Rogerio Bonatti

Ph.D. Student, CMU
rbonatti [at]

Email / CV / LinkedIn / Publications

I am a PhD student at The Robotics Institute - School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.

The focus on my research is on combining motion planning techniques together with learning methods for robust robot intelligence in real-life settings. I am passionate about developing intelligent and useful behaviors in the fields of robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and computer vision.

Before grad school I studied Mechatronics Engineering at University of São Paulo, Brazil, and I also spent one year at Cornell University.


  • R. Bonatti, R. Madaan, V. Vineet, A. Kapoor, "Learning Controls Using Cross-Modal Representations: Bridging Simulation and Reality for Drone Racing". In submission, 2019 [PDF] [Video]
  • Journals
  • R. Bonatti, W. Wang, C. Ho, A. Ahuja, M. Gschwindt, E. Camci, E. Kayacan, S. Choudhury, S. Scherer, "Autonomous Aerial Cinematography Among Unstructured Environments With Learned Artistic Decision-Making". Journal of Field Robotics, 2019 [Link] [PDF] [Video]
  • Peer-reviewed conferences
  • R. Bonatti, H. Cherie, W. Wenshan, S. Choudhury, S. Scherer, "Towards a Robust Aerial Cinematography Platform: Localizing and Tracking Moving Targets in Unstructured Environments". International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2019 [PDF] [Video]
  • • M. Gschwindt, E. Camci, R. Bonatti, W. Wenshan, S. Scherer, "Can a Robot Become a Movie Director? Learning Artistic Principles for Aerial Cinematography". International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2019 [PDF] [Video]
  • • W. Wang, A. Ahuja, Y. Zhang, R. Bonatti, S. Scherer, "Improved Generalization of Heading Direction Estimation for Aerial Filming Using Semi-supervised Regression". International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2019 [PDF] [Video]
  • R. Bonatti, Y.Zhang, S. Choudhury, W. Wang, S. Scherer, "Autonomous drone cinematographer: Using artistic principles to create smooth, safe, occlusion-free trajectories for aerial filming". International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER), 2018 [PDF] [Video 1] [Video 2] [Video 3]
  • • Y.Zhang, W. Wang, R. Bonatti, D. Maturana, S. Scherer, "Integrating kinematics and environment context into deep inverse reinforcement learning for predicting off-road vehicle trajectories". Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL), 2018 [PDF] [Video]
  • • M. Yakhnis, R. Bonatti, R. Gryszko, and C. Obiejesi, "Influence of Building Geometry on Wind Power Potential", in 2014 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Student Conference AIAA, 2014 [PDF]
  • R. Bonatti, A.F. Cruz, and H.T. Moriya, "Design and Characterization of a Volume-Cycled Small Animal Mechanical Ventilator Coupled with a Respiratory System Model", in VI Latin American Congress on Biomedical Engineering CLAIB, 2014 [PDF]
  • Workshops
  • [Best paper finalist]R. Bonatti, W. Wang, C. Ho, A. Ahuja, M. Gschwindt, E. Camci, E. Kayacan, S. Choudhury, S. Scherer, "Autonomous Aerial Cinematography Among Unstructured Environments With Learned Artistic Decision-Making". Journal of Field Robotics, 2019 [PDF]
  • • Y.Zhang*, W. Wang*, R. Bonatti*, D. Maturana, S. Scherer, "Autonomous Cinematography using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles". IROS Vision-based Drones Workshop, 2018. *Equal contribution [PDF]
  • • R. Madaan, R. Bonatti, D.M Saxena and S. Scherer, "Deep Flight: Autonomous Quadrotor Navigation with Deep Reinforcement Learning", Workshop on Learning perception and control for autonomous flight: safety, memory, and efficiency, Robotics Science and Systems RSS, 2017 [PDF] [Longer PDF] [Video]
  • R. Bonatti, A.G. de Paula, V.S. Lamarca and F.G. Cozman, "Effect of Part-of-Speech and Lemmatization Filtering in Email Classification for Automatic Reply", Workshop on Knowledge Extraction from Text, AAAI, 2016 [PDF]
  • R. Bonatti, and H.T. Moriya, "Small animal mechanical ventilator with control software", in XX International Scientific Initiation Symposium of the University of São Paulo (SIICUSP), 2012 (in Portuguese) [PDF]
  • Thesis
  • R. Bonatti, A.G. de Paula, "Development of Email Classifier in Brazilian Portuguese Using Feature Selection for Automatic Response", Senior Thesis at University of São Paulo, Dept. of Mechatronic Engineering, 2015 [PDF]


2016 - 2021 (expected)

Ph.D., Robotics

Carnegie Mellon University, Robotics Institute

Pittsburgh, PA
Research Advisor: Prof. Sebastian Scherer

2011 - 2016

B.S., Mechatronics Engineering - Robotics

University of São Paulo, Polytechnic School

São Paulo, Brazil
GPA: 8.7/10, non-curved, top 3/800
Senior Thesis: Development of email classifier in Brazilian Portuguese for automatic response
Research Advisor: Prof. Fabio Cozman

Jan 2013 - Dec 2013

Study abroad, Mechanical Engineering

Cornell University, College of Engineering

Ithaca, NY
GPA: 4.08 / 4.30
One-year study program. Full scholarship by Brazil's Ministry of Education
Research Advisor: Prof. Ephrahim Garcia

Awards and honors

• 2019: James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellowship
• 2017-2019: Travel awards: RSS’17, ISER’18, IROS’19, CMU Provost
• 2017: CMU School of Computer Science Technology and Entertainment Proposal for Autonomous Drone Cinematographer ($60,000)
• 2014-2016: Fundacão Estudar Merit Scholarship for outstanding trajectory and academic potential, 28 recipients out of 31,000+ applicants (~$10,000)
• 2012-2014: The State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) scholarship for undergraduate research (~$3,000)
• 2013: Dean's List, Cornell University
• 2013: Full scholarship from Brazil's Ministry of Education for one-year study program at Cornell University, College of Engineering (~$75,000)
• 2011: Entered the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo in 3rd/10,600 applicants
• 2011: "PACE Course Competition Engineering Design Graphics", 2nd place, sponsored by GM, Autodesk, HP, Oracle, Siemens
• 2010: High school valedictorian - Colegio Visconde de Porto Seguro, São Paulo, Brazil
• 2010: Gold Medal, Brazilian Physics Olympiad, OBF (top 20 from over 50,000 competitors)

Work Experience

May 2019 - Aug 2019, Redmond, WA

Microsoft Research

Research Intern

• Working with Ashish Kapoor

Aug 2015 - May 2016, São Paulo, Brazil

McKinsey & Co.

Business Analyst Intern

Jul 2014 - Aug 2014, São Paulo, Brazil

Itaú BBA

Winter Intern, Cost Optimization and Estimation Team

• Itaú BBA is Latin America's largest corporate investment bank, in a holding with $85B market cap
• Studied different cost analysis techniques and their application to the bank's products in a $2B segment
• Developed 2 new reports used in the comparison between Corporate Investment Banking and Middle Segment clients

May 2013 - Aug 2013, Thousand Oaks, CA

Amgen Inc.

Summer Intern, Global Strategic Sourcing, Finance and Strategy Team

• Amgen is the largest biotech company in the world with $18.7B in sales in 2013
• Optimized marketing contracts with traditional advertising agencies
• Developed and applied statistical analysis to a marketing bench-marking database leading to an estimated 4x increase in savings ($8M) and 60% decrease (4 months) in the time required to perform data analysis


Office NSH 2102
Carnegie Mellon University
Robotics Institute
5000 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
rbonatti [at]