Pieter Abbeel joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in Fall 2008, with an appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. His research focuses on robotics, machine learning and control.
Professor Abbeel has won various awards, including the Sloan Research Fellowship, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program (AFOSR-YIP) award, the Okawa Research Grant, the 2011 TR35, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) Early Career Award, and the Dick Volz Best U.S. Ph.D. Thesis in Robotics and Automation Award. He has developed apprenticeship learning algorithms which have enabled advanced helicopter aerobatics, including maneuvers such as tic-tocs, chaos and auto-rotation, which only exceptional human pilots can perform. His group has also enabled a robot to reliably pick up randomly shaped, crumpled pieces of laundry and fold them. His work has been featured in many popular press outlets, including BBC, The New York Times, MIT Technology Review, Discovery Channel, SmartPlanet and Wired.