Richard Cockburn Maclaurin
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Aerospace Controls Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Controls Magazine

Main Office: 33-326 Map or LIDS Office: 32-D626 Map
MIT, 77 Mass. Ave., Cambridge MA 02139
Phone: 617-253-3267
Fax: 617-253-7397

For administrative assistance, please contact Quentin Alexander at (617) 253-6270

Decentralized Planning using Macro-actions: Dec-POSMDP Hardware Experiments
Chance Constrained RRT - exploring solution using overhead projector system
Variable Pitch Quadrotor designed for agile/inverted flight (hi-res)
Tutorial on quadrotor flight control - video made for MIT, now used by Kahn Academy
Controlling Self Driving Cars - tutorial on PID control
Battery change/recharge station enabling persistent autonomous quadrotor flight

Research Interests: Navigation and Control

Research group
Google Scholar page
Papers available for download
Current Research Projects:
Multi-Vehicle Health Management (Project)
Consensus-Based Bundle Algorithm (CBBA)
Information-Rich Path Planning for Constrained Mobile Sensor Networks (IRRT)
Scaling Reinforcement Learning Methods by Incremental Feature Dependency Discovery (Project)
Modeling Synergies in Large Human-Machine Networked Systems (Project)
Planning and Control for Team MIT - DARPA Grand (Urban) Challenge Team
Robust Planning and Control for Agile Robotics for Logistics (Project)
Decentralized activity planning for Cooperating UAV's (AFOSR)
Multi-UAV testbeds - Indoors using autonomous quadrotors (RAVEN) and external UAVs
Autonomous aircraft agile flight and aerobatics
Vision-based navigation for GPS-denied flight (movie and Project)
Mixed-integer Linear Programming for Multi-Vehicle Control (MILP)
Older Research Projects:
Spacecraft navigation, control, and autonomy
Orion Formation Flying Microsatellite Experiment (NASA GSFC)
  Relative Navigation for Formation Flying Spacecraft using GPS (NASA GSFC)
  Autonomous Formation Flying Spacecraft (CETDP) see New scientist and GPSworld
Some early research areas:
Magnetic Indoor Absolute Positioning System
Robust and hybrid control (papers)
control of flexible structures (papers)
Robust and hybrid control (papers) possible using GPS (article)

Recent Classes

Feedback Control Systems (2007 OCW) and (2010 On Stellar)
Stochastic Estimation & Control (2009 On Stellar)
Principles of Optimal Control (2008 OCW) and (2009 On Stellar)
Aircraft Stability & Control (OCW)
Aerospace Dynamics (OCW)

Background and Positions

7/06 -
Professor, MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics,
4/00 - 7/06
Associate Professor, MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, (tenured 2003)
4/00 - 12/02
Consulting Professor, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics,
Stanford University
9/94 - 3/00
Assistant Professor, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics,
Stanford University , in the Aerospace Robotics Laboratory
1/93 - 9/94 
Postdoctoral Associate, Space Engineering Research Center 
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT
2/90 - 1/93 
Ph.D., Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT 
Robust Control Design with Real Parameter Uncertainty using
Absolute Stability Theory
9/87 - 2/90 
S.M., Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT 
Local Control Design Methodologies for a Hierarchic Control Architecture.
9/83 - 6/87 
B.A.Sc., Engineering Science (Aerospace), University of Toronto.

Selected Honours

2014 AIAA Intelligent Systems best paper presented at the 2013 AIAA Infotech@Aerospace conference (''Robust Trajectory Planning for Autonomous Parafoils under Wind Uncertainty'' by Luders et al.).
2013 AIAA Best Paper Award from 2012 Guidance Navigation and Control Conference by the AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Technical Committee. (``Experimental demonstration of efficient multi-agent learning and planning for persistent missions in uncertain environments'' by N. Ure et al.)
2013 Finalist for the Best Cognitive Robotics Paper Award at ICRA for paper ``Reinforcement Learning with Misspecified Model Classes'' by J. Joseph et al.
2012 Recipient of the AIAA Best Paper Award from the 2011 Guidance Navigation and Control Conference by the AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Technical Committee for the paper ``Decentralized Information-Rich Planning and Hybrid Sensor Fusion for Uncertainty Reduction in Human-Robot Missions'' by S. Ponda et al.
2011 Best Applications paper published in Automatica over the past three years for paper H.L. Choi and J.P. How ``Continuous trajectory planning of mobile sensors for informative forecasting," Vol.46, Issue 8, Pages 1266-1275
2011 National Instruments Graphical System Design Achievement Award (Education category)
2009 Appointed Richard Cockburn Maclaurin Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT
2009 Boeing Special Invention award
2008 Raymond L. Bisplinghoff Fellow for MIT Aero/Astro Department
2003 Institute of Navigation Burka Award to recognize outstanding achievement in the preparation of papers contributing to the advancement of navigation and space guidance.
2000-2002 Boeing Associate Professor
1997-1999 Charles Lee Powell Faculty Scholar
1995  NASA Certificate of Appreciation for MACE on STS-67
1994-1997 Davis Faculty Scholar in the School of Engineering, Stanford University
1987-1991  The 1967 Science and Engineering Fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Other Interesting Jobs

Design, implementation, and analysis of robust controllers for the Middeck Active Control Experiment (MACE) flown on STS-67 March 2-16, 1995 
Litton Systems of Canada Ltd., Toronto (1987)
Boeing Aircraft, Dehavilland Division, Toronto, Canada (1986)
Atlantis Flight Research, Woodbridge, Canada (1985)

Interesting Links

2011 International Workshop on Wireless Networking for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Integer Programming Software and a Tutorial on Integer Programming