Lucas K Watson

A roboticist and maker who enjoys writing software for robots of all shapes, sizes, and dimensionalities.

Who I am.

I'm a roboticist; I enjoy working on robots of all shapes, sizes, and dimensionalities. Generally, I find myself writing software that enables robots to move, but I've also worked in other areas like perception, human-robot interaction, and message serialization/transport.

I currently work as a robotics software engineer in planning and controls at Optimus Ride, an autonomous vehicle startup in Boston.

Previously, I worked at Piaggio Fast Forward where I designed the controls system that dictates how gita follows a human, it's core function. I also worked on developing track filtering techniques, optimizations to CNN inferencing, and physical state estimation.

Earlier this year I completed my MS coursework at Boston University where I specialized in robotics and controls. Shortly before that, I graduated with my BS in mechanical engineering from BU where I focused my coursework in acoustics and robotics.

Interests.

Broadly, I'm excited by the interaction of software and hardware. I like tinkering with everything from IoT devices to 3D printers, but robotics offers an especially tight coupling of software and hardware which I enjoy most.

I also find physical acoustics fascinating, and I continue to conduct research in the Physical Acoustics Lab at BU under Professor Holt.

When possible, I find opportunities to be a mentor, most often at hackathons. I believe hackathons in particular can offer an immensely empowering experience for a student to realize their ability to create. Hackathons did this for me, and I try to pass on that experience wherever I can.

When I do manage to find free time, I produce a podcast, play the clarinet, and enjoy photography, particularly film.

Awards.

Work.

Current.

  • Software Engineer, Planning and Controls — Optimus Ride
  • Research Assistant — Physical Acoustics Lab

Former.

  • Robot Software Intern — Piaggio Fast Forward
  • Research — UROP, College of Engineering
  • Learning Assistant — BU Physics Department
  • Mentor — Technology Innovation Scholars Program (TISP)
  • Mentor — FIRST Robotics (via TISP)
  • IT Technician / Web Developer — MEFA
  • Part Designer — Freelance

Extracurriculars.

Current.

Former.

Skills.

    Programming
  • Python, C++, NodeJS, MATLAB
  • bash, git, CMake, CD/CI tools
  • Linux server administration

  • Platforms and frameworks
  • OpenCV
  • Caffe, TensorFlow
  • Robot Operating System (ROS)
  • Point Cloud Library (PCL)

  • Controls
  • Motion planning
  • Simulink
  • Analytical modeling
  • Linear and nonlinear control theory
  • Numerical simulation of nonlinear systems

  • Mechanical engineering
  • CNC milling and turning
  • Autodesk, Fusion 360 (CAD)
  • GibbsCAM
  • Product design

Websites I've created.