The ARIA project is a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU’s) Robotics Institute and the Civil and Environmental Engineering departments at CMU and Northeastern University.

Senior Personnel

Sanjiv Singh (Principal Investigator)
Sanjiv Singh (Principal Investigator)Research Professor, CMU Robotics Institute
Burcu Akinci (Co-Investigator)
Burcu Akinci (Co-Investigator)Professor, CMU Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jerome Hajjar (Co-Investigator)
Jerome Hajjar (Co-Investigator)Professor and Chair, NEU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Nathan Michael
Nathan MichaelAssistant Research Professor, CMU Robotics Institute
Nathan Michael’s research focuses on enabling autonomous ground and air vehicles to robustly operate in uncertain environments with emphasis on robust state estimation, control, and cooperative autonomy. He is developing robust estimation and active perception algorithms to enable one or more micro air vehicles to adapt to changing environment and sensor conditions during infrastructure inspection.
Daniel Huber (Co-Investigator)
Daniel Huber (Co-Investigator)Senior Systems Scientist, CMU Robotics Institute
Dr. Huber’s expertise lies in the field of 3D computer vision. His research focuses on modeling and recognition of 3D environments and algorithms for improving the capabilities of 3D imaging sensors. He is developing algorithms for transforming raw point clouds into semantic, component-based models. He is also working on visual inspection methods and the integrated infrastructure visualization environment.
Sebastian Scherer (Co-Investigator)
Sebastian Scherer (Co-Investigator)Systems Scientist, CMU Robotics Institute
Sebastian’s research focuses on enabling unmanned rotorcraft to operate safely at low altitude in cluttered environments. His work’s main theme is to enable intelligent operation by incorporating many of the constraints and objectives that need to be fulfilled for real operation. He currently develops perception and planning algorithms for safe landing in unknown environments, flying inside buildings, and inspecting bridges. In past projects, he has demonstrated autonomous landing site selection, landing, and avoidance of small wires, buildings, and vegetation for various scales of rotorcraft from a full-scale helicopter to a small quadrotor.


Varun Kasireddy
Varun KasireddyPhD Student, CMU Civil and Environmental Engineering
Weikun Zhen
Weikun ZhenPhD Student, CMU
Yujie Yan
Yujie YanPhD Student, NEU Civil and Environmental Engineering
John Yao
John YaoPhD Student, CMU Robotics Institute
John Yao is a member of Nathan Michael’s Robust Adaptive Systems Lab currently working on state estimation for Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). He is developing strategies to quantify vehicle state uncertainty as well as uncertainty in representations of the external environment. These measures can be used to drive the control decisions made by an aerial inspection robot, improving the efficiency of infrastructure inspection.
Ji Zhang
Ji ZhangPhD Student, CMU Robotics Institute
Ji’s research interests include vision and lidar-based navigation for ground and aerial vehicles. On the ARIA project, he works on real-time motion estimation and mapping for online vehicle guidance.
Sam Zeng
Sam ZengMS Student, CMU Robotics Institute
Liz Olson
Liz OlsonREU Student, CMU Robotics Institute
Michael Tormey
Michael TormeyUndergraduate Research Assistant, NEU

Former Members

Burcu Guldur
Burcu GuldurPhD Student, NEU Civil and Environmental Engineering
Zhizhong Li
Zhizhong LiMS Student, CMU Robotics Institute
Zhizhong, a student in Daniel Huber’s 3D Vision and Intelligent Systems Group, is interested in the intersection of computer vision and machine learning. He is studying the problem of adapting 3D modeling and recognition algorithms to different domains of structures.
Julieta Moradei
Julieta MoradeiUndergraduate Research Assistant, NEU Civil and Environmental Engineering
Meng Song
Meng SongMS Student, CMU Robotics Institute
Meng is a student in Daniel Huber’s 3D Vision and Intelligent Systems Group. She is studying methods for incorporating domain knowledge into 3D recognition algorithms as part of a comprehensive effort to automatically recover semantic models of infrastructure from point cloud data.
Shuai Tang
Shuai TangMS Student, CMU Civil and Environmental Engineering
Shuai is working on visual inspection algorithms using mixed imagery and 3D sensing. He is currently investigating crack detection methods and developing novel algorithms for addressing the challenges of crack detection in uncontrolled environments.
Luke Yoder
Luke YoderMS Student, CMU Robotics Institute
Luke is developing robotic path planning algorithms for autonomous inspection of infrastructure. He also manages field testing and is involved in hardware development for the aerial inspection vehicle.
Wei Wang
Wei WangUndergraduate Research Assistant, CMU Robotics Institute
Corinne Bowers
Corinne BowersUndergraduate Research Assistant, NEU