Professor Vona is an experimental roboticist who examines how computation interacts with the physical world. His recent work has involved both system-level control of articulated, and sometimes self-reconfiguring, robots and mesoscale issues in compliant actuation and reliable sensing. He has been awarded a 2012 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award in recognition of his work.
Professor Vona received his MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While pursuing his PhD, he spent two years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, where he was involved in creating the science operations software for the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers. Professor Vona earned the 2004 NASA Software of the Year Award for this work.