Home / People / Faculty / Mohan Rajesh Elara

Mohan Rajesh Elara

Associate Professor

Telephone: +65 6499 4580
Room Number: 3.301.10
Research Areas:
Sensors, Autonomous vehicles, Companion Robotics, Human-Machine Interfaces, Robotics, Surveillance Robotics, Automation and Control

Pillar / Cluster: Engineering Product Development


Dr. Mohan is currently a Provost’s Chair Professor and Associate Professor with the Engineering Product Development Pillar at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). His research interests are in robotics with an emphasis on self-reconfigurable platforms and research problems related to robot ergonomics and autonomous systems. His team at SUTD has attained global leadership in terms of research in this area. He has published more than 200 papers in leading journals, books and conferences. He is the recipient of A’ Design Award, IDA Design Award, SG Mark Design Award, ASEE Best of Design in Engineering Award, and Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors’ Award.

He is the co-founder of Lionsbot, a robotics company that develops and deploys a wide range of autonomous cleaning robots. He is also a visiting faculty member of the International Design Institute at Zhejiang University, China.

Some of the reconfigurable robotics projects that Mohan has led were funded by the National Robotics Programme. The Dragonfly – a reconfigurable mosquito control robot that assists in our fight against dengue, is one of the examples.

Education Background

  • Ph.D. Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2011
  • Specialist Diploma in E-Learning Design & Development, Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore, 2008
  • MSc Consumer Electronics, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2005
  • BEng Electronics & Communication Engineering, Bharathiar University, India, 2003

Research Interests

  • Reconfigurable Robotics
  • Robot Ergonomics
  • Bio-inspired Design
  • Robotics Foresight
  • Human-Robot Interaction
  • Assistive Technologies

Research Projects

  • Principal Investigator, Highly agile inspection robot, Oxpecker, ST Aerospace Ltd, 2017-18.
  • Principal Investigator, Ermine: A Self-reconfigurable Class of Maintenance Robots, National Robotics Programme – Robotics Enabling Capabilities and Technologies, 2017‐19.
  • Principal Investigator, Towards Autonomous Fault Diagnosis in Self-Reconfigurable Robots, SUTD Start-up Research Grant, 2017‐20.
  • Principal Investigator, Stallion 2: Design of a High-Performance Reconfigurable Robot, ST Electronics (Info-Comm System) Pte Ltd, 2016‐17.
  • Principal Investigator, V‐Tetros: Design of Nested Reconfigurable Glass Façade Cleaning Robots for High Rise Buildings, SUTD‐JTC Industrial Infrastructure Innovation Centre Grant, 2015‐17.
  • Co-Principal Investigator, Future of Cities: Living with Technology, Lee Kwan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, National Research Foundation – Ministry of National Development Land and Liveability (L2) NIC Grant, 2014-16.
  • Co-Principal Investigator, Design of Reconfigurable Robotic System Mosquito Surveillance/Targeting to Control Infectious Diseases, SUTD-MIT International Design Centre Grant, 2014-16.
  • Co-Principal Investigator, Systems Technology for Autonomous Reconnaissance & Surveillance, Temasak Grant, 2013-2017.
  • Co-Principal Investigator, Design and development of a highly manoeuvrable propulsion system in Unmanned Surface Vehicle for Maritime RobotX Challenge, US Navy International Cooperative Opportunity, US Office of Naval Research Global, 2013-2014.
  • Co-Principal Investigator, RoboMods: Design Principles for Self-reconfigurable Modular Robots, SUTD-MIT International Design Centre Grant, 2012-15.

Recent Research Videos

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/mrelara

Invited Talks

  • Guest Speaker, Singapore Civil Defense Force SCDF Ideathon 2018, 7th March 2018.
  • Guest Lecture, Tokyo Institute of Technology Innovation Symposium, 17th February 2018.
  • Keynote Speaker, I3C Symposium on Industrial Infrastructure Research, 23 November 2017.
  • Speaker, “Designing High-Performance Deployable Robots for Built Environments”, ARUP Explores: Robotics in the Built Environment, October 2017.
  • Speaker, “The Science of Designing Self-reconfigurable Robots”, Zhejiang University DOU Research Lecture, September 2017
  • Speaker, “Design Principles for Robot Inclusive Spaces”, SUTD-ZJU Joint IDEA Research Workshop, October 2016.
  • Invited Lecture, “The Art of Bio-inspired Design”, St. Joseph Institutions, May 2016.
  • Speaker, “Robot Inclusive Urban Infrastructures: A Design Initiative”, Cities Roundtable, Singapore, November 2015.
  • Speaker, “Bio-inspiration in Transformer Robots”, EmTech Singapore MIT Technology Review Conference, Singapore, January 2015.
  • Key Note Speaker, “Bio-mimicry: Creative Innovation Inspired by Nature”, International Conference on “Creativity and Innovation for Business Sustainability”, India, November 2014.
  • Guest Speaker, “Robot Ergonomics: In Search of New Robot Inclusive Design Approach for Service Applications”, 12th Regional Inter-Networking Conference, Singapore, September 2014.

Awards & Achievements

  • Bronze A’ Design Award, Category: Engineering and Technical Design, 2018
  • Iron A’ Design Award, Category: Lighting Design, 2018
  • Singapore Good Design Mark Award, Design Business Chamber Singapore, 2018
  • Singapore Good Design Mark Award, Design Business Chamber Singapore, 2017
  • Winning Light Installation Design, i Light Marina Bay 2017
  • Best Paper Award, IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation for Humanitarian Applications (RAHA), 2016.
  • Singapore Good Design Mark Award, Design Business Chamber Singapore, 2016
  • Best Cross Functional Team Award, SUTD Excellence Award 2016.
  • Best of Design in Engineering Award, ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) Annual Conference, 2012
  • Journal of Teaching Practice Award, Excellence in Education & Training Convention, Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore, 2010.
  • Research Commendation Award, Excellence in Education & Training Convention, Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore, 2010.
  • Young Inventors’ Award, Tan Kah Kee Foundation, Singapore, 2010.
  • Journal of Teaching Practice Award, Excellence in Education & Training Convention, Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore, 2008.
  • Silver Award (Best Paper), 4th Scientific Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society, Singapore, 2007.
  • Best Paper Award, TechSym National Symposium, India, 2003.
  • Best Paper Award, CONCLAVE-TECXPLORE National Symposium, India, 2002.
  • Anna Award, Academic Excellence in Higher Secondary School Exam, Government of Tamil Nadu (India), 1999.

Journal Publications

  1. Tun, T. T., Mohan, R.E., Kalimuthu, M., & Vengadesh, A. (2018). Glass facade cleaning robot with passive suction cups and self-locking trapezoidal lead screw drive. Automation in Construction96, 180-188.
  2. Le, A., Arunmozhi, M., Veerajagadheswar, P., Ku, P. C., Minh, T. H., Sivanantham, V., & Mohan, R.E., (2018). Complete Path Planning for a Tetris-Inspired Self-Reconfigurable Robot by the Genetic Algorithm of the Traveling Salesman Problem. Electronics7(12), 344.
  3. Le, A., Prabakaran, V., Sivanantham, V., & Mohan, R.E., (2018). Modified A-Star Algorithm for Efficient Coverage Path Planning in Tetris Inspired Self-Reconfigurable Robot with Integrated Laser Sensor. Sensors18(8), 2585.
  4. Nansai, S., Onodera, K., Veerajagadheswar, P., Mohan, R.E., & Iwase, M. (2018). Design and Experiment of a Novel Façade Cleaning Robot with a Biped Mechanism. Applied Sciences8(12), 2398.
  5. Veerajagadheswar, P., Mohan, R.E., Pathmakumar, T., & Ayyalusami, V. (2018). A Tiling-Theoretic Approach to Efficient Area Coverage in a Tetris-Inspired Floor Cleaning Robot. IEEE Access6, 35260-35271.
  6. Ilyas, M., Yuyao, S., Elara, M. R., Devarassu, M., & Kalimuthu, M. Design of sTetro: A Modular, Reconfigurable and Autonomous Staircase Cleaning Robot. Journal of Sensors.
  7. Venkataraman, S., Song, B., Luo, J., Subburaj, K., Mohan, R.E., Blessing, L., & Wood, K. Does Analogical Distance Affect Performance of Ideation?. Journal of Mechanical Design.
  8. Prabakaran, V., Mohan, R.E., Pathmakumar, T., & Nansai, S. (2018). Floor cleaning robot with reconfigurable mechanism. Automation in Construction91, 155-165.
  9. Prabakaran, V., Mohan, R.E., Sivanantham, V., Pathmakumar, T., & Kumar, S. S. (2018). Tackling Area Coverage Problems in a Reconfigurable Floor Cleaning Robot Based on Polyomino Tiling Theory. Applied Sciences8(3), 342.
  10. Elangovan, K., Krishnasamy Tamilselvam, Y., Mohan, R.E., Iwase, M.; Takuma, N., Wood, K.L. Fault Diagnosis of a Reconfigurable Crawling–Rolling Robot Based on Support Vector Machines. Appl. Sci. 20177, 1025.
  11. Yanagida, T., Mohan, R.E., Pathmakumar, T., Elangovan, K., Iwase, M. Design and Implementation of a Shape Shifting Rolling–Crawling–Wall-Climbing Robot. Appl. Sci. 20177, 342.
  12. Nansai, S., Mohan, R. E., Tun, T.T., Veerajagadheswar, P., Pathmakumar, T. A Novel Nested Reconfigurable Approach for a Glass Façade Cleaning Robot. Inventions 2017, 2, 18.
  13. Bharatharaj J., Mohan, R. E., Huang, L., Al-Jumaily, M., & Krageloh, C. (2017). Sociopsychological and physiological effects of a robot-assisted therapy for children with autism. International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems.
  14. Bharatharaj, J., Huang, L., Mohan, R.E., Al-Jumaily, A., Krägeloh, C. Robot-Assisted Therapy for Learning and Social Interaction of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Robotics 2017, 6, 4.
  15. Fuchida, M., Pathmakumar, T., Mohan, R.E., Tan, N., Nakamura, A. Vision-Based Perception and Classification of Mosquitoes Using Support Vector Machine. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 51.
  16. Tan, N., Mohan, R. E., & Watanabe, A. (2016). Toward a framework for robot-inclusive environments. Automation in Construction, 69, 68-78.
  17. Telenko, C., Wood, K., Otto, K., Mohan, R. E., Foong, S., Pey, K. L., … & Frey, D. (2016). Designettes: An Approach to Multidisciplinary Engineering Design Education. Journal of Mechanical Design, 138(2), 022001.
  18. Kulandaidaasan Sheba, J., Mohan, R. E., Martínez-García, E., & Tan-Phuc, L. (2016). Trajectory Generation and Stability Analysis for Reconfigurable Klann Mechanism Based Walking Robot. Robotics, 5(3), 13.
  19. Rao, A., Mohan, R. E., & Elangovan, K. (2016). Constrained VPH+: a local path planning algorithm for a bio-inspired crawling robot with customized ultrasonic scanning sensor. Robotics and Biomimetics, 3(1), 12.
  20. Tan, N., Mohan, R. E., & Elangovan, K. (2016). Scorpio: A biomimetic reconfigurable rolling–crawling robot. International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 13(5), 17.
  21. Masataka, F., Mohan, R. E., Tan, N., Nakamura, A., & Pathmakumar, T. (2016). Terrain Perception in a Shape Shifting Rolling-Crawling Robot. Robotics, 5(4), 19.
  22. Tan, N., Mohan, R. E., Foong, S., Yamakita, M., Iwase, M., Hatakeyama, S., … & Zhu, Q. (2016). IDC Robocon: A Transnational Teaming Competition for Project-Based Design Education in Undergraduate Robotics. Robotics, 5(3), 12.
  23. Nansai, S., Mohan, R. E., & Iwase, M. (2016). Speed Control of Jansen Linkage Mechanism for Exquisite Tasks. Journal of Advanced Simulation in Science and Engineering, 3(1), 47-57.
  24. Karutaa Gnaniar, S.K., E. Mohan, Martinez-Garcia, E.A. and Ambrosio Lazaro, R.C., 2016. Towards Bio-Inspired Chromatic Behaviours in Surveillance Robots. Robotics, 5(4), p.20.
  25. Ning Tan,  Nicolas  Rojas,    E.  Mohan,  Vincent  Kee,  and  Ricardo  Sosa.      “Nested Reconfigurable Robots: Theory, Design, and Realization”, International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 2015
  26. Takuma Nemoto, E. Mohan, and Masami Iwase, “Rolling Locomotion Control of a Biologically Inspired Quadruped Robot Based Energy Compensation”, Journal of Robotics, 2015.
  27. Nansai, N. Rojas, R. E. Mohan, R. Sosa, and M. Iwase, “On a Jansen Leg with Multiple Gait Patterns for Reconfigurable Walking Platforms,” Advances in Mechanical Engineering (Special Issue on Reconfigurable and Deployable Mechanisms), 2015
  28. Shunsuke, N. Tan, N.  Rojas, R. E. Mohan, R.  Sosa.  “Walking Synchronization and Stability of a Quadruped Robot with Reconfigurable Legs” Digital Communication Networks, 2015.
  29. Nemoto, T., Mohan, R. E., & Iwase, M. Energy-based control for a biologically inspired hexapod robot with rolling locomotion. Digital Communications and Networks1(2), 125-133, 2015.
  30. Arnab Sinha, Ning Tan, R. E. Mohan, “Terrain Perception for a Reconfigurable Biomimetic Robot using Monocular Vision”, Robotics and Biomimetics, vol. 1, no. 23, 2014.
  31. S. Jaichandar, R. E. Mohan, Edgar A. Martínez-García, Le Tan Phuc “Synthesizing Reconfigurable Foot Traces with Klann Mechanisms” Robotica, vol. 1, no. 17, 2014.
  32. Nansai, N. Rojas, R. E. Mohan, R. Sosa, and M. Iwase, “On a Jansen Leg with Multiple Gait Patterns for Reconfigurable Walking Platforms,” Advances in Mechanical Engineering (Special Issue on Reconfigurable and Deployable Mechanisms), 2015.
  33. Takuma Nemoto, R. E. Mohan, and Masami Iwase, “Realization of rolling locomotion by a wheel spider-inspired robot”, Robotics and Biomimetics, 2014.
  34. A. Martínez-García, E., Abril Torres-Méndez, L., R. E. Mohan. Multi-legged robot dynamics navigation model with optical flow. International Journal of Intelligent Unmanned Systems2(2), 121-139, 2014.
  35. Shunsuke, R. E. Mohan, N. Tan, N. Rojas, and I. Masami. “Dynamic Modeling and Nonlinear Position Control of a Quadruped Robot with Jansen Linkage Mechanism” Journal of Robotics, 2014.
  36. Nansai, S., R. E. Mohan, & Iwase, M. Dynamic analysis and modelling of Jansen mechanism. Procedia Engineering64, 1562-1571, 2013.
  37. Martínez-García, Edgar, Diana R. Uribe Escalera, and E. Mohan. “Kinematic manipulability of multi-joint bio-inspired extremities.” Procedia Engineering,64 (2013): 1533-1542.
  38. Rivero-Juárez, Joaquín, Edgar A. Martínez-García, Abril Torres-Mendez, and E. Mohan. “3D Heterogeneous multi-sensor global registration.”Procedia Engineering 64 (2013): 1552-1561.
  39. Yang, C. Zhou, R. E. Mohan “A Fast Vision System for Soccer Robot”, Applied Bionics and Biomechanics, Vol. 9, No. 4, Pg. 399-407, 2012
  40. A. Acosta Calderon, R.E. Mohan, “Task Learning Based on Imitation of Object’s Goals,” Applied Bionics and Biomechanics, Vol. 9, No. 4, Pg. 427-441, 2012
  41. R.E. Mohan, W.S. Wijesoma, C.A. Acosta Calderon, C. Zhou, “On the Redefinition of Fan Out Metric for Human-Robot Interactions with Humanoid Soccer Robots”, International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, Vol. 7, No. 4, Pg. 565-586, 2010.
  42. R.E. Mohan, W.S. Wijesoma, C.A. Acosta Calderon, C. Zhou, “False Alarm Metrics for Safe Human-Robot Interactions in Service Robots”, Advanced Robotics, Vol. 24, No. 13, pg. 1841-1859, October 2010.
  43. R.E. Mohan, W.S. Wijesoma, C.A. Acosta Calderon, C. Zhou, “Validating Extended Neglect Tolerance Model for Human-Robot Interactions in Humanoid Soccer Robots”, Robotica, Cambridge Press, 2010.
  44. R.E. Mohan, W.S. Wijesoma, C.A. Acosta Calderon, C. Zhou, “Experimenting False Alarm Demand for Human-Robot Interactions in Humanoid Soccer Robots” International Journal of Social Robotics, Vol 1, No.2, pg. 171-180, 2009.
  45. C.A. Acosta Calderon, R.E. Mohan, L. Hu, C. Zhou, and H. Hu, “Generating Human-like Soccer Primitives from Human Data,” Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 2009
  46. R.E. Mohan, C.A. Acosta Calderon, C. Zhou, P. K. Yue, “Extending NGOMSL Model for Human-Humanoid Robot Interaction in Soccer Robotics Domain” Applied Bionics & Biomechanics, 2008.
  47. C.A. Acosta Calderon, R.E. Mohan, C. Zhou, L. Hu, P.K. Yue, and H. Hu, “A Modular Architecture For Humanoid Soccer Robots With Distributed Behaviour Control,” International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, 2008.

Book/Book Chapter Publications

  1. Poon, K.W., Lee, H., Lim, W.K., Mohan, R.E., Chae, Y., Balasubramanian, G., Yong, A. and Yeong, R., Future of Work, Education, and Healthcare. World Scientific, 2017.
  2. Ning Tan, R. E. Mohan, and Karthikeyan Elangovan, “A Bio-inspired Reconfigurable Robot”, in Advances in Reconfigurable Mechanisms and Robots II, Part IV, pp. 483-493, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, 2016.
  3. Teo Kiah Hwee, R. E. Mohan, Ricardo Sosa, and Ning Tan. “Analyzing the Innovation Growth of Robotic Pets through Patent Data Mining”, in Research into Design Across Boundaries Volume 2, pp 365-374, Springer India, 2015
  4. Carlos Antonio Acosta Calderon, R. E. Mohan, and Yussouf Pranggonoh, “Self-Deploy in Mobile Sensor Networks for Surveillance and Rescue Scenarios,” Autonomous Robots, Control, Sensing and Perception, Editor E.A. Martinez Garcia and L.A. Torres Mendez, Cuvillier Verlag, Pages 60-81, 2011.
  5. C.A. Acosta Calderon, R.E. Mohan, C. Zhou, “Distributed Architecture for Dynamic Role Behaviour in Humanoid Soccer Robots,” Robot Soccer, InTech, 2010.
  6. R.E. Mohan, C.A. Acosta Calderon, C. Zhou, T. Yang, L. Zhang, and Y. Yang, “Adapting ADDIE Model for Human Robot Interaction in Soccer Robotics Domain,” RoboCup 2008, Springer, 2008
  7. C.A. Acosta Calderon, R.E. Mohan, and C. Zhou, “Rhythmic Locomotion Control of Humanoid Robot,” MICAI 2008: Advances in Artificial Intelligence (Lecture Notes in Computer Science), Editors A. Gelbukh and E. Morales, Springer, Volume 5317, Pages 626-635, 2008.

Selected Press

  • The Straits Times, “Singapore firm to make robot cleaners for rent”, 31st October 2018.
  • Today, “Smart mosquito traps to go on trial at the end of this year”, 8th July 2018.
  • The Straits Times, “Shape-shifting robots may help clean hawker centres”, 17th December 2017.
  • The Straits Times, “Small spider-shaped robot bag Singapore design mark”, 17th March 2017.
  • The Lianhe Zaobao, “Robomozziecop”, 28th December 2016.
  • The OKTO, “Make Me a Super”, 24th December 2016.
  • The Straits Times, “Rise of the Machines”, 9th July 2016.
  • CNBC Interview, “Singapore’s solution to active ageing? A Robot”, 27th December 2015.
  • The Straits Times, “Into the Future”, 16th October 2015.
  • Digital News Asia, “Emtech Singapore lifts the curtain on future technologies”, 28th January 2015.
  • The Straits Times, “Riding on robots to rev up productivity”, 7th October 2014.
  • The Straits Times, “Transformer not just child’s play for robotics researcher”, 31st August 2013.