Po-Jen Wang

M.S. in Computer Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz, June 2020

B.S. in Electrical Engineering, California State University, Northridge, Dec 2011

Email: pwang37@ucsc.edu

Check out my robotic journey!

About Me

Hi, my name is Po-Jen Wang and I'm currently pursuing a M.S. degree in Computer Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. I specialize in software development for LIDAR and computer vision based autonomous mobile robot. Before coming to UCSC, I researched with Dr. C.T. Lin's at his Intelligent Ground Vehicle Lab at CSU Northridge where we built smart wheelchair and autonomous mobile robots that competed in the annual AUVSI IGVC competition. Besides academic research, I have worked at startups in SoCal and in Dalian, China where we developed autonomous golf course service robot and warehouse Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). At UCSC, my research focus is state of the art global motion planning algorithms for autonomous vehicles. My goal is to work in the self-driving car industry after graduation!

Technical Skills
LabVIEW, C/C++, Python, MATLAB
Motion Planning, LIDAR, Computer Vision, GPS, Robotic Arm, Arduinos, Sensors, Motors, Controllers, Encoder, Radio system, Battery, Filter Design, Wiring, SolidWorks, Laser Cutting, Graphic Design, Fluent in Mandarin and English

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Algorithms, Mechatronics, Models of Robotic Manipulation, Linear Dynamical Systems, and Computer Architecture

Research Projects

1. LIDAR A* (Master Thesis) 9/2019 – 6/2020
Advisors: Roberto Manduchi, Michael Wehner, Narges Norouzi @ University of California, Santa Cruz
Researched for a new efficient method for real-time mobile robot motion planning. LIDAR A* features an online visibility-based decomposition and search process that incrementally analyzes regional maps with locally simulated 2D LIDAR scans to search for the shortest opening gateway sequence toward the goal. The sequential gateways are used to guide the simulation of a robust local motion planner to generate a smooth and kinematic friendly path. The significant reduction in nodes minimizes computation time, allowing the algorithm to produce a near optimal path on a large and highly complex map and achieve real-time operation [C++, OpenCV]

Link to Thesis (ResearchGate)


2. The "Slugnificent" Seven 5/2019 – 6/2019
University of California, Santa Cruz
Built an autonomous mobile robot to compete against an opponent robot. The robot must autonomouly travel to an initial firing zone by following tape, avoid obstacles with bumpers and use beacon to locate and shoot ping-pong balls at the opponent robot [Embedded C]
- Developed a tape sensing module that determines tape orientation and offset relative to the robot, which helps with creating smoother robot motion
- In charge of system design and entire software development for the robot


3. Cat Mario AI 1/2019 – 3/2019
University of California, Santa Cruz
Developed a Cat Mario AI based on NeuroEvolution of Augmenting Topologies (NEAT) method that uses genetic approach to learn to play the game of Cat Mario. Cat Mario is a parody game of the Super Mario Bros known for its level of difficulty that causes extreme frustration [Python, OpenCV]
- Utilized computer vision to capture real-time video feed, classify objects (cat agent, enemies and neutral platforms), and convert game frame into low dimensional training data
- Mapped the game at topological level by tracking the positions and movements of side-scrolling game window and various objects in game in real-time
- Developed a training environment with game event detection that triggers, stops a genome training run, and shows training statistics
- Poster


4. Autonomous Ping-Pong Robot Simulator 4/2018 – 6/2018
University of California, Santa Cruz
Developed a 3D simulator to simulate gameplay of an autonomous mobile Ping-Pong Robot. System includes a paddle mounted on a 6-axis robot arm on an omnidirectional mobile robot platform [LabVIEW]
- Built a full 3D environment with LabVIEW 3D graph to generate and transform models of robotic arm, omni robot platform, paddle and ping-pong table
- Developed physics models for ping-pong ball to interact with the table, the net and moving paddle
- Determined forward and inverse kinematics for 6-axis robotics arm and mobile platform to create a strike that lands on the opponent's side of the table

- Please turn on CC for short descriptions -


5. Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) Wheelchair Project 9/2011 – 4/2014
California State University, Northridge
Developed an intelligent wheelchair that analyzes the user’s facial gestures and brain signals from an electroencephalogram (EEG) headset to generate motion commands. It utilizes GPS, LIDAR, and computer vision to autonomously navigate around the campus [LabVIEW]
- Developed computer vision software that identifies areas of pavement, grass, dirt, and shadow under outdoor light conditions
- Coded the intelligent self-driving system that controls the wheelchair to travel to a set of GPS waypoints on campus


6. Intelligent Ground Vehicle Project – Red RAVEN 1/2010 – 1/2013
California State University, Northridge
Developed autonomous mobile robots and competed with ~50 teams each year at AUVSI’s international Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) [LabVIEW]
- 2010 5th place, 2011 and 2012 repeat 1st place Grand Award at IGVC
- Provided demo at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and at AUVSI Unmanned Systems North America 2012 exhibition
- Recipient of Distinguished Engineering Project Achievement Award 2013 given by the San Fernando Valley's The Engineers’ Council
- Coded LIDAR and computer vision perception that locate and classify construction barrels, lanes, flags, and creates real-time 3D visualization on the GUI. Rewrote local motion planning algorithms for obstacle avoidance

Design Report: 2011, 2012

IGVC 2011 and 2012. I was appointed to configure and follow the robot during the competition.

Red RAVEN 3D Visualization

Work Experience

Principal Engineer 1/2015 – 6/2017
Megaro Robotics Technology Co. Limited, 大连美加洛兄弟自动化科技有限公司 ( 美加洛机器人 ) – Dalian, China
Joined a start-up co-founded by former labmates from the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Lab at CSU Northridge. Developed warehouse Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and built customized robots to the customers’ specifications [LabVIEW, Embedded C]
- Modified client's Linde R20S reach truck forklift into a LIDAR-based AGV capable of locating and transporting warehouse pallets with pallet position accuracy of 1 inch
- Built, programmed, and deployed three assistant robots (小云机器人) at Dalian Train Station that interact and help travelers navigate the train station

Robotics Engineer 9/2012 – 2/2014
Eagle Construction Solutions, Inc. – Menifee, CA USA
Designed, built, and test prototype of a fully autonomous mobile service robot from scratch that surveys different locations within golf courses. The robot replaces human labor and operates continuously for several days without intervention [Embedded C]

Conference Presentations and Proceedings
C.T. Lin, C. Euler, P. Wang, A. Mekhtarian, J. Horvath; “Improved and Extended Mobility and Machine Learning for an Intelligent Wheelchair,” 27th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, San Diego, California, Feb. 27 - Mar. 2, 2012. (Conference Presentation and Proceeding)

C.T. Lin, A. Mekhtarian C. Euler, P. Wang, G. Leonard, A.Gil, “Indoor and Outdoor Mobility for an Intelligent Autonomous Wheelchair,” 13th international conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP), Linz, Austria, July 9-13, 2012 (Conference Proceeding)

A. Anikstein, P. Wang, A. Hartman, H. Markarian,”Intelligent Ground Vehicle: Red Raven,” Beyond the Booth Sessions, AUVSI Unmanned System North America 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada, Aug. 6-9, 2012. (Conference Presentation)

C.T. Lin, A.Gil, G. Leonard, P. Wang, A. Mekhtarian, G. Haggary, “Motion Control for an Intelligent Autonomous Wheelchair,” Featured Session: CSUN Computer Science and Engineering Project, 28th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, San Diego, California, Feb. 27, 2013. (Conference Presentation)