32 Vassar Street 32-220
Cambridge MA 02139

Michael Benjamin

I am a Principal Research Scientist in the Center for Ocean Engineering, a part of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. I am also a member of the Laboratory for Autonomous Marine Sensing Systems and the Marine Robotics Group in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Until December 2010, I was with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport Rhode Island. In October 2014, my students and I competed and won the 2014 International Maritime RobotX Challenge.

My work is focussed on algorithms and software for autonomous marine vehicles, some of which are shown to the left. In 2007 I founded moos-ivp.org at MIT, hosting the MOOS-IvP open source project in marine autonomy software. A key part of this project is the use of a behavior based architecture for autonomous decision-making using multi-objective optimization with interval programming for reconciling competing behaviors. This work is driven by the belief that multi-objective optimization is a fundamental component of robust decision-making. Formulating a decision-making problem into distinct specialized components also promotes the development of an autonomous system with contributions from varied developers and organizations. It also allows for a system comprised of public open source general-purpose code alongside non-public specialized code.