Team Info


Vadim Chernyak is a Mechanical Engineering student with a Design Concentration. He’s been interested in Robotics and Mechanical Design ever since he saw his first episode of BattleBots. Vadim has been involved with combat robotics for the last 8 years of his life most recently helping to build Professor Chaos, a 120lb combat robot with a 14-2 record. He has interned at the NASA Ames Robotics Academy designing a lunar micro rover as well as in the iRobot Research Department completing mechanical design work on the Stingray project.

Timothy Flynn is a Robotics Engineering and Computer Science student at WPI. Over the last few years, he has become increasingly involved with WPI’s robotics program as a Senior Assistant for several robotics courses. He chose this project as an MQP for two main reasons: because of the extreme challenge it presented, and because it has very practical applications. He will mainly be focusing on the CS aspects of the project, but will also be involved in the mechanical design and sensor integration of the robot.

Jonathan Morgan is a Robotics Engineering and Mechanical Engineering student with a concentration in Design.  He has been interested and involved in robots since a high school professor introduced him to FIRST in the 7th grade.  Jon has been involved with robots since then working on solar car competitions, FIRST and Combat Robots.  He created FIRST Team 1626 at St. Joseph High School and went on to lead his team to win numerous design awards.  Jon has had internships since his freshman year increasing his robot knowledge. Most notably, Jon had an internship with Foster Miller Qinetiq.  Jon’s history with robots and mechanical engineering have created the ability for him to see unique solutions to unusually problems.

Jeffrey O’Rourke is a mechanical engineering student at WPI. He was first introduced to robotics and engineering in high school when he joined FIRST robotics team 40 in Manchester New Hampshire.  After coming to WPI he volunteered as a mentor for the university’s sponsored FIRST team,190, where in 2010 he was the teams Director of Operations. For the past 3 summers he has worked at intelitek, inc.  an engineering education company in New Hampshire that specializes in industrial robotics and manufacturing.

Anton Zalutsky is a Robotics Engineering student at WPI. Since arriving at WPI, his passion for robotics has been growing exponentially. He has interned for NASA Ames Robotics Academy designing a micro lunar rover for the past two summers. During this time he made a full MATLAB simulation of the rover integrating the mechanical, programming and thermal design teams. He has also been working on an Android cell phone app including a light, security, and music control system for his room.


Sonia Chernova is the lead Computer Science Professor for this project.  Professor Chernova received her PhD from the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University in 2009, where she was a member of the CORAL research group. During the 2009-2010 academic year, she was a post-doc in the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab. Her research interests focus on AI, robotics and the development of autonomous robotic systems. She is especially interested in robot learning, adjustable autonomy and human-robot interaction.

Taskin Padir is the lead Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor for this project. Professor Padir received his PhD from Purdue University in 2004. Professor Padir’s role at WPI is to help build the Robotics Engineering Program in collaboration with faculty from the CS, ME and ECE departments. His research interests include robotics and control, (specifically cooperative control of autonomous robots), adaptive control systems and mathematical modeling and optimization.

Stephen Nestinger is the lead Mechanical Engineering Professor for this project. Professor Nestinger received his PhD from University of California, Davis in 2009. Professor Nestinger is the director of WPI’s Robotics, Automation and Mechatronics Laboratory. His research interests include Intelligent Mechatronic and Embedded Systems, Distributed Evolutionary, and Adaptive Control Systems, Systems Integration, Mobile and Industrial Robotics and Robotic Coordination and Cooperation.

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