Career Profile

I specialize in architecting, designing, fabricating, and productizing extremely complex embodied AI systems. With a breadth of knowledge spanning multiple industries and technologies, I love to help people create the systems they want.


Director of Engineering

2018 - Present
Berkshire Grey, Pittsburgh

Principal Scientist

2014 - 2018
Berkshire Grey, Pittsburgh

Leading software and electromechanical research and product development for industry-leading robotic material-handling systems.


Adjunct Faculty

2014 - Present
Personal Robotics Lab, Carnegie Mellon University

Project Scientist

2012 - 2014
Personal Robotics Lab, Carnegie Mellon University

Performed state-of-the-art manipulation planning, decision theory, and perception research on the HERB personal robot platform.

  • (now at UW)

Founder / Chief Technology Officer

2012 - 2014
Platypus LLC, Pittsburgh

Developed and deploy Android-based autonomous boats for environmental monitoring, search and rescue, and academic research applications.


Founder / CEO

2013 - 2014
Cephal Systems LLC, Pittsburgh

Provided consulting services for industry clients requiring specialized robotics expertise in perception, navigation, controls and electromechanicals.

  • Allpoint Systems – \url{}
  • Near Earth Autonomy – \url{}
  • Bossa Nova Robotics – \url{}
  • Embedded Energy Technology – \url{}

Robotics Engineer

2005 - 2006
Redzone Robotics

Lead electrical engineer developing submersible power and sensing systems for subterranean robotic inspection platforms.


Open-Source Projects

Creating open-source hardware and software is a passion of mine. Here are some of the projects that I have contributed to.

AIKIDO - C++ library of topological, kinematic and dynamic motion-planning utilities and reference implementations, built on DART library.
Chimera - Clang-based language binding code-generator for C++ (currently supports boost-python).
Truss - Lua/Terra-based cross-platform visualization and scripting engine.
NASA SRR - Competed in NASA Centennial Challenge: Sample Return Rover in three-person team. Built autonomous ground vehicle for sample retrieval into isolated containers. Selected for People's Choice Award.
DARPA VRC - Competed in DARPA Virtual Robotics Challenge in two-person team. Developed VR visualization environment and real-time trajectory record/playback system. Qualified and placed 19 extsuperscript{th} in competition.


Selected publications from my academic career.

HERB’s Sure Thing: a rapid drama system for rehearsing and performing live robot theater
Garth Zeglin, Aaron Walsman, Laura Herlant, Zhaodong Zheng, Yuyang Guo, Michael Koval, Kevin Lenzo, Hui Jun Tay, Prasanna Velagapudi, Katie Correll and Siddhartha Srinivasa
IEEE Workshop on Advanced Robotics and its Social Impacts
Pregrasp Manipulation as Trajectory Optimization
Jennifer King, Matthew Klingensmith, Christopher Dellin, Mehmet Dogar, Prasanna Velagapudi, Nancy Pollard and Siddhartha Srinivasa
Robotics: Science and Systems
Development of a Low Cost Multi-Robot Autonomous Marine Surface Platform
Abhinav Valada and Prasanna Velagapudi and Balajee Kannan and Christopher Tomaszewski and George A Kantor and Paul Scerri
International Conference on Field and Service Robotics (FSR 2012)
Real-World Testing of a Multi-Robot Team
Paul Scerri and Prasanna Velagapudi and Balajee Kannan and Abhinav Valada and Christopher Tomaszewski and John M Dolan and Adrian Scerri and Kumar Shaurya Shankar and Luis Lorenzo Bill-Clark and George A Kantor
International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS)
Distributed Model Shaping for Scaling to Decentralized POMDPs with hundreds of agents
Prasanna Velagapudi and Pradeep R Varakantham and Paul Scerri and Katia Sycara
International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS)
Decentralized Prioritized Planning in Large Multirobot Teams
Prasanna Velagapudi and Katia Sycara and Paul Scerri
IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)
How Search and its Subtasks Scale in `N` Robots
Wang-Hsuan Lee and and Prasanna Velagapudi and Paul Scerri and Katia Sycara
ACM/IEEE International conference on Human Robot Interaction (HRI)

Skills & Proficiency










Sketch & Photoshop