Dr. Vandi Verma is the Deputy Manager for Mobility and Robotics Systems at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Chief Engineer of Robotic Operations for Mars 2020 Perseverance and Ingenuity. Her areas of expertise include space robotics, autonomous robots, and human-robot interaction. She has worked on Space Robotics and AI research and technology development
tasks and has designed, developed, and operated rovers on Mars, the Arctic, Antarctica, and the Atacama Desert. As Deputy Section Manager for Mobility and Robotics she leads about 170 JPL roboticists developing new technology for future missions and working on a variety of JPL robotic missions. Robotics capabilities she has worked on are in regular use on the Perseverance, and Curiosity rovers, and in human spaceflight projects. Most recently she developed onboard robotic arm collision detection, autonomous robotic arm positioning, and autonomous science targeting on Perseverance. She has been engaged in robotic operations on Mars since 2008 with the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, Curiosity rover, Perseverance rover, and Ingenuity helicopter. She received her Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2005.