Wisdom C. Agboh

Wisdom C. Agboh


I am a final year Computer Science PhD student at the University of Leeds where I work with Mehmet Dogar.

I'm also a visiting PhD student at UC Berkeley with Ken Goldberg.

Research interests

I am excited about robotic manipulation. It involves robots moving their arms and hands to physically interact with objects in your environment. I develop algorithms to plan and control these robot motions.  

Human-like Manipulation Planning 

Humans, in comparison to robots, are remarkably adept at reaching for objects in cluttered environments. We used virtual reality to capture
human participants reaching for a target object on a tabletop cluttered with obstacles. We learn high-level robot manipulation skills from human data using qualitative spatial relations and decision classifiers. For further details, please see our IEEE ICRA 2020 paper. Code and data are available here.  

Combining Coarse and Fine Physics for Manipulation

Slow physics predictions are a major computational bottleneck in robotic manipulation planning and control. I have accelerated these physics predictions through parallelization across time. For further details please see our ISRR 2019 paper and our journal preprint here. Code and data are available here.   

Task-adaptivity in Manipulation 

As humans, when we interact with objects sometimes we act fast, and other times we use slow actions in order to avoid undesired events. How can a robot exhibit such an adaptive behaviour? We model the problem as an MDP with action-dependent uncertainty in the state transition function and provide an online solution to the MDP in real-time.  For further details please see our WAFR 2018 paper and YouTube video

Online Re-Planning for Real-Time Manipulation in Clutter

We address the physics-based manipulation in clutter problem through an easily parallelizable stochastic trajectory optimizer in an MPC setting.  Read more in our IEEE Humanoids 2018 paper and YouTube video

Please see my Google Scholar page for latest publications, my GitHub page for latest public code. 


  • 06/2020. Article accepted to appear in Computing and Visualization in Science.
  • 04/2020. I am a visiting PhD student with Prof. Goldberg at UC Berkeley. 
  • 04/2020. I was awarded an EPS Research Mobility Fund. 
  • 11/2019. I was Postgraduate Rsearcher of the Year at the School of Computing. 
  • 10/2019. I gave a talk at ISRR 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam. 
  • 05/2019. I gave a talk at the 3rd UK Manipulation Workshop. 
  • 04/2019. Full travel grant, 8th Parallel-in-Time Conference, Bielefeld, Germany.