finalist

MFI2012 FinalistThe paper Real-Time Pose Estimation with RGB-D Camera by Ivan Dryanovski, William Morris, Ravi Kaushik, Jizhong Xiao has been selected as the finalist for Best Student Paper Award in MFI-2012.

City Autonomous Transportation Agent (CATA)

In effort to compete at the 19th Annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC 2011), the City College team (formed by Carlos Jaramillo, Sebastian Pendola, Carlos Chinchilla, and Achyut Shrestha) was able to qualify (only 17 out of 57 teams qualified). Unfortunately, CATA did not win, and it's clear that something went wrong by attempting to fuse GPS information with local odometry. The team however, is still motivated to try again next year and focus on more than "perfection"...The team only worked for less than 3 months on the new system with the open-source Robotics Operating System (ROS).

CATA's software will continue development, and stable packages will start getting released as open-source software available for free download from the CCNY Robotics' github repository , such as the Novatel GPS driver (wrapped around ROSARIA):

git clone

ICRA 2011 - Best Vision Paper Award - Finalist

The paper entitled "Fusing Optical Flow and Stereo in a Spherical Depth Panorama Using a Single-Camera Folded Catadioptric Rig." [pdf] was nominated finalist for Best Vision Paper at the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2011), Shanghai, China.

Paper Authors: Igor Labutov, Carlos Jaramillo, Jizhong Xiao

EIC2011 (Einsteins in the City)

Xiaochen Zhang is the winner for the best poster award (graduate student level) at 2011 Einsteins In The City (EIC2011) Conference at the City College of New York on April 14-15th 2011.

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