Sebastian Scherer


Research Area

Mechanical Engineering


Carnegie Mellon University

Sebastian Scherer is a Systems Scientist at the Robotics Institute (RI) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). His research focuses on enabling unmanned rotorcraft to operate at low altitude in cluttered environments. He has been pushing of what is possible for unmanned rotorcraft and at the same time, have been pushing the state of the art in algorithm development. We have shown the fastest and most tested obstacle avoidance on an Yamaha RMax (2006), the first obstacle avoidance for micro aerial vehicles in natural environments (2008), and the first automatic landing zone detection and landing on a full-size helicopter (2010). Dr. Scherer received his B.S. in Computer Science, M.S. and Ph.D. in Robotics from CMU in 2004, 2007, and 2010. He is a Siebel scholar and a recipient of the AIAA@Infotech Best Paper Runner-up Award (2010). His self-landing helicopter work has received the Popular Science Best of What’s New 2010 Award. 

My group is interested in solving the problem of operating intelligent autonomous rotorcraft safe and fast at low-altitude. This problem is challenging because the vehicle needs to be aware of and adapt to the environment and needs to plan and react immediately to new information received. In this domain my group and I have developed several efficient and robust systems and algorithms that address perception, motion planning, obstacle avoidance, landing site evaluation, and landing site search. We have demonstrated these algorithms on several custom aerial vehicles.

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