Kamak Ebadi

Kamak Ebadi is a postdoctoral fellow in the Robotic Perception Systems group at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory - California Institute of Technology. Kamak received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with focus on robotics from Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA.

In 2017 Kamak received a doctoral research fellowship which provided him with the opportunity to carry out a substantial part of his Ph.D. thesis research at JPL from 2017 to 2020, while contributing to several cutting-edge research projects at the lab.

Since 2018, Kamak has been a key-member of the JPL’s CoSTAR team, a coalition of researchers and engineers from NASA JPL, Caltech and MIT participating in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge which aims at addressing various technical challenges across multiple domains in autonomous exploration of extreme environments.


In 2020, Kamak was the recipient of JPL’s STAR Award in recognition of his contributions to developing novel localization and mapping solutions that enabled autonomous navigation and mapping of perceptually-degraded subterranean environments.

Kamak’s research is primarily focused on multi-robot perception and autonomy, and collaborative localization and mapping in complex and extreme environments.

For more information visit www.KamakEbadi.com


Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA (2020)

Research Interests: 

Autonomous Navigation, Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), Multi-Robot Autonomy, Robotic Perception, Structure from Motion. 

Professional Experience: 
  • Postdoctoral Program Fellow, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory – California Institute of Technology (2020 – present)
  • Doctoral research fellowship, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory – California Institute of Technology (2017-2020)
  • Robotics Research Engineer, Alliance Innovation Lab Silicon Valley (2015-2017)
  • Robotics Engineer, AlterG (2013-2015)
  • IP Network System Engineer, Verizon Wireless (2012)
  • Electrical Engineering Teaching Assistant, Santa Clara University (2012-2017)

Selected Awards: 
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory _ California Institute of Technology, Postdoctoral Fellowship – 2020 to present
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory – California Institute of Technology, STAR Award, 2020
  • DARPA Subterranean Challenge, Urban Circuit, Member of the perception team, 1st place 2020
  • DARPA Subterranean Challenge, Tunnel Circuit, Member of the perception team, 2nd place 2019
  • Best Doctoral Research Award – 1st Place - School of Engineering - Santa Clara University, 2019
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory – Year-Round Doctoral Research Fellowship, 2017- 2020
  • Best Student Paper Award – 2015ASME/IEEE Int. Conf. on Mechatronics & Embedded Systems
  • Ranked 1st & winner of $2K Prize, Space Design Challenge Award, SCU and NASA Ames, 2013
  • International Olympiad on Astronomy & Astrophysics – Member of the panel of jury, 2009


Selected Publications: 
  1. K. Ebadi, A. Harvard, A. Rahmani, S. Chung, “Probabilistic Place Recognition for On-Orbit Visual Inspection of Uncooperative Space Objects”, AIAA ASCEND conference, 2021
  2. A. Aghamohammadi, K. Otsu, B. Morrell, D. Fan, R. Thakker, A. Santamaria-Navarro, S. K. Kim, A. Bouman, X. Lei, J. Edlund, K. Ebadi, et al. “NeBula: Quest for Robotic Autonomy in Challenging Environments; TEAM CoSTAR at the DARPA Subterranean Challenge.” Journal of field robotics, In press, 2021.
  3. K. Ebadi, M. Palieri, S. Wood, C. Padgett, and A. Aghamohammadi, "DARE-SLAM: Degeneracy-Aware and Resilient Loop Closing in Perceptually-Degraded Environments.", Journal of intelligent and robotic systems, 2021.
  4. M. Palieri, B. Morrell, A. Thakur, K. Ebadi, J. Nash, A. Chatterjee, C. Kanellakis, L. Carlone, C. Guaragnella, and A. Aghamohammadi, “LOCUS - LiDAR Odometry for Consistent Operation in Uncertain Settings.” Accepted IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L). 2020.
  5. A. Santamaria-Navarro, A. Harvard, V. Capuano, K. Matuska, S. Lee, K. Ebadi, S. Chung and A. Rahmani, “SEPS: Simultaneous Estimation of Pose and Shape of an Unknown Space Target.”, Accelerating Space Commerce, Exploration, and New Discovery (ASCEND), AIAA, 2020
  6. K. Ebadi, Y. Change, M. Palieri, A. Stephens, A. H. Hatteland, E. Heiden, A. Thakur, B. Morrell, L. Carlone, A. Aghamohammadi, "LAMP: Large-Scale Autonomous Mapping and Positioning for Exploration of Perceptually-Degraded Subterranean Environments." IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), IEEE, 2020.
  7. N. E. Stavros, A. Aghamohammadi, A. Sirota, M. Quadrelli, K. Ebadi, and K. Yun, "Smoke Sky-Exploring New Frontiers of Unmanned Aerial Systems for Wildland Fire Science and Applications." arXiv preprint arXiv:1911.08288 (2019).
  8. K. Ebadi, A. Aghamohammadi, and S. Wood, "Rover Localization in Mars Helicopter Aerial Maps: Experimental Results in a Mars-analogue Environment." Springer's proceedings of Advanced Robotics-International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, 2018.
  9. K. Ebadi, S. Wood, "Scene Matching Based Localization of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Unstructured Environments." In Signals, Systems, and Computers. 51st Asilomar Conference on. IEEE, 2018.
  10. K. Ebadi, A. Aghamohammadi, and K. Otsu, "Localization of a Mars Rover in Mars Helicopter-generated Maps: Preliminary Results.” In International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, 2018.
  11. M. Heimbach, K. Ebadi, and S. Wood. "Improving Object Tracking Accuracy in Video Sequences Subject to Noise and Occlusion Impediments by Combining Feature Tracking with Kalman Filtering." In 52nd Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems, and Computers, pp. 1499-1502. IEEE, 2018.
  12. M. Heimbach, K. Ebadi, & S. Wood, "Resolving occlusion ambiguity by combining Kalman tracking with feature tracking for image sequences." In 51nd Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems, and Computers, pp.144-147. IEEE, 2017
  13. J. Acain, C. Kitts, T. Adamek, K. Ebadi, M. Rasay, "A multi-robot testbed for adaptive sampling experimentation via radio frequency fields”. In ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (pp. V009T07A067-V009T07A067). American Society of Mechanical Engineers. (Best Student Paper Award)
  14. K. Ebadi, V. Pena, and C. Liu, "High-Performance Implementation and Evaluation of Blowfish Cryptographic Algorithm on Single-Chip Cloud Computer: A Pipelined Approach." UbiComp (IJU) 1, no. 3 (2012).
kamak ebadi
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109