Timothy Barfoot headshot

Timothy Barfoot

Faculty Affiliate

Professor, Institute for Aerospace Studies, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto

Timothy Barfoot (University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies – UTIAS) works in the area of autonomy for mobile robots targeting a variety of applications. He is interested in developing methods (localization, mapping, planning, control) to allow robots to operate over long periods of time in large-scale, unstructured, three-dimensional environments, using rich onboard sensing (e.g., cameras and laser rangefinders) and computation. Timothy holds a BASc (9T6+PEY, Aerospace Option) from the UofT Engineering Science program and a PhD from UTIAS in robotics. He took up his academic position at UTIAS in May 2007, after spending four years at MDA Robotics (builder of the well-known Canadarm space manipulators), where he developed autonomous vehicle navigation technologies for both planetary rovers and terrestrial applications such as underground mining. He is an IEEE Fellow, held a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) for the full 10 years, was an Early Researcher Awardee in the Province of Ontario, and has received two paper awards at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010, 2021). Timothy was also a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford in 2013 and recently completed a leave as Director of Autonomous Systems at Apple in California in 2017-9. He was previously Chair of the UofT Engineering Science Robotics Major, and is Associate Director of the UofT Robotics Institute, Faculty Affiliate of the Vector Institute, and co-Faculty Advisor of UofT’s self-driving car team that won the SAE Autodrive competition five years in a row. He sits on the Editorial Boards of the International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR) and Field Robotics (FR), the Foundation Board of Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS), and served as the General Chair of Field and Service Robotics (FSR) 2015, which was held in Toronto. He is the author of a book, State Estimation for Robotics (2017), which is free to download from his webpage.

Research Interests

  • Robotics
  • Computer vision
  • Online learning