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Science & Engineering Complex
Robinson Hall, Room 155

Tufts University
Medford, MA 02155

Tel: 617.627.4732
Fax: 617.627.3058
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Jason Rife
Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering


Ph.D., M.S. (Mechanical Engineering), Stanford University, 2004, 1999
B.S. (Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering), Cornell University, 1996

Research Interests

Dr. Rife's research focuses on the navigation and control of autonomous vehicles and mobile robots. He joined Tufts in 2007. Prior to arriving at Tufts, he served as a Research Associate in the Stanford GPS Laboratory from 2004-2007 where he investigated the integrity of precision aircraft approach and landing systems based on differential GPS. He received his Ph.D. from the Stanford University Aerospace Robotics Lab where he studied animal-tracking applications using underwater robots.

The Automated Systems and Robotics Lab

The goal of the Automated Systems and Robotics Lab at Tufts University is to develop novel control, navigation and interface technologies that ensure safe, reliable and seamless interactions between human and machine. Safely operating automated vehicles in close proximity to human-piloted vehicles represents a major challenge in developing a next generation transportation infrastructure. Our research group is investigating formal methods for validating and bounding navigation performance to enable safety critical automated vehicle operations. Applications include driving automated ground vehicles in highway traffic and automated aircraft landing. Our lab is also analyzing the control of novel biomimetic robots constructed from soft materials. Currently these efforts are directed at developing control algorithms for a bio-inspired robot based on the caterpillar Manduca sexta. We are pursuing this research in conjunction with the Tufts Biomimetic Devices Laboratory and the Soft Robotics IGERT.

Honors & Awards

  • 2014 Best of Track Award, ION/IEEE Position, Location, and Navigation Symposium (PLANS 2014), Monterey, CA.
  • 2012  Best of Session Award, Institute of Navigation GNSS Conference (ION-GNSS 2012), Nashville, TN.
  • 2012  Best of Track Award, ION/IEEE Position, Location, and Navigation Symposium (PLANS 2012), Myrtle Beach, SC.
  • 2012 ASME Award of Excellence for Teaching, Tufts Chapter

Professional Positions

2013-present Associate Professor, Tufts University
Assistant Professor, Tufts University
2003-07 Research Associate, Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratories, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
1997 Development Engineering, Pratt & Whitney, East Hartford, CT

Selected Professional Activities

  • Program Chair, Institute of Navigation International Technical Meeting (ITM), 2015
  • Track Chair, Institute of Navigation GNSS Conference, 2013
  • Local Area Augmentation System Integrity Panel, Federal Aviation Administration, 2004-2007, 2010-current