About

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” – Leonardo da Vinci

I am a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing an M.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering and specializing in Artificial Intelligence in robotics. Currently, I am working with Distributed Autonomous Systems Lab under the guidance of Dr. Girish Chowdhary.

My Story

I was born and brought up in a small town, Devlali, which was a refugee camp when my ancestors moved to India after Indo-Pak partition in 1947.

I recently graduated with a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from BITS Pilani in Aug 2016. Growing up with the ambition to become a pilot, I have always been interested in airplanes. So, I joined the Aerodynamics Club to design radio controlled airplanes and fly them on campus. I was elected the sub-coordinator of the club. Personal and team projects helped me improve my technical skills. Designing fixed wing and multirotors helped me understand control systems and applied mechanics.

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Aerial robotics, I felt was the best way to combine my interest areas in autonomy, hardware design, and programming. I worked as a part of an on-campus startup – Black Prop Tree to develop autonomous multirotor, The Willow to capture orthophotos and stitch them together to create a unified map of the college campus using Ardupilot, a Quadcopter, a GoPro and Agisoft Photoscan. We worked for almost a year on surveillance & security drones, improving and polishing the product. We tried hard but were unable to secure funding for the nascent stage the market was in, in India at that time. During these four years, I got to work with some of the best minds and, they have played a major role in helping me become the person I am today.

Apart from robotics, I’m a huge fitness enthusiast. I have successfully completed 2 half- marathons and a full marathon at the time of this writing. I am an avid reader and I read anything and everything I can get my hands on – from non-fiction to sci-fi. My recent reads can be seen in the Goodreads widget below. A compilation of my favorite reads can be seen here. I’m also a photography enthusiast, always on the lookout for an opportunity to capture a photo. A compilation of my favorite pictures can be seen here.  And lastly, I love to cook and meditate, both of which I do consistently.

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Captured during overnight cycling at East Coast Park, Singapore