Research Interests

Our group is interested in robotics. We particularly focus on robotic manipulation, how to make robots properly interact with objects or environments of interest. Specific research topics include the following.

  • Robotic Grasping/Manipulation
  • Robotic Assembly/Reconfiguration
  • Robot Control/Dynamics
  • Robot Hardware/Software Design

Recent Highlights

Our online software repositories in GitHub: https://github.com/HKUST-RML

Dynamic Rock-and-Walk Manipulation

Our dynamic rock-and-walk manipulation (or object locomotion) technique can be applied to transporting extremely heavy objects, such as the Moai! See the paper below entitled "Passive Dynamic Object Locomotion ..."

Dexterous Peg-in-Shallow-Hole

Our recent robotic manipulation technique addresses how to insert thin objects (such as the phone battery) into shallow holes through dexterous manipulation. Click the figure for a video.

Highly Agile Underwater Robot

We are developing a highly agile, dynamic underwater robot. See a Facebook coverage posted by the School of Engineering, HKUST. Click the figure for a video.

Robotic Edge-Rolling

Compare our robotic edge-rolling technique with human edge-rolling, which you will want to apply to maneuver the heavy gas cylinder on the ground for example. Click the figure for a video.

Picking with Zero Mobility Grippers

We devised a new method for picking and placing objects with a gripper that has no degrees of freedom (or a non-functioning gripper). Click the figure for a video. Details to appear in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L).

Modular Robots on Water

We have developed efficient assembly planning algorithms for constructing planar target structures collectively with mobile modular robots that have the same rectangular footprint. For a video, click the figure; click HERE for media coverage on IEEE SPECTRUM.


[Software] Assembly Planning with LEGO-type building blocks

Whole-Arm Grasping

Based on our theory for grasping objects with customized effectors that have curved contact surfaces, we created a modular robotic system that can perform whole-arm grasping. For a video, click the figure; click HERE for a blog post on the MoveIt! website.


[Software] Integrating CKbot (i.e., the Dynamixel) with MoveIt!
[Software] Synthesizing Grasps on a Polygonal Mesh (i.e., Finding Antipodal Pairs of the Mesh)
[Software] Grasping Objects with CKbot
[Hardware] Customized Effectors for Stable Robotic Grasping

Recent Publications

A. Nazir and J. Seo, “Passive Dynamic Object Locomotion by Rocking and Walking Manipulation,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Montreal, Canada, 2019
Published article (IEEE Xplore)
Accepted manuscript

C. H. Kim and J. Seo, “Shallow-Depth Insertion: Peg in Shallow Hole through Robotic In-Hand Manipulation,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (IEEE RA-L), Apr 2019
The contents of the paper were also selected for a presentation at ICRA 2019, Montreal, Canada.
Published article (IEEE Xplore)
Accepted manuscript
"IEEE ICRA 2019 Best Paper Award in Robot Manipulation"

J. Seo, J. Paik, and M. Yim, “Modular Reconfigurable Robotics,” Annual Review of Control, Robotics, and Autonomous Systems, May 2019
Published article (Annual Reviews)
Accepted manuscript

A. Specian, C. Mucchiani, M. Yim, and J. Seo, “Robotic Edge-Rolling Manipulation: A Grasp Planning Approach,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (IEEE RA-L), Jun 2018
The contents of the paper were also selected for a presentation at IROS 2018, Madrid, Spain.
Published article (IEEE Xplore)
Accepted manuscript

C. Mucchiani, M. Kennedy III, M. Yim, and J. Seo, “Object Picking through In-Hand Manipulation using Passive End-Effectors with Zero Mobility,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (IEEE RA-L), Apr 2018
The contents of the paper were also selected for a presentation at ICRA 2018, Brisbane, Australia.
Published article (IEEE Xplore)
Accepted manuscript

J. Seo, M. Yim, and V. Kumar, “A Theory on Grasping Objects using Effectors with Curved Contact Surfaces and Its Application to Whole-Arm Grasping,” The International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR), Aug 2016 35: 1080-1102, first published Oct 29, 2015, DOI: 10.1177/0278364915600079
Published article (SAGE Publications)
Accepted manuscript

J. Seo, M. Yim, and V. Kumar, “Assembly Sequence Planning for Constructing Planar Structures with Rectangular Modules,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Stockholm, Sweden, 2016
Published article (IEEE Xplore)

J. Paulos, N. Eckenstein, T. Tosun, J. Seo, J. Davey, J. Greco, V. Kumar, and M. Yim, “Automated Self-Assembly of Large Maritime Structures by a Team of Robotic Boats,” IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (IEEE T-ASE), vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 958-968, July 2015.
Published article (IEEE Xplore)
Accepted manuscript

I. O’Hara, J. Paulos, J. Davey, N. Eckenstein, N. Doshi, T. Tosun, J. Greco, J. Seo, M. Turpin, V. Kumar, and M. Yim, “Self-Assembly of a Swarm of Autonomous Boats into Floating Structures,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Hong Kong, 2014
Published article (IEEE Xplore)
"IEEE ICRA 2014 Best Paper Award in Automation"
"Invited to the "Greatest Hits" session at ISRR 2015"

Contact Us

Want to join our lab? Undergraduate/Postgraduate positions are available. Feel free to email me before applying to HKUST. Here is a great guide to how to email a professor.

Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme @ HKUST: Video Introduction