Rogerio Bonatti

Ph.D. Student, CMU
rbonatti [at]

CV / LinkedIn / Publications


I am a PhD student at The Robotics Institute, at the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University. I am advised by Prof. Sebastian Scherer.

My research focus is at the intersection of machine learning theory with motion planning, where I create methods for robust robot intelligence in real-world settings. My work has been deployed for multiple applications, ranging from autonomous cinematography with aerial vehicles all the way to drone racing.

I completed two amazing summer internships during my PhD. In 2020 I was at Facebook AI Research collaborating with Mustafa Mukadam and Jessica Hodgins, and in 2019 I worked at Microsoft Research together with Ashish Kapoor and Vibhav Vineet. Before grad school I studied Mechatronics Engineering at University of São Paulo, Brazil, and I also spent one year at Cornell University.

Selected News

March 2021 Two papers accepted at ICRA 2021
Sept 2020 Our paper on cross-modal representations for drone racing is a finalist for the Best Student Paper Award at IROS 2020 (3 out of 2996 submissions)
Sept 2020 Honored to become a Siebel Scholar, class of 2021!
June 2020 Honored to receive the Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant to help support my PhD thesis!
May 2020 Excited to start a summer internship at Facebook AI Research
March 2020 Microsoft Research released an article about our work on imitation learning for drone racing
Dec 2019 Our journal paper on Aerial Cinematography was accepted at the Journal of Field Robotics. Also featured in Gizmodo, Nvidia Developer Blog, and CMU
Nov 2019 Excited to give an invited talk at DJI in Shenzhen, China
Nov 2019 Our paper on learned aerial filming is one of the three best paper finalists at the IROS Vision-Based Drones Workshop
Sept 2019 Recipient of the Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellowship, and selected to join the Fall'19 NSF ICorps program.
Aug 2019 Excited to give invited research talks at University of Washington, Apple, and Microsoft in Seattle
June 2019 Two papers accepted at IROS, and one presented at ICRA
May 2019 Spent a lovely summer at Microsoft Research working on imitation learning and sim-to-real policy transfer with Ashish Kapoor, Vibhav Vineet, and Ratnesh Madaan
Aug 2018 Two papers accepted at ISER and CoRL



2016 - 2021 (expected)

Ph.D., Robotics

Carnegie Mellon University, Robotics Institute

Pittsburgh, PA
Research Advisor: Prof. Sebastian Scherer
Thesis Committee: Sebastian Scherer, Jessica Hodgins, Oliver Kroemer, Ashish Kapoor, Nathan Ratliff

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

• 2020: Best Student Paper Finalist, IROS 2020
• 2020: Siebel Scholarship, class of 2021 ($35,000)
• 2020: Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant ($25,000)
• 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 2020 - Aug 2020, Pittsburgh, PA

Facebook AI Research

Research Intern

• Working on learning generative emotion models for robot cinematography with Jessica Hodgins and Mustafa Mukadam

May 2019 - Aug 2019, Redmond, WA

Microsoft Research

Research Intern

• Working on imitation learning and sim-to-real transfer of deep control policies with Ashish Kapoor, Vibhav Vineet, and Ratnesh Madaan

Aug 2015 - May 2016, São Paulo, Brazil

McKinsey & Co.

Business Analyst Intern

• Worked as a generatist consultant on Supply Chain, Logistics, Purchasing, and Commercial Policy Transformation across multiple industries

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

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
• 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]