Virtual Reality for All!I am principal scientist at Oculus VR. We developed a low-cost VR headset that nearly everyone can afford. Google for "Oculus Rift" to see news articles and over a million other pages in dozens of languages.
University Scholar AwardI was one of seven UIUC professors to be named a University Scholar for 2012-2014.
Skype Guest LectureOn September 3, 2012, I gave a guest lecture on RRTs via Skype to a bunch of students at the University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia, as part of their course Advanced Control and Robotics. Students said that it was ''awesome''!
ICRA 2012 TutorialOn May 14, 2012, I presented an all-day tutorial on Motion Planning for Dynamic Environments at ICRA 2012. This was invited, with the topic suggested by the ICRA organizers. It was quite popular, with 150 registered participants and many more "walk-ins". The videos of the lectures are available from the ICRA 2012 page (unfortunately, they are only for registered attendees, but I hope to distribute the videos for free at a later date).
To Iran With LoveIn February and March 2012, I gave seminars at all of the top 5 universites in Iran (Sharif, Amirkabir, U. Tehran, Isfahan U. of Technology, U. of Shiraz) and delivered a short course on sensing and filtering at Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran. I sincerely thank all of the students and professors for their kind hospitality, excellent organization, and exciting cultural adventures. Some pictures.
Smart WeaselballsTeam Weaselballs won first place in the Fall 2011 Computer Science Department end-of-semester trivia championship defeating dozens of other teams on CS, math, and general trivia. Members: Lars Erickson, Jingjin Yu, Kristen Erickson, Luca Foschini, Max Katsev. Too see what else weaselballs can accomplish, go here.
Best Paper Award
Dmitry Yershov won the Best Student Paper Award at the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems for his paper Simplicial Dijkstra and A* Algorithms for Optimal Feedback Planning.