Skip Navigation


Angel Santamaria-Navarro


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-115

Pasadena, CA 91101


Click here

dr. Angel Santamaria-Navarro

Member of Technical Staff


I was born in Moià (Barcelona) on October 11th, 1982. I received the B.Sc. degrees in T.Telecommunications engineering and Industrial Management; and the M.Sc. degree in Automatic Control and Robotics, from “Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya” (UPC), Barcelona, in 2004 and 2012 respectively. Between these dates, I worked in the private sector as R&D Engineer.

I did my PhD (2012-2017) and a Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017-2019) at Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial where I participated on several European projects, such as FP7-Project ARCAS (Aerial Robotics Cooperative Assembly Systems); H2020-Projects AEROARMS (AErial RObotics system integrating multiple ARMS and advanced manipulation capabilities for inspection and maintenance) or GAUSS (Galileo-EGNOSS as an Asset for UTM Safety and Security). Moreover, I worked as teacher of the Automatic Control and Robotics Master degree at “Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya” (UPC).

I worked as a postdoc with Ali Agha (February to September 2019) and I am currently working as Robotics Research Technologist (permanent position) at NASA-JPL, Caltech Institute of Technology, Section 347T Robotic Aerial Mobility, under the supervision of Olivier Toupet. Furthermore, I am participating in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge as state estimation lead in the CoStar team.

My general research interests are in the areas of computer vision and mobile robotics, and my current research is focused on perception and control of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).


BSc degrees in T.Telecommunications and Industrial Management. "Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya", Barcelona, in 2004.
MSc and PhD in Automatic Control, Robotics and Computer Vision. "Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya", Barcelona, in 2012 and 2017 respectively.
Postdoc at Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial (IRI), CSIC-UPC, Apr. 2017 to Jan 2019.
Postdoc at NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CalTech, Feb. to Sep. 2019.

Professional Experience

Informatics and Network Administrator, Manresa City Council, 2002-2004.
Product Engineer, R&D Tech. Office, AUTEC s.l., 2004-2005.
Telecom. and Electronic Systems Engineer, R&D Tech. Office, DUOTEC s.l., 2005-2006.
Systems Administrator and Informatics, Catalunya Caixa, 2007-2010.
Lecturer of several subjects, UPC, Barcelona 2014-2018

Research Interests

Intersection between control and perception of mobile robots and my current research interests include state estimation, computer vision and controls, with special focus on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).


  1. Ali-akbar Agha-mohammadi, et al., "NeBula: Quest for Robotic Autonomy in Challenging Environments; TEAM CoSTAR at the DARPA Subterranean Challenge," Journal of Field Robotics, 21 March 2021.