Carnegie Mellon University Personal Robotics Lab

Herb separates cookie

Robots are extremely effective in environments like factory floors that are structured for them, and currently ineffective in environments like our homes that are structured for humans. The Personal Robotics Lab of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University is developing the fundamental building blocks of perception, navigation, manipulation, and interaction that will enable robots to perform useful tasks in environments structured for humans

The lab was founded by Professor Siddhartha Srinivasa in 2006 with funding from Intel Pittsburgh and the Quality of Life Technologies NSF ERC.

Our Research

Our current research focus is on two main topics, Physics-based Manipulation, and the Mathematics of Human-Robot Interaction. They are heavily intertwined, both born out of the goal of robots performing complex manipulation tasks with and around people.

We are also working on Manipulation Planning and Perception for Manipulation, and have a growing interest in expressive and legible motion.

We are also in the process of publicly publishing several libraries we use internally for planning, perception, and control, and much of our work is open source and available on GitHub.


HERB, the Home Exploring Robot Butler, serves as the realistic testbed for all of our algorithms and as a focal point of our industry and academic collaborations. He is a bimanual mobile manipulator comprised of two Barret WAM arms on a Segway base equipped with a suite of image and range senors.

Lately, Herb's taken on quite the life of his own. You can keep up with his exploits on his homepage

Contact Us


We love to talk about our work, however we receive more requests of this nature than we can handle. Please contact Byron Spice about your request and we'll do our best.


We're always looking for capable, hardworking undergraduates to join the lab. See the undergrads page for information on funding and projects we'd like help with.