Midhun Sreekumar Menon is a SSERVI-funded NASA post-doctoral associate working on development of a lunar environment simulator called URSSA: Unity-ROS Simulator for Space Applications. Midhun received his PhD from the Indian Institute of Science in Robotics. His research interests include Analytical Dynamics, Path Planning, Obstacle Avoidance, Decision Theory and Bayesian Estimation.
URSSA is a virtual test-bed for research on algorithms for autonomous/ semi-autonomous remote exploration and surface telerobotics. URSSA creates a realistic environment of the moon, with known photometric, topographic and terra-mechanical models available in literature. Robotic agents running the algorithms can interact with terrain and sense using multiple modalities - inertial sensors (IMU), visual sensors (camera) and LIDAR. The architecture is modular, scalable and fast, achieving very good frame rates compared to existing simulators.