Hi! I received my Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2015, supervised by Professor Edward Adelson at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). My passion and interests are in the areas of robotics, computer vision, machine learning, as well as other enabling technologies that may positively impact people's lives. That was also why I co-founded Robby Technologies, applying modern techniques of computer vision and machine learning into the exciting world of robotics.

Besides academic work, I have been an active entrepreneur and student leader. In March 2011, I founded the MIT-China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (MIT-CHIEF) and served as a co-president for two years. MIT-CHIEF has been making an impact in the startup community in the East Coast, and was recognized as “an important milestone between MIT's engagement with China”. I was also a co-president for MIT Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), one of the largest international student groups at MIT. I was a recipient of the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Presidential Fellowship (2009) and the first-prize winner for MIT “Pi” Recitation Contest in 2011 (3.141592653589793...).


During my PhD at MIT, I developed a compact and compliant robotic tactile sensor, called fingertip GelSight sensor, that converts touch information to “visual” information using a tiny camera, where computer vision and machine learning techniques can be employed. The fingertip sensor has high resolution, on the order of tens of microns, high compliance and high sensitivity exceeding that of human fingertips. We demonstrated its unparalleled capabilities for fine manipulation, normal and shear force estimation, slip detection, as well as material recognition, and showed its great potential as a new-generation robotic fingertip. My research work was reported in the media including MIT News, The Washington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, and Gizmodo. (See "News" below.)

R. Li
Touching is Believing: Sensing and Analyzing Touch Information with GelSight
Ph.D. Thesis, MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science , Cambridge, MA, USA, 2015

W. Yuan, R. Li, M.A. Srinivasan, and E.H. Adelson
Measurement of Shear and Slip with a GelSight Tactile Sensor
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) , 2015

R. Li, R. Platt Jr., W. Yuan, A. ten Pas, N. Roscup, M. A. Srinivasan, and E. H. Adelson
Localization and Manipulation of Small Parts Using GelSight Tactile Sensing
IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) , 2014

X. Jia, R. Li, M.A. Srinivasan, and E.H. Adelson
Lump Detection with a GelSight Sensor
IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC) , 2013

R. Li and E.H. Adelson
Sensing and Recognizing Surface Textures Using a GelSight Sensor
IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) , 2013

R. Li, and E.H.Adelson
The Compact GelSight Sensor
IEEE International Conference on Computational Photography (ICCP) , Cambridge, MA, 2013 (Poster)

R. Li
End-to-end Data Reliability in Optical Flow Switching
Master Thesis, MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science , Cambridge, MA, USA, 2011

R. Li, Z. Sun, and C. Zhang
Adaptive Filter for Speckle Reduction with Feature Preservation in Medical Ultrasound Images
10th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision (ICARCV) , 2008

R. Li, and M.H. Lim
Hardware Circuit Design and Interface for a Mobile Robot
Proceedings of Undergraduate Research Experience on Campus (URECA@NTU) , 2007