Robotics and Autonomous Systems

Teaching robots to think, see, and do

Robots will go where people can't, inspecting bridges, venturing into faltering nuclear power plants, and exploring space. Mason students and faculty collaborate to form robotics and autonomous systems that will take the next step in human-robot technology.

One female student and two male students in a college robotics lab build a mobile robot and try to connect the electrical wires.

Three students in the mechanical engineering department build a storm drain robot for their senior capstone. Photo by Ron Aira/Creative Services.

A black and red robotic arm in a cybersecurity lab at George Mason University

A robotic arm in the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative Living Innovation Lab in Mason Square (formerly Arlington Campus). Photo by Ron Aira/Creative Services.

White and black colored mini robots with wheels that are used for food delivery at Mason Fairfax Campus

Here at Mason, robotics are integrated into our campus life. These robots from Starship provide food delivery services for faculty, staff, and students. Photo by Sierra Guard/Creative Services.

The CEC's robotics and autonomous systems are a joint effort

Our research in robotics and autonomous systems exists because of the collaborative effort of the nine departments working together to find solutions to problems and create new technologies in the field.

More than 50 faculty members collaborate on research and explore robotics and autonomous systems that will improve manufacturing capabilities, enhance healthcare, and inspect remote areas.

Top faculty in robotics research

Cameron Nowzari wears a pastel blue shirt in front of a wooded background in his profile at Mason.
Cameron Nowzari
Cameron Nowzari
Jana Kosecka wears a striped blue shirt and navy suit and has blonde hair in her faculty profile at Mason.
Jana Kosecka
Jana Kosecka
Zoran Doric wears a blue shirt and gray blazer in his headshot for his profile.
Zoran Duric
Missy Cummings has a long, bob and wears a black dress and silver necklace in her faculty profile at Mason.
Missy Cummings
Missy Cummings

Main capability areas

The team of faculty that make up the robotics and autonomous systems group is focusing on four areas of research: responsible robotics, embodied intelligence, real-world systems, and collaborative robotics. They are asking questions and finding solutions to problems in the future of robotic activity and intelligence in how it connects with human behavior.

Responsible Robotics

How will robots with increasing capabilities be trusted? Should they be?

  • ethical fair and trustworthy systems
  • privacy, law, and AI
  • security and privacy
  • human and autonomous interactions

Embodied Intelligence

How can we improve the capabilities of robot systems?

  • sensing and perception
  • learning, planning, and reasoning
  • bioinspired intelligence

Real-world Systems

Mason robots outside the lab solve real-problems

  • robots in the wild
  • sensor and actuator design
  • soft/agile/tactile robots
  • dynamics and control

Collaborative Robotics

The whole ecosystem of robots and/or humans should be more (or even different) than the sum of the parts

  • human-machine teaming
  • multi-robot teaming
  • networked systems
  • swarming