About

I am a 29-year old roboticist, husband, and father. I am currently finishing up a PhD in robotics at MIT, working with Professor Jon How. I grew up building and flying model airplanes and dreaming about robots. I am passionate about the future of every-day robotics and automation.

Education

  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sept 2012 - Jun 2015

Ph.D. -- Robotics and Autonomous Systems
My research focuses on decision making under uncertainty for autonomous systems. In particular, I am interested in robotic agents that learn through environment interaction. The learning efficiency is increased by using available simulations of the robot and the environment.

  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sept 2010 - Sept 2012

M.S. -- Aerospace Engineering
I designed, built, and flew a novel quadrotor with variable-pitch propellers.  The variable-pitch actuators enable aggressive and aerobatic flight previously impossible with multi-rotor helicopters.  I also developed new flight control algorithms and autopilot hardware to control the vehicle.

  Brigham Young University

Sept 2004 - April 2005, Sept 2007 - April 2010

B.S. -- Mechanical Engineering
As an undergraduate at BYU I worked on several projects, including energy harvesting for autonomous sailplanes, flapping flight optimization, and theoretical linear algebra (just enough to realize I like robots more than math theory).

Experience

  SpotterRF

April 2010 - Aug 2010

Mechanical Design Engineer
As the sole mechanical engineer, I developed new heat management techniques for small radar devices resulting in a significant high-temperature performance increase.  I also designed a new carbon-fiber, light-weight case for the radar encasement.

  L-3 Communications

May 2009 - Aug 2009

Mechanical Design Engineer
I designed a demo platform for integration of a new modem into a mobile communication ground station. I also performed thermal, structural, weight, and power analyses to optimize data link and modem case designs.

  Corning

June 2008 - Aug 2008

Advanced Machine Systems Engineer
I researched and tested a method that reduced tool run-out by 55% in contouring mills that manufacture  diesel particulate filters.  I also designed a novel mechanism enabling the cutting of wet ceramic extrusions to be performed by one person instead of two.

  Volunteer

July 2005 - July 2007

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
I lived in the Rostov, Russia area for two years as a missionary. I provided leadership and training for 16 other volunteer representatives, overseeing operations in a geographical area covering over 300 miles. Interacting with Russian people each day, I learned to speak, read, and write Russian fluently.

Projects

Multi-Fidelity Reinforcement Learning

Efficient reinforcement learning algorithms for robots through the principled use of simulated data.

Variable-Pitch Quadrotor

Design, construction, and flight algorithms for a novel quadrotor capable of aggressive flight.

Autopilot Design

Design, construction, and programming of several autopilots for autonomous air and ground vehicles.

Relative Navigation

An autonomous quadrotor that navigates relative to a set of known beacons.

Selected Publications

Real-World Reinforcement Learning via Multifidelity Simulators
Mark Cutler, Thomas J. Walsh, Jonathan P. How
IEEE Transactions on Robotics, June 2015, vol. 31, num. 3, pp. 655-671
Analysis and Control of a Variable-Pitch Quadrotor for Agile Flight
Mark Cutler, Jonathan P. How
ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, October 2015, vol. 137, num. 10, pp. 1-14
Lightweight Infrared Sensing for Relative Navigation of Quadrotors
Mark Cutler, Bernard Michini, Jonathan P. How
International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), May 2013, Atlanta, GA, pp. 1156-1164
Comparison of Fixed and Variable Pitch Actuators for Agile Quadrotors
Mark Cutler, N. Kemal Ure, Bernard Michini, Jonathan P. How
AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, August 2011, Portland, OR, pp. 1-17

Interests

My Kids

Hailey (4), Rachel (2), and Aaron (0). Still trying to figure out how to tap into their energy supplies to try and heat our home.

Robots

Is there anyone who isn't interested in robots?

Electronics

Been trying to automate my life one microcontroller at a time (long before people were talking about the "IoT").

Racquet Sports

Tennis, racquet ball, squash, ping-pong, badminton... If there is a racquet involved, count me in.

Skiing

Growing up in Utah inevitably lead to an obsession with skiing and snowboarding. Unfortunately, due to a severe lack of real snow and/or mountains on the east coast, this one is temporarily on hold.

Ultimate Frisbee

Many (probably most) people don't consider ultimate frisbee a real sport. Having played college level ultimate for 6+ years now, I might agree with them. It's still a great way to get some exercise, though.

Get in Touch

@inproceedings{Michini11_ICRA,
  author = {Michini, Bernard and Redding, Josh and Ure, N. Kemal and Cutler, Mark and How, Jonathan P.},
  title = {Design and Flight Testing of an Autonomous Variable-Pitch Quadrotor},
  booktitle = {IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)},
  year = {2011},
  pages = {2978--2979},
  month = {May},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Michini11_ICRA.pdf}
}
@article{Barrett09_EJLA,
  title = {Minimum rank of edge subdivisions of graphs},
  author = {Barrett, Wayne and Bowcutt, Ryan and Cutler, Mark and Gibelyou, Seth and Owens, Kayla},
  journal = {Electronic Journal of Linear Algebra},
  volume = {18},
  pages = {530--563},
  year = {2009},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Barret09_EJLA.pdf}
}
@inproceedings{Chen15_ICRA,
  address = {Seattle, WA},
  author = {Chen, Yufan and Cutler, Mark and How, Jonathan P.},
  booktitle = {IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)},
  month = {May},
  title = {Decoupled Multiagent Path Planning via Incremental Sequential Convex Programming},
  year = {2015},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Chen15_ICRA.pdf}
}
@inproceedings{Chowdhary12_GNC,
  author = {Chowdhary, Girish and Wu, Tongbin and Cutler, Mark and Ure, N. Kemal and How, Jonathan},
  title = {Experimental Results of Concurrent Learning Adaptive Controller},
  booktitle = {AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference (GNC)},
  year = {2012},
  address = {Minneapolis, MN},
  month = {August},
  pages = {1--14},
  note = {Invited},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Chowdhary12_GNC.pdf}
}
@inproceedings{Chowdhary13_ICRA,
  author = {Chowdhary, Girish and Wu, Tongbin and Cutler, Mark and How, Jonathan P.},
  title = {Rapid Transfer of Controllers Between {UAVs} using Learning Based Adaptive Control},
  booktitle = {IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)},
  year = {2013},
  pages={5409--5416},
  month={May},
  address={Karlsruhe, Germany},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Chowdhary13_ICRA.pdf}
}
@inproceedings{Cutler10_GNC,
  title = {Energy Harvesting and Mission Effectiveness for Small Unmanned Aircraft},
  author = {Cutler, Mark and McLain, Timothy W and Beard, Randal W and Capozzi, Brian},
  booktitle = {AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference (GNC)},
  pages = {1--13},
  address = {Toronto, Canada},
  month = {August},
  year = {2010},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Cutler10_GNC.pdf}
}
@inproceedings{Cutler11_GNC,
  author = {Cutler, Mark and Ure, N. Kemal and Michini, Bernard and How, Jonathan P.},
  title = {Comparison of Fixed and Variable Pitch Actuators for Agile Quadrotors},
  booktitle = {AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference (GNC)},
  year = {2011},
  address = {Portland, OR},
  month = {August},
  pages = {1--17},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Cutler11_GNC.pdf}
}
@inproceedings{Cutler12_GNC,
  author = {Cutler, Mark and How, Jonathan P.},
  title = {Actuator Constrained Trajectory Generation and Control for Variable-Pitch Quadrotors},
  booktitle = {AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference (GNC)},
  year = {2012},
  address = {Minneapolis, Minnesota},
  month = {August},
  pages = {1--15},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Cutler12_GNC.pdf}
}
@mastersthesis{Cutler12_Masters,
  author = {Cutler, Mark},
  title = {Design and Control of an Autonomous Variable-Pitch Quadrotor Helicopter},
  school = {Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics},
  year = {2012},
  month = {August},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Cutler12_Masters.pdf}
}
@inproceedings{Cutler13_ICUAS,
  author = {Cutler, Mark and Michini, Bernard and How, Jonathan P.},
  title = {Lightweight Infrared Sensing for Relative Navigation of Quadrotors},
  booktitle = {International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS)},
  year = {2013},
  pages = {1156--1164},
  address = {Atlanta GA},
  month = {May},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Cutler13_ICUAS.pdf}
}
@inproceedings{Cutler13_NIPS,
  author = {Cutler, Mark and Walsh, Thomas J. and How, Jonathan P.},
  title = {Reinforcement Learning with Multi-Fidelity Simulators (Poster)},
  booktitle = {NIPS Transfer and Multi-Task Learning Workshop},
  month = {December},
  year = {2013}
}
@inproceedings{Cutler14_ICRA,
  author = {Cutler, Mark and Walsh, Thomas J. and How, Jonathan P.},
  title = {Reinforcement Learning with Multi-Fidelity Simulators},
  booktitle = {IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)},
  year = {2014},
  address = {Hong Kong},
  pages = {3888--3895},
  month = {June},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Cutler14_ICRA.pdf}
}
@article{Cutler15_TRO,
  author = {Mark Cutler and Thomas J. Walsh and Jonathan P. How},
  journal = {IEEE Transactions on Robotics},
  title = {Real-World Reinforcement Learning via Multifidelity Simulators},
  year = {2015},
  month = {June}, 
  volume = {31}, 
  number = {3}, 
  pages = {655-671},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Cutler15_TRO.pdf}   
}
@article{Cutler15_DSMC,
  author = {Mark Cutler and Jonathan P. How},
  journal = {ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control},
  title = {Analysis and Control of a Variable-Pitch Quadrotor for Agile Flight},
  year = {2015},
  month = {October}, 
  volume = {137}, 
  number = {10}, 
  pages = {101002--101002-14},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Cutler15_TRO.pdf}
}	
@inproceedings{Cutler15_ICRA,
  address = {Seattle, WA},
  author = {Cutler, Mark and How, Jonathan P.},
  booktitle = {IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)},
  month = {May},
  title = {Efficient Reinforcement Learning for Robots using Informative Simulated Priors},
  year = {2015},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Cutler15_ICRA.pdf}
}
@inproceedings{Michini13_ICRA,
  author = {Michini, Bernard and Cutler, Mark and How, Jonathan P.},
  title = {Scalable Reward Learning from Demonstration},
  booktitle = {IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)},
  year = {2013},
  month = {May},
  address = {Karlsruhe, Germany},
  pages = {303--308},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Michini13_ICRA.pdf}
}
@inproceedings{Thomson09_ASM,
  title = {Experiment-Based Optimization of Flapping Wing Kinematics},
  author = {Thomson, Scott L. and Mattson, Christopher A. and Colton, Mark B. and Harston, Stephen P. and Carlson, Daniel C. and Cutler, Mark},
  year = {2009},
  month = {January},
  booktitle = {AIAA Proceedings of the 47th Aerospace Sciences Meeting},
  pages = {1--8},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Thomson09_ASM.pdf}
}
@inproceedings{Ure13_ICUAS,
  author = {Ure, N. Kemal and Chowdhary, Girish and Chen, Yu Fan and Cutler, Mark and How, Jonathan P. and Vian, John},
  title = {Decentralized Learning based Planning Multiagent Missions in Presence of Actuator Failures},
  booktitle = {International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS)},
  year = {2013},
  address = {Atlanta GA},
  month = {May},
  pages={1125--1134},
  url = {http://markjcutler.com/papers/Ure13_ICUAS.pdf}
}