Kostas Bekris

Assistant Professor, Computer Science Department, Rutgers University

Contact Info

Research Area: Robotics

I am interested in designing algorithms for planning and coordinating the motion of robots and physically-realistic virtual agents. This research has many motivating applications, including:

  • robots effectively interacting with humans and operating in structured as well as extreme conditions,
  • physically-realistic and interactive simulations and games, and
  • cyber-physical systems, especially grand challenges in manufacturing, agriculture, health and transportation.

The objective in the above applications is to increase the capabilities, robustness and safety of physical systems, or the physical realism of simulated agents, while aiming for real-time performance.

Publications

You can find more details regarding my research, teaching and service/outreach activities in the corresponding webpages. I quite enjoy working with the graduate students in the PRACSYS lab.

Background

I am originally from Greece, where I received a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Crete in 2001. I then headed to Rice University in Houston, TX, where I completed both my Master's (2004) and Doctoral (2008) degrees in Computer Science under the supervision of Prof. Lydia Kavraki. The title of my Ph.D. thesis was Informed Planning and Safe Distributed Replanning under Physical Constraints. On July 2008 I joined the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) as an Assistant Professor. On July 2012 I moved to Rutgers University and I joined the Computer Science department as an Assistant Professor.

Affiliated with:

Distinctions

Invited Papers in Journals and Collections
  • International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR), 2012.
  • International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR), 2011.
  • ACM Journal on Mobile Networks and Applications (MONET), 2009
  • Collection on Imaging Beyond the Pinhole Camera, 2006.
  • ACM Journal on Mobile Networks and Applications (MONET), 2005.
  • Eleventh International Symposium of Robotics Research (ISRR), 2003
  • Journal “Image Processing and Communications”, 2001.
Invited Talks
  • October 2013: NSF-sponsored workshop ``Robot Planning in the Real World: Research Challenges and Opportunities'', Washington, DC.
  • April 2013: Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, Lehigh University.
  • November 2012: Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics department, Drexel University.
  • November 2012: Perceptual Science Talk, Rutgers University.
  • November 2012: Computational Geometry Lab, School of Computer Science, Tel Aviv University.
  • June 2012: Willow Garage, CA.
  • April 2012: Mobility and Robotic Systems Section, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
  • March 2012: Computer Science Department, Rutgers University.
  • February 2012: Computer Science Department, University of Southern California.
  • November 2011: NASA Ames, Ames, CA.
  • April 2011: Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois, Chicago.
  • April 2011: Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis.
  • April 2011: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Merced.
  • March 2011: Computer Science Department, George Washington University.
  • January 2011: Computer Science Department, Rice University.
  • July 2010: Berkeley Automation Science Lab, University of California, Berkeley.
  • April 2008: Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Fordham University, NY.
  • March/April 2008: Computer Science and Engineering Department, University of Nevada, Reno.
  • January 2008: Computer Science Department, Texas A&M University.
  • April 2007: Computational Vision and Robotics Laboratory at ICS, FORTH, Crete, Greece.
  • February 2007: A lecture of CS294 DARPA Grand Challenge, Computer Science, Stanford University.
  • March 2005: Computer Science Department, Texas A&M University.
  • January 2004: Computational Vision and Robotics Laboratory at ICS, FORTH, Crete, Greece.
Awards, Nominations and Fellowships
  • Nomination for Best Medical Robotics Paper award at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) that took place in Minneapolis, MN, 2012.
  • Leadership in Ethical Science award by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) for the development of a navigation system for blind people based on smartphone technology, 2012.
  • Best Student Paper award at the First International Conference on Robot Communication and Coordination (ROBOCOMM), 2007.
  • First place at the Poster Competition of the Corporate Affiliates Meeting, Rice University, 2007.
  • Nettie S. Autrey Graduate Fellowship, Rice University, 2006.
  • First place at the Poster Competition of the Corporate Affiliates Meeting, Rice University, 2006.
  • George R. Brown Fellowship, Rice University, for excellent academic performance, 2004.
  • Hellenic Professional Society of Texas Scholarship, 2002.
  • University of Crete - Computer Science Dept., Best Student Award for the class of 2001.
  • Greek Government Fellowship (IKY) for excellence in undergraduate studies: ’98, ’99, ’00, 2001.
Research Highlighted in Media
Talks In Conferences and Workshops
  • August 2013: IEEE/NSF Workshop in Cloud Automation and Manufacturing - CASE, Madison, WI, USA
  • May 2013: Tutorial on Motion Planning for Mobile Manipulation - ICRA, Karlsruhe, Germany.
  • May 2013: Workshop on Combining Task and Motion Planning - ICRA, Karlsruhe, Germany.
  • November 2012: Simulation, Modeling and Programming for Autonomous Robots (SIMPAR), Tsukuba, Japan.
  • July 2012: Workshop On Multi-Agent Pathfinding - AAAI, Toronto, CA.
  • May 2012: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) - Minneapolis, MN.
  • Sept. 2011: Workshop on “Open Problems & Challenges of Motion Planning” - IROS 2011, San Francisco, CA.
  • June 2011: Workshop on “Guaranteeing Motion Safety for Robots” - RSS, Los Angeles, CA.
  • May 2011: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) - Shanghai, China.
  • March 2011: Southwest Workshop on Theory and Applications of Cyber-Physical Systems - Tucson, AZ.
  • December 2010: Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics - WAFR, Singapore.
  • June 2010: Workshop ”Motion Planning: From Theory to Practice” - RSS, Zaragoza, Spain.
  • May 2010: Guaranteeing Safe Navigation in Dynamic Environment (ICRA) - Anchorage, AK.
  • July 2008: First Intl Symp. on Search Techniques in AI and Robotics (STAIR) - Chicago, IL.
  • November 2007: Intern. Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) - San Diego, CA.
  • Oct. 2007: Workshop on “Motion Planning in Challenging Environments” - IROS, San Diego, CS.
  • Oct. 2007: First Intern. Conf. on Robot Communication and Coordination (ROBOCOMM) - Athens, Greece.
  • April 2007: Workshop on “Collision-free Motion Planning for Dynamic Systems” - ICRA, Rome, Italy.
  • April 2007: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) - Rome, Italy.
  • May 2006: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) - Orlando, FL.
  • April 2004: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) - New Orleans, LA.
  • September 2002: ACM Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MOBICOM) - Atlanta, GA.
  • July 2001: Pan Hellenic Conference in Robotics and Automation (KTISIVIOS) - Santorini, Greece.
Professional Societies