Ryan Eustice | Faculty
When Professor Ryan Eustice was an undergraduate at Michigan State, he had yet to find his calling. After doing summer internships in automotive research and development, he decided he wanted to attend graduate school. However, he was still unsure about which field of study to pursue.
While perusing Aerospace programs online, he stumbled upon the field of Ocean Engineering: building underwater autonomous vehicles that survey the ocean floor.
"It seemed like this was something I saw on the Discovery Channel," he says. "I said to myself, 'I didn’t know I could actually do this!'"
Fast forward two years, and Professor Eustice was embarking on expeditions to deploy robots underwater—sometimes with television camera crews.
"It really was an eye opener for folks to see that you can do this with a camera system and a really difficult underwater environment."
"It was like I was coming back full circle," he recalls. "The reason that I got into this was that I saw some of the autonomous vehicle work being done and began to think of the Discovery Channel or National Geographic. And here I was. This is what I’m doing!"
While earning a PhD in Ocean Engineering through a joint program between MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, he helped design and deploy underwater vehicles to survey the tectonic plates of the mid-Atlantic ridge and ancient Greek shipwrecks.
Because of this experience, Professor Eustice became interested in simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), which allows robots to sense their environment and properly navigate underwater or indoors—places where satellite data is unavailable.
Using camera data from a survey of the Titanic, Professor Eustice showed in an award-winning research paper that an underwater vehicle could build a detailed 3-D model of the wreck and independently navigate it.
"It really was an eye opener for folks to see that you can do this with a camera system and a really difficult underwater environment," he says.
In 2006, Professor Eustice returned to his home state of Michigan when he accepted a position at U-M in the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering department. He serves as the director of The Perceptual Robotics Lab, where he continues to research SLAM and its applications in ocean surveying and naval security, among other applications.
If you are a student just starting out in engineering, Professor Eustice encourages you to trust your gut and press through challenging courses.
"You want to stick it through," he says. "I think it pays off in dividends when you’re able to settle into [an engineering career]."
Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program
PhD Ocean Engineering '05
Doctoral Thesis: Large-Area Visually Augmented Navigation for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles
Michigan State University
BS ME Hon. '98
Assistant Professor of Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering
Department of Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2006 – Present
Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, CSE Division
Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2007 – Present
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2009 – Present
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 2006 - Present
Postdoctoral Investigator, Mechanical Engineering
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 2005 - 2006
Guest Investigator, Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, 2005 - Present
Graduate Research Assistant, Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, 1999 - 2005
Selected Honors and Awards
- Keynote Speaker
Korean Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Workshop, 2012
- Keynote Speaker
VIBOT: European Masters in Computer Vision and Robotics Invited Lecturer Series, 2011
- Ruth and Paul Fye Award for Best Graduate Student Paper between 2005–2010 in Oceanographic Engineering
MIT/WHOI Joint Graduate Program, 2010
- NA&ME Departmental Award for Outstanding Accomplishment
University of Michigan, 2009
- NSF Faculty Early CAREER Development Award
National Science Foundation, 2008
DARPA Urban Challenge as member of Team IVS, 2007
- Young Investigator Award
Office of Naval Research, 2007
- King-Sun Fu Memorial Best Transactions on Robotics Paper Award
IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, 2006
- Best Student Paper Award
IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation, 2005
- National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship
Research & Teaching
Vision-aided navigation, underwater image processing, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), multiple vehicle networks, long-term autonomy, and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).
- NA 320 – Marine Hydrodynamics I
- NA 340 – Marine Dynamics I
- NA 568 – Mobile Robotics
For a full list of Prof. Eustice's publications, please see the publications page on his website.
- F. S. Hover, R. M. Eustice, A. Kim, B. Englot, H. Johannsson, M. Kaess, and J. J. Leonard, “Advanced perception, navigation and planning for autonomous in- water ship hull inspection,” International Journal of Robotics Research, Special Issue on 3D Exploration, Mapping, and Surveillance, vol. 31, no. 12, pp. 1445- 1464, Oct. 2012.
- S.E.Webster, R.M.Eustice, H.Singh, and L.L.Whitcomb, “Advances in single-beacon one- way-travel-time acoustic navigation for underwater vehicles,” International Journal of Robotics Research, vol.31, no.8, pp.935–950, Jul. 2012.
- G. Pandey, J. R. McBride, and R. M. Eustice, “Ford campus vision and lidar data set,” International Journal of Robotics Research, vol. 30, no. 13, pp. 1543–1552, Nov. 2011.
- B.S.Bingham, J.M.Walls, and R.M.Eustice, “Development of a flexible command and control software architecture for marine robotic applications,” Marine Technology Society Journal, vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 25–36, May/Jun. 2011.
- R.M.Eustice, H.Singh, and L.L.Whitcomb, “Synchronous-clock one-way- travel-time acoustic navigation for underwater vehicles,” Journal of Field Robotics, Special Issue on State of the Art in Maritime Autonomous Surface and Underwater Vehicles, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 121–136, Jan./Feb. 2011.
- B.Bingham, B.Foley, H.Singh, R.Camilli, K.Delaporta, R.Eustice, A. Mallios, D. Mindell, C. Roman, and D. Sakellariou, “Robotic tools for deep water archaeology: Surveying an ancient ship-wreck with an autonomous underwater vehicle,” Journal of Field Robotics, Special Issue on State of the Art in Maritime Autonomous Surface and Underwater Vehicles, vol.27, no.6, pp. 702–717, Nov./Dec. 2010.
- H.C.Brown, A.Kim, and R.M.Eustice, “An overview of autonomous underwater vehicle research and testbed at PeRL,” Marine Technology Society Journal, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 33–47, 2009.
- O. Pizarro, R. M. Eustice, and H. Singh, “Large area 3-D reconstructions from underwater optical surveys,” IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 150–169, Apr. 2009.
- C. Kunz, C. Murphy, H. Singh, C. Pontbriand, R. A. Sohn, S. Singh, T. Sato, C.Roman, K.Nakamura, M.Jakuba, R.Eustice, R.Camilli, and J.Bailey, “Toward extraplanetary under-ice exploration: Robotic steps in the Arctic,” Journal of Field Robotics, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 411–429, Apr. 2009.
- B.P. Foley, K.DellaPorta, D.Sakellariou, B.S.Bingham, R.Camilli, R.M.Eustice, D.Evagelistis, V.L.Ferrini, K.Katsaros, D.Kourkoumelis, A. Mallios, P. Micha, D. A. Mindell, C. Roman, H. Singh, D. S. Switzer, and T. Theodoulou, “The 2005 Chios ancient shipwreck survey: New methods for underwater archaeology,” Hesperia, vol. 78, pp. 269–305, 2009.
- R. M. Eustice, H. Singh, and J. J. Leonard, “Exactly sparse delayed-state filters for view-based SLAM,” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol.22, no.6, pp. 1100–1114, Dec. 2006. [King-Sun Fu Memorial Best Transactions on Robotics Paper of the Year Award of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society]
- N. Carlevaris-Bianco, and R. M. Eustice, “Learning temporal co-observability relationships for lifelong robotic mapping,” in IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems Workshop on Lifelong Learning for Mobile Robotics Applications, Vilamoura, Portugal, Oct. 2012.
- A. Kim, and R. M. Eustice, “Next-best view visual SLAM for bounded-error area coverage,” in IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems Workshop on Active Semantic Perception, Vilamoura, Portugal, Oct. 2012.
- G.Pandey, J.R.McBride, S.Savarese, and R.M.Eustice, “Toward mutual information based automatic registration of 3d point clouds,” in Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Vilamoura, Portugal, Oct. 2012, pp. 2698–2704.
- G. Pandey, J. R. McBride, S. Savarese, and R. M. Eustice, “Automatic targetless extrinsic calibration of a 3d lidar and camera by maximizing mutual information,” in Proceedings of the AAAI National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Toronto, Canada, Jul. 2012.
- J. M. Walls and R. M. Eustice, “An origin state method for lossy synchronous- clock acoustic navigation,” in International Federation of Automatic Control Workshop on Navigation, Guidance and Control of Underwater Vehicles, Porto, Portugal, Apr. 2012.
- J. M. Walls and R. M. Eustice, “Experimental comparison of synchronous-clock cooperative acoustic navigation algorithms,” in Proceedings of the IEEE/MTS OCEANS Conference and Exhibition, Kona, HI, Sep. 2011, pp. 1–7.
- A. Kim and R. M. Eustice, “Combined visually and geometrically informative link hypothesis for pose-graph visual SLAM using bag-of-words,” in Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, San Francisco, CA, Sep. 2011, pp. 1647–1654.
- N.Carlevaris-Bianco, A.Mohan, J.R.McBride, and R.M.Eustice, “Visual localization in fused image and laser range data,” in Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, San Francisco, CA, Sep. 2011, pp. 4378–4385.
- G.Pandey, J.R.McBride, S.Savarese, and R.M.Eustice, “Visually bootstrapped generalized ICP,” in Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Shanghai, China, May 2011, pp. 2660– 2667.
- N. Carlevaris-Bianco and R. M. Eustice, “Multi-view registration for feature- poor underwater imagery,” in Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Shanghai, China, May 2011, pp. 423–430.
- J. R. McBride, J. C. Ivan, D. S. Rhode, J. D. Rupp, M. Y. Rupp, J. D. Higgins, D. D. Turner, and R. M. Eustice, “A perspective on emerging automotive safety applications, derived from lessons learned through participation in the DARPA grand challenges,” in The DARPA Urban Challenge – Autonomous Vehicles in City Traffic, ser. Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, M.Buehler, K. Iagnemma, and S. Singh, Eds. Springer, Nov. 2009, vol. 56, p. 626.
- H.Singh, C.Roman, O.Pizarro, B.Foley, R.Eustice, and A.Can, Archaeological Oceanography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, Jul. 2008, ch. High resolution optical imaging for deep water archaeology, pp. 30–40.