Nils Napp

(NOTE: I'm in the process of updating this site. For an up to date list of publications, please visit my google scholar profile).

I'm an Assistant Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University and part of the Computer Systems Laboratory (CSL). Before that, I was an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University at Buffalo. My research is the intersection of algorithm and robot design. I especially enjoy projects that focus on how to map mathematical insights to physical systems to allow them to perform new tasks and behaviors. I'm a 2019 NSF CAREER award recipient and a finalist and occasional winner of several best paper awards: RSS10, DARS12, DARS18, RSS18.

My research group often draws inspiration from biology. Many organisms operate in random, unstructured, and fluctuating environments and often do so with a baffling lack of global information, planning, and communication. Their approaches seem to focus on self-organization, managing noise created by many interacting components, and using distributed reactive behaviors as feedback to adapt their strategies. As a result, we often collaborate with biologists to help figure out what animals might be up to and then apply our findings to robotic systems.

If you'd like to learn more, please visit our publications and project pages.