Robotics and Autonomous Systems Center






Get Involved


RASC is an interdisciplinary organized research unit (ORU) in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering that focuses on the science and technology of robotic systems, with broad and far-reaching applications. RASC projects span the major areas of robotics, including service, socially assistive, distributed, networked, marine, aerial, humanoid, nano, reconfigurable, and space, and impact a broad spectrum of applications, including assistance, training and rehabilitation, education, environmental monitoring and cleanup, emergency response, homeland security, and entertainment.


The Center was established in the fall of 2002 and continues to grow. It serves as a lynch pin for strategic research areas at USC and facilitates interdisciplinary interactions and collaborations through its robotics faculty and its large and diverse team of affiliates within USC and outside. RASC members are also active in STEM education and outreach to K-12 schools.


RASC aims to:

  •           Integrate and promote excellence in USC's broad robotics research
  •           Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration
  •           Improve robotics education and integrate robotics into education
  •           Get robotics out of the lab and into society.

The research of RASC members is supported by federal, corporate and private sponsors. Federal funders include the National Science Foundation (NSF), Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), Office of Naval Research (ONR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Army Research Laboratory, and NASA, among others.


RASC is actively seeking sponsors and collaborators and encourages interested parties to contact the leadership team.

The broad mission and interdisciplinary nature of RASC provides significant opportunities for partnerships with national labs, industry, foundations, museums, and other institutions. Each partnership is unique and created based on the particular synergy. Current partners include:


The Jet Propulsion Lab

The Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP)

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)

Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS)

Intel Corp.

iRobot Corp.

California Science Center

Bosch Research


If you are interested in a possible partnership with RASC, please contact the Center Director.

RASC welcomes participation. Here is how to get involved with our research:


If you are a faculty member at USC and are interested in becoming a member of RASC, would like to conduct a collaborative project, or want to learn more about the Center, please email the RASC Director or the faculty member(s) of interest.


If you are a student at USC, at any level (undergrad, MS, PhD), and are interested in getting involved with RASC, please contact the relevant faculty member or principal investigator. USC has a great deal of robotics research, which is largely, but not exclusively, in the Computer Science Department, and we don't have a centralized system for getting involved. If you are an undergraduate or Masters student specifically interested in working in the Interaction Lab, please follow the instructions found here.


If you are a faculty member or a graduating student outside USC, please note that RASC does not hire or appoint faculty. All faculty members of RASC are faculty in proper standing in one of the departments at USC. To be involved as a faculty member, you need to be part of USC. However, to collaborate with members of RASC, please reach out to the relevant faculty member directly.


If you are a student outside of USC and would like to get involved, please note that RASC does not (yet) have for-pay internships or educational programs (but we are working on that and when we do, we will advertise). The USC Viterbi School of Engineering, however, has competitive summer research programs for non-USC undergraduates: SURE and Viterbi India. Some Viterbi School departments may have NSF REU programs, and some RASC members also take students from the CRA-W DREU program. To be involved as a student or post-doc RASC member from outside USC or if you are able to bring your own funding for a visit/internship at USC, please email the faculty member you are interested in working with.


If you are interested in becoming an industrial affiliate of RASC, please contact the RASC Director.

Please send general questions and media requests to


For specific research inquiries or if you are interested in collaborating with one of the labs, please contact the relevant faculty member.


Other information and correspondence regarding RASC can be sent to:

University of Southern California

3710 South McClintock Avenue, Ronald Tutor Hall (RTH) 407

Los Angeles, CA 90089-2900




© RASC 2015