Stephen McGill

One Kendall Square
Building 100
Suite 1-201
Cambridge, MA 02139

Whittier Pl
Hicks Hall
Room 308
Swarthmore, PA 19081

About Me

I am a Research Scientist with Toyota Research Institute in Cambridge, MA. My work centers on semi-autonomous systems for automobiles in the Guardian Research group with John Leonard and Luke Fletcher.

During the Fall 2017 semester, I am serving as a visiting professor, teaching Swarthmore College's Mobile Robotics course.

I obtained my PhD with my dissertation entitled Scaled Autonomy for Networked Humanoids. I was advised by Prof. Daniel D. Lee in the Electrical and Systems Engineering Department, at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science, and affiliated with the GRASP Laboratory. I completed my B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2010, and my M.S.E. in Robotics in 2011, both at the University of Pennsylvania.

I am interested in the networking and control of high dimensional systems that incorporate human feedback. How can autonomous systems like robots utilize human input for world modeling and motion planning?


Please find the full list of my publications on Google Scholar.


I have served as a reviewer for the following publication venues.


Implementing research is a core part of my work, and I am proud to lead successful teams working on humanoid robots.

Guardian Vehicle Research and Development

In 2017, our team showcased some of our recent work on parallel autonomy at Toyota Research Institute. Video below.

DARPA Robotics Challenge

THOR-RD drives a car THOR-OP grabs a drill THOR-RD closes a valve

I am the software lead of Team THOR, which placed 9th in the DRC Trials, 2013 and scored three points in the DRC Finals, 2015. We collaborated with UCLA's RoMeLa lab, Robotis, and Harris Corporation.

Check out the PBS coverage of the DRC!


Team THORwIn DARwIn-OP kicks a ball. THORwIn kicks a ball.

I am the team leader of Team THORwIn and Team DARwIn, which have achieved first place in their Humanoid League divisions for the years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and fourth place in 2010. We were awarded the Best Humanoid Louis Vuitton Cup is 2015!

We have open sourced our code, available on GitHub through UPenn-RoboCup

I am a Program Committee member of the 10th Workshop on Humanoid Soccer Robots

I am a Technical Committee member of the RoboCup Humanoid League

I am a Program Manager of the RoboCup Symposium 2016


Shipboard data collection Shipboard thermal imaging Shipboard mapping results

Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, I worked with infrared, visual, and laser data to map a shipboard environment undergoing a fire. We collaborated with Virginia Tech's ExtReMe Lab and RoMeLa lab.


Tablet interface YouBot cuts straws Color learning parallel lines

I was a visiting researcher advised by Prof. Daniele Nardi at Sapienza University of Rome in LabRoCoCo. Working with the KUKA YouBot, I designed instruction materials for use with ROS, the Robot Operating System and taught participants on the robot platform during the RoCKIn camp 2014. Assitionally, I developed human robot interaction methods for manipulation. The project is supported by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and funded by the European Union.


Invited Talks



I have been fortunate to help teach students in a variety of courses at many levels, and in each course I've learned something new from the students and how to convey advanced engineering topics.

Just for Fun