Author Archives: Jonathan Kelly

Four papers to appear at ICRA 2022 in Philadelphia!

We’re just a week away from ICRA 2022! Our laboratory will present four papers at this year’s ICRA conference in Philadelphia. Two papers discuss our recent work on a distance-geometric formulation of inverse kinematics – by unifying the problem domain and co-domain, we avoid dealing with joint angle variables and are able to leverage key results from low-rank matrix completion theory and Riemannian optimization:

F. Marić, M. Giamou, A. W. Hall, S. Khoubyarian, I. Petrović, and J. Kelly, “Riemannian Optimization for Distance-Geometric Inverse Kinematics,” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 2021. (Early Access) [Online]. Available:

M. Giamou, F. Marić, D. M. Rosen, V. Peretroukhin, N. Roy, I. Petrović, and J. Kelly, “Convex Iteration for Distance-Geometric Inverse Kinematics,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 1952– 1959, Apr. 2022. [Online]. Available:

Our third paper investigates ways to efficiently recover the inertial parameters of manipulated objects, ensuring physically-plausible and accurate results even when operating in the typical cobot motion regime (i.e., slowly and safely):

P. Nadeau, M. Giamou, and J. Kelly, “Fast Object Inertial Parameter Identification for Collaborative Robots,” in Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, May 23–27, 2022. [Online]. Available:

Our fourth paper explores the use of low cost, slim, and lightweight barometric tactile sensors for slip detection. We take a data-driven, learning-based approach by training a TCN to reliably detect slip events from the raw barometer data stream. Cheap and useful for a wide range of applications:

A. Grover, P. Nadeau, C. Grebe, and J. Kelly, “Learning to Detect Slip with Barometric Tactile Sensors and a Temporal Convolutional Neural Network,” in Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, May 23–27, 2022. [Online]. Available:

STARS Laboratory receives RTX A6000 GPUs from NVIDIA!

We are grateful to NVIDIA for providing two brand new RTX A6000 GPUs through their Hardware Grant Program to support our machine learning and optimization research! These are Ampere-based units with 48 GB of GPU Memory and PCI Express Gen 4 connectivity. These cards will be added to our stable of GeForce and RTX units that run 24/7 in our laboratory servers. We’re excited to explore the research that these new cards will enable!

Prof. Kelly joins Schwartz Reisman Institute as Faculty Affiliate

Robotics and AI hold tremendous potential to transform society for the better. But, with great power comes great responsibility, to ensure that these technologies are used for societal good. Prof. Kelly is now a Faculty Affiliate at the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society (starting in September 2021), and is excited to further the mission of the SRI: “To deepen our knowledge of technologies, societies, and what it means to be human by integrating research across traditional boundaries and building human-centred solutions that really make a difference. We want to make sure powerful technologies truly make the world a better place – for everyone.”

Prof. Kelly to serve on IEEE Transactions on Robotics Editorial Board

Starting August 1, 2021, Prof. Kelly will serve as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s Transactions on Robotics. The IEEE T-RO publishes research papers that represent major advances in the state-of-the-art in all areas of robotics and welcomes original papers that report on any combination of theory, design, experimental studies, analysis, algorithms, and integration and application case studies involving all aspects of robotics. T-RO citation statistics from Clarivate analytics, released June 2020, list an impact factor of 6.123 (#2 in robotics).

How do rovers drive safely on Mars? Online livestream talk May 12, 2021 as part of NSERC Science Odyssey

We’re delighted to announce that STARS Laboratory student Olivier Lamarre will present a public talk on May 12, 2021 as part of the NSERC Science Odyssey Festival! Olivier will describe how rovers navigate safely on Mars – the talk is for all ages, no technical background required! Olivier is a NASA JPL veteran who has spent time there as a visiting researcher and internship student, working on rover path planning. You can watch the free livestream via this link:

Two papers on learning and calibration for navigation to appear at ICRA 2021

We’re excited to be present two new papers at ICRA 2021 in Xi’an, China! Our first paper describes a learning-based technique to adjust camera gain and exposure parameters to maximize the number of inlier feature matches for visual motion estimation under challenging lighting conditions. We demonstrate successful navigation through road tunnels – a situation where competing algorithms, and built-in auto-exposure and automatic gain adjustment, fail. Grab the preprint here:; this work will appear in RA-L and at ICRA.

Our second paper presents a continuous-time approach for extrinsic calibration of cameras and 3D millimetre-wave radar sensors. This research, carried out in partnership with the LAMOR group at the University of Zagreb, enables accurate in-field calibration without the need for radar retroreflectors or specialized visual targets. Grab the preprint here:

Please join us for the presentation sessions at ICRA to learn more!

Traversability Uncertainty poster wins 1st Prize at IROS 2020 Workshop on Planetary Exploration Robots!

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Olivier Lamarre and postdoc Ahmad Bilal Asghar on winning 1st prize at the IROS 2020 Workshop on Planetary Exploration Robots! The associated short abstract describes considerations related to traversability uncertainty for long-duration rover navigation planning on remote planetary surfaces. Great work! Thanks to Moog for sponsoring the award!