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I am an assistant professor at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, and a member of the Controls Group at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I lead the Intelligent Robotics and Autonomy Lab (iRaL). I am also chairing the DEI Committee of the Department of Aerospace Engineering. Previously, I was a research scientist at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AeroAstro), and the Laboratory for Information & Decision Systems (LIDS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a Ph.D. student at the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering (ESE), University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). I am a recipient of the Best Paper Award in Robot Vision at the 2020 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), and of an Honorable Mention from the 2020 IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L). I was a Best Student Paper Award Finalist at the 2017 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC).

My team and I research safe learning algorithms that help robots adaptively perceive their surroundings, self-navigate, and collaborate.  We care for the robots’ trustworthy collaborative autonomy, focusing on applications where the robots operate (i) in challenging conditions, such as unknown, unpredictable, and dynamic environments, and (ii) even in adversarial environments where failures or attackers can deceive and/or disabling robots, compromising the robots’ teams. 

We investigate provably near-optimal algorithms, contributing tools of combinatorial optimization, and of online learning. We also pair our algorithms with novel hardware that enables and/or additionally enhances the near-optimal performance.

[CV, Bio | Google Scholar | vtzoumas umich.edu (he/him/his) | 3049 François-Xavier Bagnoud Building]


Trustworthy Collaborative Autonomy:

  • Safe Online Learning and Optimization
  • Perception-Computation-Communication-Control (PC3) Co-Design
  • Novel Self-Reconfigurable Robots


  • Outlier-Resilient Perception
  • Safe Learning for Extreme Agility
  • Adaptive Multi-Robot Planning in Unknown, and/or Adversarial Environments
  • Resilient Morphable Multi-Rotors

[Team | Research Overview | Past Research | Publications | Awards & Distinctions]



Ithaca | Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)

As you set out for Ithaca
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventures, full of learning.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon —don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.

Ithaca gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithacas mean.

[full poem, in Greek, and translated in English]