I’m excited to announce that I recently joined Zoox full-time! In my new role, I will be working as Principal Software Engineer within the Planning & Controls team, developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) for autonomous decision-making, motion planning, and safety-critical controls.
For the last nine years, I have worked as supervisor of the Robotic Aerial Mobility group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the leading center for robotic exploration of the solar system. I worked on many amazing projects at JPL during my time there, including driving three Rovers (Opportunity, Curiosity, and Perseverance) and flying one helicopter (Ingenuity) on Mars. Most recently, I led the team that developed the novel AI flight software that enables Perseverance to drive autonomously on Mars.
Testing with a surrogate Rover testbed in Dumont Dunes, Mojave, CA.
I believe that creating a purpose-built autonomous vehicle that operates in dense urban environments is an even harder challenge than putting a rover on Mars: it’s never been done before and is the new frontier in robotics. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, as such technology will not only revolutionize transportation, but also make the environment greener and save millions of lives. I decided to join Zoox full-time as I strongly believe in the company’s holistic vision and in its extremely talented crew. A company is only as good as its people, and I know first-hand how special the people at Zoox are. In this new role, I am most excited about applying my cutting-edge robotics expertise towards making the world safer, greener, and more enjoyable for everyone! Not to mention doing all that at a company that really values its employees and has a great integrated plan for accomplishing those goals.
The Curiosity Rover during the Autonomous Navigation System testing in the Mars Yard at JPL (hence the rocks of various sizes).
I was very lucky to have a broad career at JPL, which included working on state-of-the-art robotics research projects, developing mission-critical AI software for multi-billion-dollar flight projects, and doing both project and line management where I supervised large teams working on high-visibility high-impact projects. I hope that both my hard and soft skills, which I’ve been growing over the past 15+ years in the robotics industry, will allow me to make major contributions to the Zoox mission. As we say at JPL, I am looking forward to “daring mighty things” in my new adventure at Zoox!