Gennaro Notomista

I am an Assistant Professor, the Varma Family Professor in Robotics, and the director of the Ecological and Resilient Autonomous roBots Lab (ERABLab) in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo.

In my research, I am broadly interested in robot design and control for long-duration autonomy with applications to sustainable environmental monitoring for climate change mitigation and adaptation. More details here.

My multi-scale quasiperiodic academic path bounced multiple times between Italy and Germany, and between Europe and the Americas. I studied Mechanical and Automotive Engineering in Napoli and Ingolstadt, respectively, I completed a PhD in Robotics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and I spent one year as a post-doctoral researcher at the CNRS in Rennes, France. Here is the complete trajectory.

Prospective students

I am always looking for motivated students at all levels (PhD, MASc, undergraduate researchers). If you are interested in designing novel energy-efficient robotic platforms, closing the loop with optimization programs, or if you excited about using robots for climate change ecological studies, don't hesitate to reach out.

  • 2024/7/1 — Paper on design and density control of robotic swarms accepted at DARS 2024
  • 2024/1/28 — Paper, workshop, and expo at ICRA 2024:
    • Paper accepted on safe teleoperation of multi-robot systems
    • I will be part of a panel in the workshop Breaking Swarm Stereotypes
    • The brushbots will be at the ICRA Expo demonstrating the use of robotic swarms for environmental monitoring and data collection for biodiversity conservation applications
  • 2024/1/22 — Paper and workshop at ACC 2024:
  • 2023/2/11 — Workshop Control Barrier Functions: Recent Developments and Future Directions, organized together with Yorai Wardi, will be held at CDC 2023 in Singapore
  • 2023/3/3 — Tutorial Ecologically-Inspired Multi-Robot Systems, organized together with with Logan Beaver, will be held at IFAC WC 2023 in Yokohama, Japan. Check out the tutorial website for more information!
  • 2023/1/31 — Our T-RO paper on controlling aggregations of swarms of micro brushbots has been selected for presentation at ICRA 2023
  • 2023/1/19 — Invited paper on relaxed kinematic constraints for minimum-energy control of robotic swarms accepted at ACC 2023
  • 2023/1/8 — Excited to serve as an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Robotics Research!
  • 2022/10/10 — Paper on safe reinforcement learning using control barrier functions accepted for publication in RA-L (pre-print available on arXiv)
  • 2022/9/9 — Paper on optimization-based execution of learned multi-robot tasks accepted at DARS 2022
  • 2022/8/17 — Special session Mathematical foundations of robot control, organized together with Roberto Guglielmi, will be held at LACIAM 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2022/6/15 — Paper on aggregation control of robotic swarms accepted for publication in T-RO
  • 2022/4/22 — Workshop Human-Multi-Robot Systems: Challenges for Real World Applications, organized together with Riku Funada, Junya Yamauchi, and Paolo Robuffo Giordano, will be held at IROS 2022 in Kyoto, Japan. Check out the workshop website for more information!
  • 2022/3/31 — Paper on teaching epidemiological models using swarms of brushbots (with Siddharth Mayya) accepted at ARSO 2022 (pre-print available on arXiv) Best paper award
  • 2022/1/31 — Invited paper on resilience and energy-awareness in multi-robot systems accepted at ACC 2022 (pre-print available on arXiv)
  • 2022/1/31 — Paper on multi-robot persistent environmental monitoring (with Claudio Pacchierotti and Paolo Robuffo Giordano) accepted at ICRA 2022
  • 2021/10/5 — Workshop Design, Learning, and Control for Safe Human-Robot Collaboration, organized together with Mario Selvaggio, Kelly Merckaert, and Valeria Villani, will be held at ICAR 2021 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Check out the workshop website for more information!
  • 2021/9/20 — Paper on data-driven robust barrier functions accepted for publication in T-RO (pre-print available on arXiv)
  • 2021/9/15 — Project Safety of Autonomous Vehicles Using Control Barrier Functions (in collaboration with Prof. Michael Botsch of the Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt) got funded by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst. Looking forward to test new algorithms on autonomous vehicles at CARISSMA!
  • 2021/9/2 — Excited to serve as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters!
  • 2021/8/22 — Paper on online robot trajectory optimization for persistent environmental monitoring (with Claudio Pacchierotti and Paolo Robuffo Giordano) accepted for publication in L-CSS
  • 2021/6/1 — Paper on safety of dynamical systems with non-convex unsafe sets (with Matteo Saveriano) accepted for publication in L-CSS (pre-print available on arXiv and video on YouTube, will be presented at CDC 2021)
  • 2021/5/10 — Paper on resilient task alloction for heterogeneous robot teams accepted for publication in T-RO (pre-print available on arXiv and video on YouTube)
  • 2021/2/28 — Workshop and papers at ICRA 2021:
    • Workshop Robot Swarms in the Real World: From Design to Deployment, organized together with Siddharth Mayya, Roderich Gross and Vijay Kumar, will be held in an online format on May 31 or June 4 (TBA). Check out the workshop website for more information!
    • Paper accepted on data-driven adaptive task allocation for heterogeneous multi-robot teams (with Yousef Emam, pre-print available on arXiv)
    • RA-L paper on the automation of the Robotarium will be presented at the conference
  • 2021/2/13 — New website is live!
  • 2021/2/9 — Paper The Robotarium: Automation of a Remotely Accessible, Multi-Robot Testbed accepted for publication in RA-L
  • 2020/12/4 — Paper on constraint learning with limited duration barrier functions (with Motoya Ohnishi) accepted for publication in Automatica (pre-print available on arXiv)
  • 2020/10/3 — Paper on safe and passive robot teleoperation (with Jeremy Cai) accepted for presentation at HFR 2020 (pre-print available on arXiv)
  • 2020/9/11 — Paper on interactive multi-robot painting (with María Santos and Siddharth Mayya) accepted for publication in Frontiers in Robotics and AI (section Robotic Control Systems). Check out articles about the work on BBC News and New Scientist!
  • 2020/6/27 — Paper on resilient task allocation accepted for presentation at the Workshop on Heterogeneous Multi-Robot Task Allocation and Coordination at RSS 2020 (paper available on the workshop website and video on YouTube)
  • 2020/6/17 — The SlothBot is making itself comfortable in its new home, the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Check out the new video!
  • 2020/6/17 — Project What can robots teach us about the Covid-19 pandemic got funded by the Embassy of the United States in Rome through the 2020 Alumni Small Grants program
  • 2020/6/16 — Paper on integral control barrier functions (with Aaron Ames, Yorai Wardi and Magnus Egerstedt) accepted for publication in L-CSS (pre-print available on arXiv)
  • 2020/2/27 — Paper on communication constrained distributed estimation accepted at the 2020 IFAC World Congress. Check out the video on YouTube!
  • 2020/1/21 — 3 papers accepted at ICRA 2020:
  • 2020/1/20 — Paper on persistification of robotic tasks accepted for publication in T-CST (pre-print available on arXiv)
  • 2019/6/20 — 2 papers accepted at IROS 2019:
    • A Study of a Class of Vibration-Driven Robots: Modeling, Analysis, Control and Design of the Brushbot (with Siddharth Mayya, pre-print available on arXiv)
    • Non-Uniform Robot Densities in Vibration Driven Swarms Using Phase Separation Theory (with Siddharth Mayya, pre-print available on arXiv)
  • 2019/6/17 — 2 papers accepted at MRS 2019:
    • Passivity-Based Decentralized Control of Multi-Robot Systems With Delays Using Control Barrier Functions (with Jeremy Cai and Junya Yamauchi, pre-print available on arXiv)
    • Decentralized Minimum-Energy Coverage Control for Time-Varying Density Functions (with María Santos and Siddharth Mayya) Nominated for the outstanding paper award
  • 2019/6/7 — The SlothBot is featured on Tech Briefs, Popular Mechanics and many other online blogs. Check out the videos on YouTube and on IEEE Spectrum Video Friday!
  • 2019/3/15 — Tutorial Control Barrier Functions: Theory and Applications, organized together with Aaron Ames, Samuel Coogan, Magnus Egerstedt, Koushil Sreenath and Paulo Tabuada, will be held at ECC 2019 in Napoli, Italy (pre-print of the tutorial paper available on arXiv)
  • 2019/2/20 — Paper on optimal task allocation for heterogeneous robot teams (with Siddharth Mayya) accepted at ECC 2019 (pre-print available on arXiv)
  • 2019/2/19 — Swarm of 30 brushbots ready to be deployed! Thanks to Jeremy Cai and Yousef Emam) for the help in giving them life!
  • 2019/1/27 — Paper on constraint-driven control of multi-robot systems accepted at ACC 2019 (pre-print available on arXiv)
  • 2019/1/26 — Paper on coverage control for robots constrained on curves (with María Santos) accepted at ICRA 2019
  • 2019/1/26 — Paper on the design of the SlothBot (with Yousef Emam) accepted for publication in RA-L (will be presented at ICRA 2019)