Hello! My name is Xiatao Sun. I am a graduate student majoring in Robotics in the GRASP (General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception) Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. I received my B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. My research focuses on robotics, artificial intelligence, and game development. Specifically, I am interested in applying machine learning to a variety of robotics problems such as planning and control, improving training efficiency with both traditional and learning-based methods, and utilizing techniques from game development to design visually and physically realistic environments for efficient training and minimization of the Sim2Real gap. I am also interested in incorporating virtual reality into human-robot interaction and exploring the potential of neuromorphic computing methods other than artificial neural networks in robotics.

Currently, I am working on my master's thesis about imitation learning on perception-aware planning for quadrotors under the supervision of Dr. Vijay Kumar. Meanwhile, I am also working on safe autonomous driving using learning-based methods with Dr. Rahul Mangharam.


  • University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA, USA
    • M.S. in Robotics Aug 2021 - May 2023
    • GPA: 3.90/4.0
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Philadelphia, PA, USA
    • B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Aug 2017 - May 2021
    • GPA: 3.93/4.0
    • Honor: Summa Cum Laude, Dean’s Honor List, Member of Tau Beta Pi

Knowledge & Skills

Knowledge Robotics, Machine Learning, Game Development, Web Development
Programming Languages C, C++, C#, Python, SQL, MATLAB, HTML, JavaScript
Robotics Tools ROS, CARLA, AirSim, OpenCV, GTSAM, CVAT, Unity Robotics Hub
Machine Learning Frameworks PyTorch, MXNet, ML-Agents, Tensorflow, Rey, Spark ML
Game and Simulation Engines Unity, Unreal Engine 4, MuJoCo, Gym
CAD Software NX Unigraphics, SpaceClaim, Rhino, SolidWorks
3D Modeling Software Blender, Maya, ZBrush, Marvelous Designer, Substance Painter
Web Development Tools Flask, SQLAlchemy, Vue.js, jQuery
Language Mandarin, English
Other Technical Skills Docker, LaTeX, LabVIEW, Lathe, Vertical Drill, Welding, FL Studio, Piano

Awards & Activities

  • Winner of the ITS World Congress 2022 Student Essay and Video Competition
  • Student volunteer at 2022 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
  • Co-founder and CTO of Qingdao Tian Yi Data Tech Co., Ltd.
  • Third prize of the Brain Bee 2020 Brain Challenge (China Division College Section)
  • Leader and founder of the Daydreamer Band, registered on Rensselaer Music Association
  • Lead artist of Project Rain of Swords in RPI GameFest 2020
  • Leader of Team Treectory in 2019 RPI Hackathon