Zhuoyuan Song's Group

We are the Robot Autonomy and Navigation Laboratory (RAN Lab), a dynamic robotics research group at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Our goal is to advance the long-term autonomy of mobile robots under harsh conditions, including the lack of external positioning systems, presence of strong background dynamics, limited sensing, actuation, and communication capabilities, etc.

Our objectives are to (1) enhance the situational awareness of the robots and their environments and (2) enable intelligent decision making that leads to long-term performance improvement.

To this end, we develop novel algorithms, design new mobile robot platforms, and promote open-access research and education on the following topics (see Research for more details):

  • Autonomous navigation in unstructured, uncertain, dynamic environments;
  • Control, modeling, and state estimation of multi-robot systems;
  • Data-driven dynamics modeling using adaptive sampling with mobile sensors;
  • Mobile robots (marine & aerial) prototyping and testing.

We are located at the Mānoa compus of the University of Hawaiʻi, 10-min drive from the Waikiki beach, 15-min drive from the UH Marine Center, 25-min drive from the Makai Research Pier, and 30-min drive from the Kaneʻohe Bay, home to the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology.

We welcome visitors and exchange students and scholars!

We are grateful to our sponsors for supporting our research:


February 2, 2022

A new paper was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A - Finite-horizon, energy-efficient trajectories in unsteady flows.

January 10, 2022

Josh Renzo Claudio joined RAN to work on RAUVs. Welcome, Josh!

December 22, 2021

Our collaborative project with Interstel Technologies Inc. on iCOSMOS-Swarm was selected for Phase-II by NASA.

December 3, 2021

Gregory defended his MS thesis "Modeling of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems using Koopman Operator Theory"!

October 23, 2021

Congratuations, Lillian and Chris, for their great work with the UH AI Tech Team in the inaugural Indy Autonomous Challenge! [UH News]

October 22, 2021

Maddy defended her MS thesis "A Novel Approach to Resident AUV Docking"!

September 17, 2021

One paper was accepted at the 2022 AIAA SciTech Forum. Congrats Gregory and Sachin!

August 20, 2021

We received a new NSF award to study human-robot sensory transfer for controlling underwater robot with AR/VR systems. [Award details]

... see all News