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Andres Castano


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 125-209
Pasadena, CA 91109





Andres Castano, PhD

Member of Technical Staff


Dr. Andres Castano is a Senior Member of Technical Staff of the Machine Vision Group at NASA/JPL. His work at JPL has focused on detection and recognition. He developed the dust devil and cloud detection algorithms of the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) - these are the first algorithms that have ever been used to automate science acquisition on a planetary rover (previous automation algorithms have addressed solely engineering processes, particularly mobility). He has also participated in various target detection projects for science acquisition and surveillance for both Nasa and military sponsors. Before joining JPL, he worked at the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California (USC/ISI) where he was the lead roboticist for the CONRO project on reconfigurable robots.


Ph.D. 98, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Thesis: Range from Focus using a Non-linear Imaging Panoramic Camera, Advisor: Prof. Narendra Ahuja

M.S. 92, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Thesis: Visual Servo Control of a Robotic Manipulator, Advisor: Prof. Seth Hutchinson

M.S. 90, B.S. 87, Electrical Engineering, Universidad de los Andes, Advisor: Prof. Alain Gauthier

Research Interests

Machine Vision:

  • Automatic Target Detection and Recognition
  • Perception for autonomous navigation
  • Camera Calibration
  • Stereo
  • Panoramic Imaging


  • Reconfigurable robots
  • Tele-operation


  • graph theory
  • numerical analysis


  1. A. Kiely, A. Ansar, A. Castano, M. Klimesh, J. Maki, "Lossy Image Compression and Stereo Ranging Quality from Mars Rovers," Interplanetary Network (IPN) Progress Report, vol. 42-168, 1-27, 01 January 2007.
  1. A. Castano, A. Fukunaga, J. Biesiadecki, L. Neakrase, P. Whelley, R. Greeley, M. Lemmon, R. Castano and S. Chien, "Autonomous detection of Dust devils and clouds on Mars," IEEE International Conf. Image Processing, 01 October 2006.
  2. R. Castano, T. Estlin, D. Gaines, A. Castano, B. BOrnstein, C. Chouinard and M. Judd, "Opportunistic Rover Science with the OASIS System," EOS Trans. AGU, 87(36), Abstract IN43E-06, 01 January 2006.
  3. R. Castano, T. Estlin, D. Gaines, A. Castano, B. Bornstein, C. Chouinard, R.C. Anderson and M. Judd, "Automated target selection for Opportunistic rover science," Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVIII, Abstarct 2434, 01 January 2006.
  4. R. Castano, T. Estlin, D. Gaines, A. Castano, C. Chouinard, B. Bornstein, R.C. Anderson, S. Chien, A. Fukunaga and M. Judd, "Opportunistic Rover Science: Finding and reacting to rocks, clouds and dust devils," Proc. IEEE Aerospace Conf, Big Sky, Montana, 01 January 2006.
  5. M. Golombeck, L. Crumpler, J. Grant, R. Greeley, N. Cabrol, T. Parker, J. Rice, J. Ward, R. Arvidson, J. Moersch, R. Fergason, P. Christensen, A. Castano, R. Castano, A. Haldemann, R. Li, J. F. Bell and S. Squyres, "Geology of the Gusev cratered plains from the Spirit rover Traverse," Journal of Geophysical Research, 01 January 2006.
  1. R. Castano, R.C. Anderson, T. Estlin, D. Gaines, A. Castano, B. Bornstein, T. Stough, C. Chouinard and M. Judd, "Rover Science on the Run: Autonomously Detecting and Reacting to Interesting Geologic Features," EOS Trans. AGU, 86(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract P21A-0136, 01 January 2005.
  2. R. Castano, T. Estlin, M. Judd, D. Gaines, A. Castano, B. Bornstein, T. Stough, K. Wagstaff, R. C. Anderson, "Opportunistic Science with a Rover Traverse Science Data Analysis System," 8th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, Munchen - Germany, 01 January 2005.
  1. A. Ansar, A. Castano and L. Matthies, "Enhanced real-time stereo using bilateral filtering," IEEE Proc. 2nd Int'l Symp 3D Data Processing, Visualization and Transmission, Thessaloniki, Greece, 01 September 2004.
  2. A. Castano, R. C. Anderson, R. Castano, T. Estlin, and M. Judd, "Intensity Based Rock Detection for Acquiring Onboard Rover Science," Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston, TX, abstract #2015, 01 March 2004.
  1. L. Matthies, C. Bergh, A. Castano, J. Macedo and R. Manduchi, "Obstacle Detection in Foliage with Ladar and Radar," 11th International Symposium on Robotics Research (SRR), Siena, Italy, 01 October 2003.
  2. A. Castano and L. Matthies, "Foliage discrimination using a rotating ladar," Proc. IEEE Int'l Conf. on Robotics and Automation, Taipei, Taiwan, pp. 1-6, 01 September 2003.
  3. K. Nickels, A. Castano and C. Cianci, "Fusion of Lidar and Stereo Range for Mobile Robots," Proceedings of 11th Intl. Conf. on Advanced Robotics (ICAR), Coimbra, Portugal, 01 June 2003.
  1. A. Castano, A. Behar and P. Will, "The CONRO Modules for Reconfigurable Robots," IEEE Trans. on Mechatronics, (7)4, pp. 403-409, 01 December 2002.
  2. V. Kerzhanovich et al., "Breakthrough in Mars Balloon Technology," Proceedings of 34th Committee on Space Researc (COSPAR), Houston, Tx, 01 October 2002.
  3. A. Talukder, R. Manduchi, R. Castano, K. Owens, L. Matthies, A. Castano and R. Hogg, "Autonomous Terrain Characterization and Modeling for Dynamic Control of Unmanned Vehicles," IEEE/RSJ Int'l Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Lausanne, Switzerland, 01 September 2002.
  4. A. Castano and P. Will, ""A Polymorphic Robot Team" in "Robot Teams: From Diversity to Polymorphism", Edited by T. Balch and L. Parker, A. K. Peters," 01 January 2002.
  1. A. Castano and P. Will, "Representing and Discovering the Configuration of Conro Robots," Proc. of the IEEE Int'l Conf. on Robotics and Automation, Seoul, 01 May 2001.
  1. A. Castano and P. Will, "Mechanical Design of a Module for Reconfigurable Robots'," Proc. IEEE/RSJ Intl. Conf. Intel. Robots Systems, Takamatsu, pp. 2203-2209, 01 November 2000.
  2. A. Castano, R. Chokkalingam and P. Will, "Autonomous and Self-Sufficient CONRO Modules for Reconfigurable Robots," Intl. Symp. Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems, Knoxville, pp. 155-164, 01 October 2000.
  3. A. Castano, W-M. Shen and P. Will, "CONRO: Towards Deployable Robots With Inter-Robot Metamorphic Capabilities'," Journal of Autonomous Robots, (8)3, pp. 309-324, 01 July 2000.
  1. P. Will, A. Castano and W-M. Shen, "Robot Modularity for Self-Reconfiguration," Proc. SPIE Sensor Fusion and Decentralized Control II, Boston, pp. 236-245, 01 September 1999.
  1. A. Castano and N. Ahuja, "Omnifocused 3D Display Using the Nonfrontal Imaging Camera," Proc. IEEE Comp. Vision for Virtual Reality Based Human Comms. Workshop, Bombay, pp. 28-34, 01 January 1998.
  1. B. Bishop, A. Castano, S. Hutchinson, R. Sharma, P. Shirkey, M. Spong and N. Srinivasa, "Some Experiments in Vision-Based Robotics at the University of Illinois," Proc. IEEE Vision for Robotics Workshop, 01 January 1995.
  1. A. Castano and S. Hutchinson, "Visual Compliance: Task-Directed Visual Sero Control," IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, 10(3), pp. 334-342, 01 June 1994.
  1. A. Castano and S. Hutchinson, "Hybrid Vision/Position Servo Control of a Robotic Manipulator," Proc. of the IEEE Int'l Conf. on Robotics and Automation, pp. 1264-1269, 01 January 1992.
  1. A. Fox, A. Castano and S. Hutchinson, "Planning and Executing visually constrained robot motions," Proc. SPIE Symposium on Advances in Intelligent Robotic Systems, 01 January 1991.