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Michael Swan


4800 Oak Grove Drive

Pasadena, CA 91109


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Member of:

347F - Robotic Mobility

Michael Swan

Robotics Systems Engineer


Michael is a Robotics Systems Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in the Robotic Surface Mobility Group (347F). He received his B.S. in Computer Engineering from Walla Walla University and his M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California (USC). He has 3+ years of professional software engineering experience from working with Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). He has reverse engineered and architected large projects, developed terrain recognition AI while interning at JPL, and worked at the USC Interaction Lab on a human-robot interaction framework called HARMONI.


  • M.S. Computer Science, University of Southern California (2021)
  • B.S. Computer Engineering, Walla Walla University (2015)

Professional Experience

  • Robotics Systems Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (July 2021 - Present)
  • Research Intern, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Feb. 2020 - July 2021)
  • Student Researcher, Interaction Lab, University of Southern California (Oct. 2019 - July 2021)
  • Computer Engineer, Naval Air Systems Command (Feb. 2018 - Aug. 2019)
  • Computer Engineer, DCS Corporation (Sept. 2015 - Feb. 2018)

Research Interests

  • Robotic surface and aerial autonomy
  • Perception
  • Simulation
  • Robotic system architecture


  • [2021] Best Paper Finalist Award: CVPR Workshop - AI for Space [AI4Mars: A Dataset for Terrain-Aware Autonomous Driving on Mars]
  • [2020] Major Space Act Award: JPL Software of the Year [Soil Property and Object Classification (SPOC)]
  • [2018] Performance Award for work on correlation of software defects and requirement volatility: NAVAIR
  • [2017] Mentorship Award: DCS Corporation