Ruixiang Du


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  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Worcester, MA USA
    • Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering, GPA: 3.93 - 12/2019
    • Master of Science in Robotics Engineering, GPA: 3.83/4 - 06/2013
  • North China Electric Power University (NCEPU), China
    • Bachelor of Engineering in Automation, GPA: 87.9/100 - 07/2011


  • Robotics: modeling, simulation, control and motion planning of robots
  • Programming Languages: C/C++, Matlab, Python
  • Software & Frameworks: ROS, V-REP, Gazebo, OMPL, LCM, Qt, Git, Linux
  • Embedded Development: Cortex-M3/M4, AVR, MSP430 (bare metal or with RTOS)

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Planning for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles, WPI 09/2017-Present

Research Assistant in Autonomy, Control, and Estimation Laboratory

  • Ongoing research

Autonomous Vehicle Intern, nuTonomy 05/2017-08/2017

  • Worked on maneuver intent inference and motion planning for self-driving cars

Hierarchical Motion Planning for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, WPI 01/2016-09/2017

Research Assistant in Autonomy, Control, and Estimation Laboratory

  • Implemented 2D map representation using square grid and quadtree
  • Integrated Octomap and constructed graph representing local 3D space
  • Experimented with A* and RRT* to find optimal paths online with limited global information and onboard sensor data in a partially known environment
  • Tested a QP-based minimum-snap optimization algorithm for fast local trajectory generation
  • Exploring motion planning algorithms for one task agent with multiple sensing agents

DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials & Finals: Team WPI-CMU, WPI 09/2013-06/2015

Research Assistant in Robotics and Intelligent Vehicles Research Laboratory

  • Participated in the discussion and decision making of overall team strategies and led a subteam towards the completion of wall task for the Finals
  • Implemented a state machine and position and force controllers for the wall cutting task
  • Studied the whole-body manipulation controller developed by CMU and collaborated on the interfacing with task-level features
  • Experimented on strategies for the door task of DRC Trials to traverse different types of doors
  • Developed the motions and user control interface for the door task using MoveIt and Qt
  • Performed numerous tests on both the real Atlas Robot and the Gazebo simulator to tune controller parameters and explore feasible motions


Physics-Based Robot Simulation Toolkit, WPI 07/2015-08/2015

  • Constructed the simulation for the 2-link pelican robot arm, the AscTec Hummingbird quadrotor and an ackerman-steering RC car in V-REP
  • Implemented code to interface with the simulator for each simulated robot using ROS, Matlab and C++ remote-API interfaces
  • Integrated a C++ logger into the simulation/control code and wrote Matlab scripts to analyze log files generated by the logger

Robotics Enabled In-Home Environment Screening for Fall Risks, WPI 07/2013-08/2013, 01/2014-05/2014

  • Worked out a robotic framework for home fall risk assessment, including setting up the software for both the Turtlebot2 platform and the Gazebo simulator, adding new sensors and developing drivers, implementing a web interface based on the ”Robot Management System” to make the system accessible from a web page
  • Studied the navigation of mobile robots in home environment and potential applications of robotic technologies for improving the life quality of elderly people, prepared preliminary results for proposal of further research on this topic

Intelligent Portable Aerial Surveillance System – IPASS, WPI 12/2012-05/2013

  • Developed the dynamics model of the aircraft and designed controller with Matlab simulation
  • Provided support to the undergraduate team of this project for improving the mechanical design of the aircraft, based on the theoretical analysis
  • Evaluated different image stitching techniques to get panoramas from cameras on the aircraft

Autonomous Flight Control of a Quadrotor, WPI 02/2012-12/2012

  • Studied the kinematics and dynamics model of the aircraft
  • Simulated the attitude and position control of the quadrotor with PD control law in Matlab
  • Implemented the position control algorithms for the Hummingbird quadrotor from AscTec

3D Visualization and Representation of a Simulated Robot, WPI 02/2012-08/2012

  • Developed the kinematics for the MRI Neurosurgery Robot
  • Implemented the 3D visualization and representation of the robot with Java and VTK library
  • Tested and embedded the program into the software system of the MRI Neurosurgery Robot

Undergraduate Graduation Project: Quadrotor Flight Attitude Control, 10/2010-06/2011

  • Wrote drivers using C for S12XEP100 MCU, including ATD, TIMER, PIT, SCI, SPI, IIC modules
  • Designed and implemented the flight attitude control algorithm for the quadrotor
  • Developed a software for sensor output monitoring with C#

National Undergraduate Innovative Project: Model Car Path Identification and Trajectory Tracking Algorithm Research, 10/2009-06/2010

  • Designed and implemented the control algorithm for model car with S12XS128
  • Developed a monitoring software for the status of the car with LabVIEW


Teaching Assistant of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, WPI

  • ECE3849, Real-time Embedded Systems, Prof. Gene Bogdanov, 2015 Fall B term
  • ECE2049, Embedded Computing in Engineering Design, Prof. Susan Jarvis, 2015 Fall A term
  • ECE2010, Introduction to ECE, Professor William Michalson, 2014 Fall A term
  • RBE502, Robot Control, Professor Taskin Padir, 2014 Spring C&D Term
  • ECE3503, Power Electronics, Professor Alexander E. Emanuel, 2013 Fall B term
  • ECE2010, Introduction to ECE, Professor James P. O’Rourke, 2013 Fall A term


  • Student Member, IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, IEEE, 03/2013-Present
  • Member, Rho Beta Epsilon robotics honors fraternity, WPI, 02/2013-Present

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