Undergraduate Research

The Robotic Personal Assistants Lab (RPAL) involves many Cornell undergraduates in robotics research. If you are an undergraduate who is curious about research, you may be asking yourself: what skills do I need? what is research all about? is graduate school for me?

There are a few things you can do to get involved. First, it is helpful to take a class in robotics like CS 4750: Foundations of Robotics.

Next, there are two paths to get involved in research in RPAL.

1. Reading Group

In order to get new lab members trained in robotics research, we are starting a new RPAL reading group. Each week, one paper is assigned for the whole group to read. Members will take turns writing and distributing a list of discussion questions in advance.

This route is appropriate for students who:

  • want to learn research skills,
  • desire a more individualized research experience with more faculty contact,
  • seek an opportunity to publish their own paper,
  • want an open-ended research experience,
  • are interested in grad school.

Anyone is welcome to participate in the reading group — the only rule is that you must have read the paper to participate. Students who participate the reading group will be given priority when the lab is recruiting students for research projects.

The reading group meets at 3pm on Fridays in the lab. Contact Ross to sign up to join the group.

2. Team Projects

Want to get involved in a project immediately? Is a reading group not for you? There are two team projects that may be recruiting new students.

  1. Solar Airship Team
  2. Miniature Self-Driving Car Team

These projects are best for students who:

  • primarily want to build something,
  • want to work on a team and learn from their peers,
  • want to learn software and hardware tools that might be valuable in industry,
  • are looking for leadership opportunities,
  • want an open-ended project experience.

You can contact Ross to get involved with either project.

Graduate Research

Prospective graduate students must be admitted to Cornell before they can join the lab. If you are already here, please familiarize yourself with our research before you contact Ross.