Vladimir Ivan, Phd

Robotics Research, Lab Management and Consulting


Motion Representation

I am interested in planning of coordinated robot motion with focus on using tools from topology, numerical optimisation and optimal control and modelling the kinematics and dynamics of the robot as well as it’s interaction with the environment. I study the underlying principles behind what make the motion work through better understanding the structure of the space and manifolds the motion is embedded in, and the interplay between different constraints the task imposes.

Space Robotics

Space is the perfect application area for robotics with huge potential to reduce costs, increase human safety, and enable commercial and scientific discovery as well as exploration beyond our planet. I’m particularly interested in highly articulated and dexterous robots for on-orbit assembly, planetary construction, debris removal, and maintenance and warehousing tasks in space and planetary stations. I’m interested in addressing the safety, verification, and computational complexity constraints in high radiation environments for space robotics applications.

Humanoid robotics

Planing and controlling motion of humanoid robots presents unique challenges due to their kinematic complexity, discontinuous dynamics with contacts and a floating base, high demands on fast computation, low latency of state estimation, and understanding of the environment. I have had a chance to work with the Boston Dynamics Atlas, NASA Vakyrie and PAL Talos robots. I’m passionate about these projects because focusing on pushing the boundaries of these complex robotic platforms often results in bleeding edge technology with applications and profound impact on problems that the industry faces.

Shared autonomy

The ever increasing adoption of AI creates a demand for robots with cognitive and reasoning capabilities, decision making and high levels of autonomy. At the same time human cognition, reasoning, ethical values and accountability are irreplaceable for responsibly integrating robots in the society. I’m interested in studying how, through shared autonomy, we can exploit and complement humans with robots and how to split the control authority over the shared task. I’m particularly interested in collaborative assembly, remote inspection, teleoperation and telepresence, and assistive robotics.

Consulting and Industry Engagement

My expertise is in development and integration of bespoke robotics solutions with focus on automation and logistics in warehousing and manufacturing.

Warehouse Automation, Logistics, System Integration, Industry 4.0

My passion is translation of research into industry across multiple TRLs with specific interest in robust autonomy through AI, safety and verification, mobility, manipulation and inspection with particular focus on applications with positive societal and ethical impact.

Inspection, Robust Autonomy, AI, Manipulation, Mobility, Safety, Verification, Human-Robot Interaction



In the past I managed the robot demonstrations during TEDxGlasgow invited talk by Sethu Vijayakumar and presented mobile manipulation and exoskeleton robots at the accompanying showcase event with over 2000 attendees.

Science Festival

I have prepared and managed several stalls at the Edinburgh International Science Festival at the National Museum of Scotland reaching out thousands of visitors. The humanoid robot showcase has been especially popular with the younger audience, hopefully inspiring the next generation of roboticists.


I have delivered numerous talks demonstrations to lab visitors ranging from school pupils, scientists, funding body representatives, industry partners, journalists, MPs, government officials to members of the royal family. I’m also actively seeking opportunities give talks on physics of dancing and other topics inspiring novel perspectives on science.


Robotics Lab Manager

Senior Researcher