Das holds the Alberto Enrique Behar Research Professorship at the School of Earth and Space Exploration and is a core faculty member at the Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science. He is a co-organizer of the National Science Foundation’s Student Cyber-Physical Systems Challenge and the founder of the OpenUAV and DeepGIS projects.
Das explores a variety of environmental robotics solutions to enable data collection at agricultural farms, forests, and coral reefs alike, at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales. Das’ Distributed Robotic Exploration and Mapping Systems Laboratory (DREAMS) has advanced new methodologies for sampling, modeling, and prediction that considers both in-situ and ex-situ labeling of samples. The DREAMS Lab also incorporates remotely sensed data that guides the collection of water, leaf, soil, or air samples for ex-situ analysis to improve prediction accuracy.
Currently, Das is working on various federally-funded projects including: mapping planetary-scale features such as craters and trees, conducting a geomorphological analysis of tectonic fault scarps, and developing OpenUAV (unpiloted aerial vehicles), an open-source cloud-enabled testbed for UAV education, research, and data analysis. OpenUAV is supported by the National Science Foundation.
Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Southern California, 2014
M.S., Computer Science, University of Southern California, 2008
B.E., Telecommunication Engineering, P.E.S. Institute of Technology (Bangalore, India), 2004
Das' research interests lie broadly in data-driven robotic sampling, with focus on principled approaches from statistical machine learning for robotic collection of physical samples (e.g, diseased leaf samples, water, soil) for ex-situ analysis.
His research contributions include mixed-initiative spatio-temporal observation of environmental and biological processes, exploiting mathematical models, and algorithms for closing the loop on data-driven robotic sampling.
Das will be leading teams to develop systems that support and extend Earth and space exploration research. These systems will help maintain the pulse on our planet and beyond, through improved observation of topography, land-cover dynamics, volcanoes, underwater habitats, and agricultural farms, while providing insights for generalization of the methods across these diverse application areas.
Journal and magazine articles
S. Chen, S. Skandan, S. Dcunha, J. Das, C. Qu, C.J. Taylor, V. Kumar, ”Counting Ap- ples and Oranges With Deep Learning: A Data-Driven Approach,” in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 781-788, April 2017.
R. Ehsani, D. Wulfsohn, J. Das, I.Z. Lagos, ”Yield Estimation: A Low-Hanging Fruit for Application of Small UAS,” in ASABE Resource: Engineering & Technology for a Sustainable World, July 2016, pp. 16-18.
R. Ehsani and J. Das, Yield estimation in citrus with SUAVs, Citrus Extension Trade Journals, pp. 16-18, 2016
J. Das, F. Py, H. Harvey, J. Ryan, A. Gellene, R. Graham, D. Caron, K. Rajan, and G. Sukhatme, ”Data-driven Robotic Sampling for Marine Ecosystem Monitoring”, in Interna- tional Journal of Robotics Research, 34(12):1435-1452, Oct 2015.
J. Das, F. Py, T. Maughan, T. O’Reilly, M. Messi, J. Ryan, G. Sukhatme, and K. Rajan, “Coordinated Sampling of Dynamic Oceanographic Features with Underwater Vehicles and Drifters”, in International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol. 31, p. 626-646, April 2012.
A. Garcia-Olaya, F. Py, J. Das, and K. Rajan, “An On-line Utility based Multi-criteria Approach for Sampling Dynamic Ocean Fields”, in IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, April 2012.
R. Smith, J. Das, H. Heidarsson, A. de Menezes Pereira, F. Arrichiello, I. Cetinic, L. Dar- jany, M. Garneau, M. Howard, C. Oberg, M. Ragan, E. Seubert, E. Smith, B. Stauffer, A. Schnetzer, G. Toro-Farmer, D. Caron, B. Jones, and G. Sukhatme, “USC CINAPS Builds Bridges: Observing and Monitoring the Southern California Bight”, In IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 20-30, Mar 2010.
D.Caron,B.Stauffer,S.Moorthi,A.Singh,M.Batalin,E.Graham,M.Hansen,W.Kaiser,J. Das, A. de Menezes Pereira, A. Dhariwal, B. Zhang, C. Oberg, and G. Sukhatme, “Macro- to fine-scale spatial and temporal distributions and dynamics of phytoplankton and their environmental driving forces in a small subalpine lake in southern California, USA”, In Journal of Limnology and Oceanography, vol. 53, no. 5, pp. 2333-2349, 2008.
Referred conference publications
Xu Liu, Steven W. Chen, Shreyas Aditya, Nivedha Sivakumar, Sandeep Dcunha, Chao Qu, Camillo J. Taylor, Jnaneshwar Das, and Vijay Kumar, "Robust Fruit Counting: Combining Deep Learning, Tracking, and Structure from Motion", accepted in International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2018.
M. Schmittle, A. Lukina, L. Vacek, J. Das, C. P. Buskirk, S. Rees, J. Sztipanovits, R. Grosu and V. Kumar, ”OpenUAV: A UAV Testbed for the CPS and Robotics Community,” 2018 International Conference on Cyber-Physical systems (ICCPS), accepted.
L. Vacek, E. Atter, P. Rizo, B. Nam, R. Kortvelesy, D. Kaufman, J. Das, V. Kumar, ”sUAS for deployment and recovery of an environmental sensor probe,” 2017 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), Miami, FL, USA, 2017, pp. 1022-1029.
D. Orol, J. Das, L. Vacek, I. Orr, M. Paret, C.J. Taylor, V. Kumar, ”An aerial phyto- biopsy system: Design, evaluation, and lessons learned,” 2017 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), Miami, FL, USA, 2017, pp. 188-195.
S. K. Sarkar, J. Das, R. Ehsani and V. Kumar, ”Towards autonomous phytopathology: Out- comes and challenges of citrus greening disease detection through close-range remote sensing,” 2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Stockholm, 2016, pp. 5143-5148.
J. Das, G. Cross, C. Qu, A. Makineni, P. Tokekar, Y. Mulgaonkar, V. Kumar, ”Devices, Systems, and Methods for Automated Monitoring enabling Precision Agriculture,” in IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE), vol., no., pp.462- 469, 24-28 Aug. 2015
P. Ngo, J. Das, J. Ogle, J. Thomas, W. Anderson and R. N. Smith, ”Predicting the speed of a Wave Glider autonomous surface vehicle from wave model data,” 2014 IEEE/RSJ Inter- national Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Chicago, IL, 2014, pp. 2250-2256.
K. Gomes, D. Cline, D. Edgington, M. Godin, T. Maughan, M. McCann, T. OReilly, F. Bahr, F. Chavez, M. Messi ́e, J. Das, K. Rajan, “ODSS: A Decision Support System for Ocean Exploration”, In 29th IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering, Workshop on Data-Driven Decision Guidance and Support Systems (DGSS) 2013.
J. Das, J. Harvey, F. Py, H. Vathsangam, R. Graham, K. Rajan, and G. Sukhatme, “Hier- archical Probabilistic Regression for AUV-based Adaptive Sampling of Marine Phenomena, In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2013.
W. Al-Sabban, J. Das, and R. N. Smith, ”Persistent robot tasking for environmental moni- toring through crowd-sourcing,” 2013 OCEANS - San Diego, San Diego, CA, 2013, pp. 1-6
J. Das, W. Evans, M. Minnig, A. Bahr, G. Sukhatme, and A. Martinoli, “Environmental Sensing using Land-based Spectrally-selective Cameras and a Quadcopter”, In 13th Interna- tional Symposium on Experimental Robotics, 2012.
R. Graham, F. Py, J. Das, D. Lucas, and K. Rajan, ”Exploring Space-Time Tradeoffs in Au- tonomous Sampling for Marine Robotics”, in 13th International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, 2012.
R. Smith, J. Das, G. Hine, W. Anderson, and G. Sukhatme, ”Predicting Wave Glider Speed from Environmental Measurements”, In MTS/IEEE OCEANS ’11, Kona, Hawaii, Sep 2011.
J. Das, T. Maughan, M. McCann, M. Godin, T. O’Reilly, M. Messi, F. Bahr, K. Gomes, F. Py, J. Bellingham, G. Sukhatme, and K. Rajan, “Towards Mixed-initiative, Multi-robot Field Experiments: Design, Deployment, and Lessons Learned”, In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2011.
J. Das, F. Py, T. Maughan, T. O’Reilly, M. Messi, J. Ryan, K. Rajan, and G. Sukhatme, ”Simultaneous Tracking and Sampling of Dynamic Oceanographic Features with AUVs and Drifters”, In 12th International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, 2010, Dec 2010.
R. Smith, J. Das, Y. Chao, D. Caron, B. Jones, and G. Sukhatme, ”Cooperative Multi- AUV Tracking of Phytoplankton Blooms based on Ocean Model Predictions”, In Oceans ’10 - IEEE Sydney, Sydney, Australia, May 2010.
J. Das, K. Rajan, S. Frolov, J. Ryan, F. Py, D. Caron, and G. Sukhatme, ”Towards Marine Bloom Trajectory Prediction for AUV Mission Planning”, In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 4784 - 4790 , May 2010.
F.Arrichiello,J.Das,H.Heidarsson,A.deMenezesPereira,S.Chiaverini,andG.Sukhatme, ”Multi-Robot Collaboration with Range-Limited Communication: Experiments with Two Underactuated ASVs”, In The 7th International Conference on Field and Service Robots, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jul 2009.
J. Das, and G. Sukhatme, ”A Robotic Sentinel for Benthic Sampling along a Transect”, In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 206 - 213 , May 2009.
R. Smith, B. Stauffer, J. Das, H. Heidarsson, A. de Menezes Pereira, Y. Chao, L. Darjany, I. Cetinic, D. Estrin, C. Oberg, M. Ragan, B. Jones, G. Sukhatme, and D. Caron, “Design and Implementation of Sensor Networks for the Observation and Research of Harmful Algal Blooms in Southern California Coastal Waters”, In Proceedings of the Conference on Coastal Environmental Sensing Networks, pp. 5-7, Boston, MA, Jul 2009.
M. Gupta, J. Das, M. Vieira, H. Heidarsson, H. Vathsangam, and G. Sukhatme, ”Collective Transport of Robots: Emergent Flocking from Minimalist Multi-robot Leader-following”, In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2009.
F. Arrichiello, D. Liu, S. Yerramalli, A. de Menezes Pereira, J. Das, U. Mitra, and G. Sukhatme, ”Effects of underwater communication constraints on the control of marine robot teams”, In International Conference on Robot Communication and Coordination, Odense, Denmark, Mar 2009
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Reviewing: NSF panel, NIFA panel, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Science Robotics, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Biodesign, Journal of Field Robotics, Autonomous Robots, IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Robotics Science and Systems, AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems.
Program Committee Member: Associate Editor of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2016 and 2017, International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER) 2014, AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence 2014, AAAI Conference on Artificial In- telligence 2015, Robotics Sciences and Systems (RSS) 2015, International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) 2016.
Editorial: Guest Editor of Journal of Field Robotics (JFR) Special Issue on Agricultural Robotics, 2017.
Event organization: 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 NSF Student Drone Competitions, Robotics Science and Systems workshops on field robotics and environmental monitoreing (2015, 2019, 2020), Workshop on Agricultural Robotics at IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation 2015.
Software Developer, ThoughtWorks Inc., July 2004 — July 2006