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Dr. Ara Victor Nafian, NASA AMES

 A view in the future of robotics planetary mission exploration

Abstract:   Autonomous rovers will enable exploration, resource utilization and ultimately colonization of new worlds. Independently or together with astronaut crews, rovers investigate extreme environments characterized by strong illumination conditions,  low gravity, unknown surface characteristics and lack of localization infrastructure.   This talk focusses on computer vision approaches for mapping, rover navigation  and hazard avoidance suitable for current and future autonomous planetary exploration. 

 Bio:  Dr. Ara Nefian is a Senior Scientist at SGT, NASA Ames Research Center. His general interest are in the areas of computer vision, machine learning and robotics. Ara led the Lunar Mapping and Modeling from Apollo era imagery and was the principal investigator for the Lunar Albedo Reconstruction project. Since 2012 he led the rover navigation team in supporting NASA future robotics Lunar mission and is a collaborator on the science team for Mars Curiosity rover mission.  In 2005 Dr. Nefian was part of the computer vision group within the Stanford racing team (Stanley) that won the DARPA Autonomous Navigation Grand Challenge. He co-authored more than 100 research papers and holds ten US and international patents. Ara Nefian holds a BS from Politehnica University Bucharest (1993) and a MSEE and PhD from Georgia Institute of Technology (1999). 

Host Faculty:  Dr. Jim La

Friday, November 9 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Scrugham Engineering and Mines, 234

Event Type

Lectures and Seminars


College of Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Cyber Security Center




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best left a positive review 11/8/2018

As a liberal arts person, it was very interesting for me though parts were over my head. I appreciate the Q&A.

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