Professor Sethu Vijayakumar


Professor of Robotics and Programme Co-Director of The Alan Turing Institute - University of Edinburgh

Professor Sethu Vijayakumar FRSE holds a Personal Chair in Robotics within the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh and is the Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics and co-Programme Director of AI for The Alan Turing Institute. Since 2007, he holds the Senior Research Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering, co-funded by Microsoft Research and is also an Adjunct Faculty of the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles and a Visiting Research Scientist at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Labs, Kyoto-Japan. He has a Ph.D.(1998) in Computer Science and Engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Prof. Vijayakumar previously held the position of the Director of IPAB (2005-2015), Reader (2007-2010) and Lecturer (2003-2007) at the University of Edinburgh, a Research Assistant Professor ('01-'03) at USC and a Staff Scientist ('98-'00) at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Tokyo. His research interest spans a broad interdisciplinary curriculum involving basic research in the fields of robotics, statistical machine learning, motor control, planning and optimization in autonomous systems and computational neuroscience. His latest project (2016) involves a collaboration with NASA Johnson Space Centre on the Valkyrie humanoid robot being prepared for unmanned robotic pre-deployment missions to Mars.

He is a keen science communicator and in recent years, has been active in conceptualising, producing and presenting several public outreach events to engage with the general public and children on all things science and engineering. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the winner of the 2015 Tam Dalyell Prize for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science. He is the judge on the latest edition of BBC Robot Wars, a hugely popular technology show as well as involved with the launch of the BBC micro:bit coding initiative.

Telephone: +44 (0)131 650 8741

Email: sethu.vijayakumar@ed.ac.uk

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