The Existential Robotics Laboratory (ERL) is part of the Contextual Robotics Institute (CRI) at University of California, San Diego (UCSD).


Our goal is to move away from the task-oriented view of robotics in which one specific robot performs one specific task in one specific environment for a short duration and create robots that have skills, experience, and generalization ability to exist in the real, unstructured, and dynamically changing world. An existential robot needs rich understanding of its surroundings, curiosity to acquire new information or reduce uncertainty, and ability to co-exist, learn from, and teach other robots. Our work, hence, focuses on the following fundamental scientific challenges:

Enabling these capabilities will have tremendous impact on the safety, resilience, efficiency and versatility of autonomous robot systems and their utility in transportation, disaster response, environmental monitoring, agriculture, mining, construction, and security.


Research Support

We gratefully acknowledge support from