Marin Kobilarov

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Developing intelligent robotic vehicles that can perceive, navigate, and accomplish challenging tasks in uncertain, dynamic, and highly constrained environments. Performing research in analytical and computational methods for mechanics, control, motion planning, and reasoning under uncertainty, and in the design and integration of novel mechanisms and embedded systems. Application areas include mobile robots, aerial vehicles, and nanosatellites.


  • Ph.D. 2008, University of Southern California
  • Other Bachelor's Degree (B.Sc.) 2003, Trinity College
  • August 01, 2008 - June 01, 2012:  Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology
  • September 01, 2003 - July 01, 2008:  Research Assistant, University of Southern California
  • May 01, 2004 - December 01, 2004:  Robotics Engineer (part-time), NASA Jet Propulsion Lab
Research Areas
  • 2011:  Best Paper Finalist Award
  • 2009:  KECK Post-doctoral Fellowship
  • 2009:  UTRC-Caltech Post-doctoral Award
  • 2006:  ACM Programming Contest, California Regionals, 2nd place, as a USC Team coach
  • 2003:  Phi Betta Kappa
  • 2000:  Fire-fighting Home Robot Contest, 2-nd place (out of 50+ teams)
  • 1999:  ACM Programming Contest, regional finalist
Journal Articles
  • Demoures, F., Gay-Balmaz, F., Kobilarov, M., Ratiu, T. S. (2014).  Multisymplectic Lie group variational integrator for a geometrically exact beam in .  Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation .  19(10).  3492 - 3512.
  • Kobilarov, M. (2014).  Nonlinear Trajectory Control of Multi-body Aerial Manipulators.  Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems.  73(1-4).  679–692.
  • Kobilarov, M. (2012).  Cross-entropy Motion Planning.  International Journal of Robotics Research.  31(7).  855–871.
  • Jimenez, F., Kobilarov, M., Martin de Diego, David. (2012).  Discrete Variational Optimal Control.  Journal of Nonlinear Science.  1-34.
  • Flaßkamp, K., Ober-Blöbaum, S., Kobilarov, M. (2012).  Solving Optimal Control Problems by Exploiting Inherent Dynamical Systems Structures.  Journal of Nonlinear Science.
  • Kobilarov, M., Pellegrino, S. (2012).  Trajectory Planning for Cubesat Short Time-Scale Proximity Operations.
  • Kobilarov, M., Marsden, J. (2011).  Discrete Geometric Optimal Control on Lie Groups.  IEEE Transactions on Robotics.  27(4).  641-655.
  • Kobilarov, M., Marsden, J. E., Sukhatme, G. S. (2011).  Global Estimation in Constrained Environments.  The International Journal of Robotics Research.  31(1).  24–41.
  • Banaszuk, A., Fonoberov, V., Frewen, T. A., Kobilarov, M., Mathew, G., I. Mezic, A. P., Sahai, T., Sane, H., Speranzon, A., Surana, A. (2011).  Scalable Approach to Uncertainty Quantification and Robust Design of Interconnected Dynamical Systems.  accepted, to appear in IFAC Annual Reviews in Control.
  • Kobilarov, M., Marsden, J. (2011).  Discrete Geometric Optimal Control on Lie Groups.  Robotics, IEEE Transactions on.  27(4).  641-655.
  • Kobilarov, M., Marsden, J. E., Sukhatme, G. S. (2010).  Geometric discretization of nonholonomic systems with symmetries.  AIMS Journal on Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems - Series S (DCDS-S).  3(1).  61 - 84.
  • Kobilarov, M., Martín de Diego, D., Ferraro, S. (2010).  Simulating Nonholonomic Dynamics.  Boletin de la Sociedad Espanola de Matimatica Aplicada (SeMA).  50.  61-81.
  • Kobilarov, M., Crane, K., Desbrun, M. (2009).  Lie group integrators for animation and control of vehicles.  ACM Trans. Graph..  28(2).  1–14.
Book Chapters
  • Kobilarov, M. (2013).  Solvability of Geometric Integrators for Multi-body Systems.  Multibody Dynamics: Computational Methods and Applications.
Other Publications
  • Garimella, G., Kobilarov, M. (2015).  Towards Model-predictive Control for Aerial Pick-and-Place.
Conference Proceedings
  • Ta, D., Kobilarov, M., Dellaert, F. (2014).  A factor graph approach to estimation and model predictive control on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.  Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), 2014 International Conference on.  181-188.
  • Mishra, S., Kobilarov, M. (2014).  An Autonomous Proximity Navigation Testbed for Nanosatellites.  Small Satellite Conference.
  • Kobilarov, M. (2014).  Discrete optimal control on Lie groups and applications to robotic vehicles.  IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.  5523-5529.
  • Chirikjian, G., Kobilarov, M. (2014).  Gaussian Approximation of Non-linear Measurement Models on Lie Groups.  53rd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control.  6401–6407.
  • Kobilarov, M. (2013).  Trajectory Control of a Class of Articulated Aerial Robots.  International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
  • Kobilarov, M. (2013).  Trajectory tracking of a class of underactuated systems with external disturbances.  American Control Conference.  1044–1049.
  • Frewen, T. A., Sane, H., Kobilarov, M., Bajekal, S., Chevva, K. R. (2011).  Adaptive Path Planning in a Dynamic Environment using a Receding Horizon Probabilistic Roadmap: Experimental Demonstration.  AHS Specialists’ Meeting on Unmanned Rotorcraft.
  • Nair, S., Kobilarov, M. (2011).  Collision Avoidance Norms In Trajectory Planning.  American Control Conference.
  • Kobilarov, M. (2011).  Cross-Entropy Randomized Motion Planning.  Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems.
  • Marin Kobilarov, Mathieu Desbrun, Jerrold Marsden,., Sukhatme, G. (2007).  A Discrete Geometric Optimal Control Framework for Systems with Symmetries.  Robotics: Science and Systems.
  • Kobilarov, M., Sukhatme, G. S. (2007).  Optimal Control Using Nonholonomic Integrators.  IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
  • Kobilarov, M., Hyams, J., Batavia, P., Sukhatme, G. S. (2006).  People tracking and following with mobile robot using an omnidirectional camera and a laser.  IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
  • Kobilarov, M., Sukhatme, G. S. (2005).  Near time-optimal constrained trajectory planning on outdoor terrain.  IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
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