Maria Bauza Villalonga

I am PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) working with Prof. Alberto Rodriguez.

I develop algorithms and solutions that enable robots to solve new tasks with high accuracy and dexterity. My research has been supported by LaCaixa and Facebook fellowships.  /  CV  /  Bio  /  Google Scholar  /  LinkedIn    

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My research focuses on developing algorithms for precise robotic generalization: making robots capable of solving many tasks without compromising on their performance and reliability. By learning general probabilistic models of perception and control, we can provide robots with the right tools to thrive in diverse environments and task requirements. In my work, I have studied how learning probabilistic models allow to precisely control robotic systems, and how developing accurate visuo-tactile perception algorithms enables solving complex tasks, such as grasping, localization, and precise placing of novel objects. My goal is to continue developing algorithms that make robots dexterous and versatile at manipulating their environment.


[UPCOMING] March 28th Invited talk at EPFL.

[UPCOMING] March 24th Invited talk at Princeton University.

[UPCOMING] March 17th Invited talk at CMU.

March 3rd Invited talk at University of Pennsylvania.

February 22th Invited talk at Columbia University.

February 15th Invited talk at the Autonomy Talks at ETH Zurich.

February 7th Invited talk at Cornell Tech.

December 2021 Invited talk at Washington University robotics colloquium.

November 2021 Invited talk at Stanford.

November 2021 Invited talk at CMU Manipulation discussion grup.

October 2021 Invited talk at Cornell Robotic Seminar.

October 2021 Selected to attend the Rising Stars in EECS.

Sept 2021 Accepted paper Tailoring at 2021 NeurIPS.

July 2021 Attended the 2021 RSS Pioneers Workshop.

May 2021 Best Paper Finalist Award on Service Robotics at ICRA 2021

March 2021 Invited talk at University of Toronto, AI in Robotics Seminar.

October 2020 Invited talk at University of Pennsylvania, Grasp Seminar.

May 2020 Co-organizing workshop at ICRA 2020 on Uncertainty in Contact-Rich Interactions (canceled due to CoVID19).

October 2019 Selected to attend the Global Young Scientists Summit. Awarded to only 5 PhDs from all MIT departments.

October 2019 Rising Stars in Mechanical Engineering. Awarded to 30 graduate and postdoctoral women.

2018 Awarded the Facebook Emerging Scholar Award. 21 awardees out of more than 900 applications.

2018 Awarded the NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship. Given to 10 PhD students from more than 230 applications.

Tailoring: Encoding Inductive Biases by Optimizing Unsupervised Objectives at Prediction Time
F. Alet, K. Kawaguchi, M. Bauza, N. Kuru, T. Lozano-Perez, L. Kaelbling
NeurIPS, 2021

Real-time shape and pose estimation from planar pushing using implicit surfaces
S. Suresh, M.Bauza, A. Rodriguez, J. Mangelson, M. Kaess
ICRA, 2021   (Best Paper Finalist on the ICRA21 Service Robotics Award)
PDF / video / code / website

In real-time, we infer from planar pushes both the shape and pose of an object.

Tactile Object Pose Estimation from the First Touch with Geometric Contact Rendering
M. Bauza, E. Valls, B. Lim, T. Sechopoulos
CORL, 2020
PDF / video / website

We learn in simulation how to accurate localize objects. Our solution transfers to the real world, localizing objects with tactile from the first touch.

This technology is used by Magna and ABB. Our tactile sensor is Gelslim.

Accurate Vision-based Manipulation through Contact Reasoning
A. Kloss, M. Bauza, J. Wu, J. Tenenbaum, A. Rodriguez, J. Bohg
ICRA, 2020
PDF / video

Tactile Mapping and Localization from High-Resolution Tactile Imprints
M. Bauza, O. Canal, A. Rodriguez
ICRA, 2019
PDF / video / website

Shape reconstruction and object localization using the vision-based tactile sensor GelSlim.

Experience-Embedded Visual Foresight
Y. Lin, M. Bauza, P. Isola
CORL, 2019
PDF / code / website

Leaning to encode new objects to generate physically plausible video predictions.

Tactile Regrasp: Grasp Adjustments via Simulated Tactile Transformations
M. Bauza*, F. Hogan* , O. Canals, A. Rodriguez
IROS, 2018   (Best Poster Award at ICRA 2018 workshop)
PDF / video

Tactile regrasping using a high-resolution tactile sensor to improve grasp stability.

Graph Element Networks: adaptive, structured computation and memory
F. Alet, A. Jeewajee, M. Bauza, A. Rodriguez, T. Lozano-Perez, L. Kaelbling
ICML, 2019   (Oral Presentation)
PDF / video / website

Omnipush: accurate, diverse, real-world dataset of pushing dynamics with RGB-D video
M. Bauza, F. Alet, Y. Lin, T. Lozano-Perez, L. Kaelbling, P. Isola, A. Rodriguez
IROS, 2019
PDF / website

We present a large high-quality on planar pushing that includes RGB-D video and extense object variability.

Learning vs. physics-based control of a planar push system
M. Bauza*, F. Hogan* , A. Rodriguez
CORL, 2018
PDF / video

We explore the data-complexity required for controlling, rather than modeling, planar pushing.

Combining Physical Simulators and Object-Based Networks for Control
A. Ajay, M. Bauza, J. Wu, N. Fazeli, J. Tenenbaum, A. Rodriguez
ICRA, 2019
PDF / website

We propose a hybrid dynamics model, simulator-augmented interaction networks (SAIN), combining a physics engine with an object-based neural network for dynamics modeling.

Augmenting Simulators with Stochastic Networks
A. Ajay, J. Wu, N. Fazeli, M. Bauza, L. Kaelbling, J. Tenenbaum, A. Rodriguez
IROS, 2018   (Best Paper Award on Cognitive Robotics)
PDF / website

We augment an analytical rigid-body simulator with a neural network that learns to model uncertainty as residuals. Best Paper Award on Cognitive Robotics at IROS 2018.

Active Perception of Novel Objects in Clutter with Multi-Affordance Grasping and Cross-Domain Image Matching
A Zeng, S Song, K. Yu, E. Donlon, F. Hogan, M. Bauza, et. al.
ICRA, 2018   (Best Systems Paper Award by Amazon Robotics)
PDF / video / website

With the MIT-Princeton team we developed a robust robotic system for bin picking.

GP-SUM. Gaussian Processes Filtering of non-Gaussian Beliefs
M. Bauza, A. Rodriguez
WAFR, 2018

We developed the algorithm GP-SUM: a GP-Bayes filter that propagates in time non-Gaussian beliefs.

A Probabilistic Data-Driven Model for Planar Pushing
M. Bauza, A. Rodriguez
ICRA, 2017

Characterizing the uncertainty of different pushes allows better action selection.

More than a Million Ways to Be Pushed. A High-Fidelity Experimental Data Set of Planar Pushing
K. Yu, M. Bauza, N. Fazeli, and A. Rodriguez
IROS, 2016   (Best Paper Finalist at IROS)
PDF / video / website

More than a million datapoints collected on real pusing experiments.

Thanks to Jon Barron for sharing his web design.