Enabling Dexterity for Purposeful Manipulation

My name is Nikhil Chavan-Dafle. I am a PhD candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a member of Manipulation and Mechanisms Lab.

I am interested in dexterous robotic manipulation and its applications to task-driven purposeful manipulation. I am enabling robots to reason about effectively using gravity, dynamic arm motions, and environment around them for object manipulation, as we humans often do. My research focuses on building efficient representations of dexterity, observation capabilities, and task definitions for robots to "purposefully" interact with the world. As we envision robots working with and for us in our factories, homes, and fields, such versatile and robust manipulation capability is essential.

Here are some snippets of my work from:

PhD thesis defense -


MIT School of Engineering, TechCrunch, DigitalTrends -


RSS 2018 (Won Best Student Paper award) - 

 MIT and TechCrunch homepage -