Pete Florence

I'm working on my PhD in Computer Science at MIT with Russ Tedrake in the Robot Locomotion Group within CSAIL.

Update: For the summer of 2018 I interned at Facebook Reality Labs.

For 2015-2017 I was one of the lead software developers for the planning and control systems on our MIT-Draper team for the DARPA FLA (Fast Lightweight Autonomy) program.

For some of the projects I work on, my source code is available publicly.

Pete Florence

You can contact me at:

pete dot florence at gmail dot com


  • Peter R. Florence*, Lucas Manuelli*, and Russ Tedrake. Dense Object Nets: Learning Dense Visual Object Descriptors By and For Robotic Manipulation. In Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL) (To Appear), Zurich, Switzerland, October 2018 [ pdf ] [ video ] [ code ]
    Winner, Best Technical Paper, 2018 Amazon Robotics Best Paper Awards in Manipulation
    Press: [ WIRED ] [ CNN ] [ Newsweek ] [ Engadget ] [ VentureBeat ] [ more ]


  • Pat Marion*, Peter R. Florence*, Lucas Manuelli*, and Russ Tedrake. LabelFusion: A Pipeline for Generating Ground Truth Labels for Real RGBD Data of Cluttered Scenes. In International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Brisbane, Australia, May 2018. [ website with code, video, paper ]
    Finalist, Best Vision Paper
  • Peter R. Florence, John Carter, Jake Ware, and Russ Tedrake. NanoMap: Fast, uncertainty-aware proximity queries with lazy search over local 3d data. In International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Brisbane, Australia, May 2018. [ pdf ] [ video ] [ code ]
    Press: [ IEEE Spectrum ] [ BBC ] [ The Verge ] [ Engadget ] [ Air & Space Magazine ] [ TechCrunch ] [ more ]
  • Andrew J. Barry, Peter R. Florence, and Russ Tedrake. High-speed autonomous obstacle avoidance with pushbroom stereo. In Journal of Field Robotics (JFR), 2018. [ pdf ] [ video ]
  • Peter R. Florence, John Carter, and Russ Tedrake. Integrated perception and control at high speed: Evaluating collision avoidance maneuvers without maps. In WAFR: Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics, 2016. [ pdf ] [ presentation ]
  • Benoit Landry, Robin Deits, Peter R. Florence, and Russ Tedrake. Aggressive quadrotor flight through cluttered environments using mixed integer programming. In International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Stockhom, Sweden, May 2016. [ pdf ][ video ]
  • William E. McClain, Peter R. Florence, Andrew Shu, Antoine Kahn, Jeffrey Schwartz, “Surface Dipole Engineering for Conducting Polymers,” In Organic Electronics, Volume 14, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 411-415.


  • (Pending) Peter Raymond Florence, Christopher David Sachs, Kent W. Ryorchuk. Systems and methods for probabilistic semantic sensing in a sensory network. WO2015134879 A1 (2014)
  • Christopher David Sachs, Peter Raymond Florence. Dynamic spatially-resolved lighting using composited lighting models. U.S. Patent No. 9763306 (2014)

Technical Reports

  • Lucas Manuelli, Peter R. Florence. Reinforcement Learning for Autonomous Driving Obstacle Avoidance using LIDAR. [ pdf ] [ video ] (2015)

Engineering Education for Kids

My friend Andy Barry and I started Stage One Education together. We develop and teach hands-on engineering workshops for kids across the country. Over 6,000 students to date have taken our workshops.

Other Projects

  • I have recently been into PyTorch:
    • Example from numpy to PyTorch: bilinear interpolation [ code ]
    • Another example from numpy to PyTorch: sampling dense correspondences [ code ]
  • TAing Underactuated Robotics (6.832) at MIT, Spring 2018, taught by my advisor Russ.
  • Multi-thread quad-tree based collision detection for simple simulator (for MIT 6.172) [ video ]
  • Autonomous navigation of quadrotors in unknown environments (for DARPA FLA program) [ code ]
  • Implemented Raft (distributed consensus algorithm) in Go, and a sharded key-value store on top of it for MIT 6.824 [ code available upon request, but not public due to class’s request ]
  • Model-free reinforcement learning (SARSA, Q-learning, Policy Search) for autonomous driving [ code ] [ video ]
  • Visualizing + testing mapping/VIO tweaks [ video ]
  • Stabilizing little quadrotors against vortex cannons [ video ]
  • CAD for CrazyFlie quadrotor and vicon marker holder [ models ]
  • Cheap self-balancing robot kit built with my brother [ video ]
  • My brother's and my first FPV racer build [ video ]
  • Simple_img_gallery (so simple, so useful!) [ code ]

Selected Videos