Vasileios Vasilopoulos

Vasileios Vasilopoulos

PhD Candidate

GRASP Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania

About Me

I am a PhD student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics ( MEAM) of the University of Pennsylvania. I am currently a research assistant at GRASP Lab, working with Prof. Daniel Koditschek. My research interests lie in the intersection of Robotics, Control and Autonomy. I am currently working on motion and task planning in partially known or completely unknown environments, in the setting of legged robots. I am particularly excited about finding ways to make legged robots interact with the physical environment surrounding them, in order to solve challenging tasks autonomously.

I completed my undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens ( NTUA) in Greece. For my diploma thesis, I worked with Prof. Evangelos Papadopoulos at the Control Systems Laboratory ( CSL).

You can access a short video summary of my research work at Penn here.


  • Robotics
  • Motion & Task Planning
  • Reactive Planning
  • Mobile Manipulation
  • Legged Robots


  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering, 2021 (projected)

    University of Pennsylvania

  • MSE, Mechanical Engineering, 2018

    University of Pennsylvania

  • Diploma, Mechanical Engineering, 2014

    National Technical University of Athens


Autonomous Mobile Manipulation with Legged Robots

Coupling of deliberative, reactive and gait layers for task execution with legged robots.

Reactive Navigation in Non-Convex Environments

Integration of offline and online information for real-time execution of a provably correct navigation algorithm.

Legged Locomotion on Compliant Terrains

Underactuated hopping on deformable terrains with the development of a controller immune to terrain compliance.


Reactive Mobile Manipulation with Legged Robots

Research Statement, summarizing the recent work in reactive planning and mobile manipulation with legged robots.

Reactive Semantic Planning in Unexplored Semantic Environments Using Deep Perceptual Feedback

This paper presents a reactive planning system that enriches the topological representation of an environment with a tightly integrated …

Reactive Navigation in Partially Familiar Planar Environments Using Semantic Perceptual Feedback

This paper solves the planar navigation problem by recourse to an online reactive scheme that exploits recent advances in SLAM and …

Composition of Templates for Transitional Pedipulation Behaviors

We document the reliably repeatable dynamical mounting and dismounting of wheeled stools and carts, and of fixed ledges, by the Minitaur …

Reactive Navigation in Partially Known Non-Convex Environments

This paper presents a provably correct method for robot navigation in 2D environments cluttered with familiar but unexpected …

Sensor-Based Reactive Execution of Symbolic Rearrangement Plans by a Legged Mobile Manipulator

We demonstrate the physical rearrangement of wheeled stools in a moderately cluttered indoor environment by a quadrupedal robot that …

Sensor-Based Reactive Symbolic Planning in Partially Known Environments

This paper considers the problem of completing assemblies of passive objects in nonconvex environments, cluttered with convex obstacles …

Monopod Hopping on Compliant Terrains

One of the most intriguing research challenges in legged locomotion is robot performance on compliant terrains. The foot-terrain …

Sensor-Based Legged Robot Homing Using Range-Only Target Localization

This paper demonstrates a fully sensor-based reactive homing behavior on a physical quadrupedal robot, using onboard sensors, in simple …

Quadruped Pronking on Compliant Terrains Using a Reaction Wheel

While legged locomotion is a rapidly advancing area in robotics, several issues regarding the performance of such robots on deformable …

Towards Bipedal Behavior on a Quadrupedal Platform Using Optimal Control

This paper explores the applicability of a Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) controller design to the problem of bipedal stance on the …

Control and Energy Considerations for a Hopping Monopod on Rough Compliant Terrains

Terrain compliance is a critical parameter for the performance of legged locomotion. In this work, a single actuator monopod robot …

Monopod Hopping on Rough Planetary Environments

Recent successes of missions such as the MSL and the Rosetta have increased the interest in the robotic exploration of other planets …

Compliant Terrain Legged Locomotion Using a Viscoplastic Approach

Legged locomotion is a rapidly advancing area in robotics, yet still a large number of open questions exist. This work focuses on the …


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