Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Department of Global Development
Rohan is a Visiting Fulbright Scholar in Cornell Global Development and Professor at the Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. Rohan is passionate about problem solving using appropriate technology. He and his team are working on several research areas including precession agriculture, human-elephant conflict, drone applications, and adaptive traffic control. Additionally, they synthesize effective solutions to the problems in those domains using technologies such as robotics, electronics, IoT, machine learning, image processing, cloud computing, and AI. Rohan collaborates with colleagues in academia and across industries to develop and bring technology to the market and society.
Rohan leads the Technology Transfer Office of the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka where he provides leadership in the areas of IP Management, Entrepreneurship Promotion, Technology Commercialization, and Startup Acceleration. He teaches courses on Robotics, Robot Design and Competition, Astronomy and Cosmology, Electronic Control Systems, and Autonomous Systems. Rohan has undergone training on intellectual Property at the CLDP, USPTO, and the University of New Hampshire. He also has completed WIPO DL courses on intellectual property. He has eight patents and one PCT currently under review. He has incorporated two startups with his students, has written a textbook on control systems for undergraduates, and has published many research papers.
Rohan provides his service to several national entities in Sri Lanka such as the National Science and Technology Commission, Center for Research and Development, National Innovation Agency, and National Science Foundation. He is a Charted Engineer, Senior Member of IEEE, and a member of Robotics and Automation Society of IEEE.
- Postdoc in KAIST-Stanford University Joint Research, 2003-04
- Ph.D in Systems Control, Saga University, Japan, March 2003
- M.Eng, in Systems Control, Saga University, Japan, Sept 1999
- B.Sc (Eng) Hons, in EE, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, Dec 1996
Drone design and deployment
Smart Agriculture for the Community Empowerment
Rural communities in developing countries are poor and underprivileged largely due to their inefficient, wasteful, and unhealthy practices in agriculture. Smart agriculture techniques where drones, IoT, and image processing technologies are combined to analyze the crop and communicate to farmers the right information and instructions would change the status quo. The farmers don’t need to learn how to handle smart tech tools, rather they need to pay a nominal fee to the community service in return for its many benefits, including fertilizer saving, zero chemical exposure, minimum water and soil contamination, reduce labor, lower cost of production, and high yield.
Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC)
HEC is an aggravating problem in Sri Lanka as well as in several other countries. In 2019, 420 elephants and 119 humans died due to HEC in Sri Lanka alone. The key to remedy the problem is to devise a system that can locate elephants and communicate their whereabouts to the villagers. A system has been built using a geophone array to listen to the infrasonic seismic counterpart of the rumbles and foot stomps. Sensors in the array receive the rumbles and foot stomps with slight time delays and thus could be used to spot the elephants. When the villagers know where the elephants are, the deadly encounters and crop damage can be avoided.
Adaptive Traffic Control
Traffic control is predominantly based on pre-set static timing, which does not generate the correct signal timing in real-time, hence it often leads to lower flow and throughout. Time waste and vehicle emission are examples of negative results. Image processing and machine learning techniques have been deployed to identify and count different vehicles and then evaluate the developing traffic level, and then to decide red-amber-green timing most appropriately, in real-time.
Drones are disrupting many domains from surveying to delivery to agriculture. Drones are designed in layered architecture whereby the flight control and navigation are at the bottom, and the payload and application control are at the top. A number of drones have been custom designed for aerial surveying, package delivery, smart agriculture, and perimeter surveillance. These drones range from small battery powered ones to medium range engine powered UAVs. A monitoring system has been built for the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka to monitor drones in the airspace to properly coordinate air traffic. This system will help both the aviation authority and the drone operators to deploy drones efficiently and securely.
Areas Of Expertise
- Smart agriculture
- Human-Elephant Conflict
- Drone design and deployment
- Control Systems
- Multidisciplinary system design
- Intellectual property management
- Product development and commercialization
- Startup mentoring
- Tech business development
- Janith K. Gunarathna, and Rohan Munasinghe, “Simultaneous Execution of Vertical Take-off and Cruise Flight Control Modes for Efficient Operation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles”, MDPI Journal of Applied Sciences, 2021 (accepted
- Kavindu Gimhan Soyza and Rohan Munasinghe, “Vision Based Real-Time Traffic Sensing Using AIon General Purpose Embedded Hardware”, International Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems Research (In review), 2020
- Lasantha Kurukularachchi, Rajeeve Prince, and S. R. Munasinghe, ``Stability and Control Analysis in Twin-Boom Vertical Stabilizer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)”, Intl. Journal of Scientific and Research Publications (IJSRP), vol. 4, issue 4, ISSN 2250-3153, Feb., 2014
- Dinuka Abeywardana, Sarath Kodagoda, Gamini Disanayaka,and Rohan Munasinghe, "Improved state estimation in quadrotor MAVs", pp. 32-39, IEEE Robotics and Automation Magaine, December 2013, DOI 10.1109/MRA.2012.2225472
- Sudath R. Munasinghe, M-S. Kim, and J-J. Lee, ``Adaptive neuro-fuzzy controller to regulate UTSG water level in nuclear power plants”, IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 421 -429, Feb. 2005, DOI 10.1109/TNS.2004.842723
- Sudath R. Munasinghe, J-J. Lee, Y. Ishida, N. Egashira, and M. Nakamura, ``Implementation and control of generic Internet-based telerobotic systems”, International Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 220-227, June 2004
- S. Rohan Munasinghe, Masatoshi Nakamura, Satoru Goto, and Nobuhiro Kyura, “Trajectory planning for industrial robot manipulators considering assigned velocity and allowance under joint acceleration limit”, Inernational Journal of Control, Automation, and System, vol.1, no.1, pp. 68-75 , Mar, 2003
- Sudath R. Munasinghe, M. Nakamura, S. Goto, and N. Kyura, ``Pole selection of feedforward compensators considering bounded control input of industrial mechatronic systems”, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, vol. 50, no. 6, pp. 1199-1206, Dec. 2003, DOI 10.1109/TIE.2003.819671
- S. Rohan Munasinghe and Masatoshi Nakamura, “Teleoperation of welfare robotic systems by motion planning considering assigned velocity and acceleration limit”, International Journal on Human friendly welfare robotic systems, pp. 23-31, 2003
- S. R. Munasinghe, M. Nakamura, S. Goto and N. Kyura, ``Optimum contouring of industrial robot arms under assigned velocity and torque constraints”, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part-C, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 159-167, May, 2001, DOI 10.1109/5326.941840
- Nakamura, S. R. Munasinghe, S. Goto and N. Kyura, ``Enhanced contour control of SCARA robot under torque saturation constraint”, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 5, no. 4, pp 437-440, Dec., 2000, DOI 10.1109/3516.891055
- CH.30 - Trajectory Planning and control of Industrial robot manipulators, “Industrial robotics, from design to applications”, Advance Robotics International (ARS) and Institute of Robotics and Automation (INRA), Geneva, Switzerland, 2007
- Classical Control Systems: Design and Implementation, Alpha Science International Ltd, Oxford, UK, Narosa, ISBN 978-1-84265-749-2, 2012
Outreach and Extension Activities
- Smart Agri technologies at TRL 6 for corn, soybean, tea, and mango are being tested in plantations and community crop fields with the industry partners (Hayles, Nelna, Dialog) and startup groups (AgX, SenzAgro).
- Elephant localization and early warning system at TRL 5 is being developed with the National Zoological Gardens, and the Dept of wildlife Conservation (DWC).
- Adaptive traffic control system at TRL 6 is being tested on road with the Road Development Authority (RDA), and State Development Construction Corporation (SDCC), and traffic Engineering Division of the University of Moratuwa.
- Application oriented drone development is taking place with the startup companies- AgX (Pvt.) Ltd, Pristine Innovations (Pvt.) Ltd, and industry partner- Dialog Axiata PLC, SLT-Mobitel, and Expo Freight and Logistics (EFL). Drones are designed for monitoring communication towers, aerial surveying, crop imaging, crop spraying, and 5G applications.
- Gold Award at National Best Quality Software Awards in the Tertiary Technology Category for Vision Based Adaptive Traffic Control Project, 2020
- Gold, Silver, and Bronz medals in the University category at the national competition on “Health Innovations for Tomorrow”, Sri Lanka Medical Association, July 2020
- Best paper in Robotics, MERCON 2019
- Silver Medal, Inventors Exhibition, Geneva, Switzerland, 2018
- Two Gold Medals for Drone Developments at Sahasak Nimayum national Competition, 2017
- Outstanding Research Performance Award, University of Moratuwa 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012.
- First Place, International Robot Competition of IT Bombay 2013 (supervisor)
- Best Engineering Undergraduate Project in Sri Lanka, Manamperi Award 2013, Category C for the Autopilot Development for small unmanned aerial vehicle (Supervisor)
- PCT: Electric fuel hybrid multirotor type unmanned aerial vehicle with yaw compensators
- Vision based real time traffic sensing using AI on general purpose embedded hardware
- GPS-IMU collar system for location detection and attitude tracking of elephants
- Crop dusting drone with adaptive spraying based on plant health
- Adaptive traffic light control system with vision-based traffic flow sensing method
- Energy saving control system for split air conditioner systems
- Established the Business Linkage Cell, University of Moratuwa, April 2019
- Fostered the first startup cohort of the University of Moratuwa, July 2020
- Product Accelerator at the Dept of ENTC, University of Moratuwa in 2017.
- Future Drones (Pvt.) Ltd., the first startup of the University of Moratuwa, 2016
- CERA, Center of Excellence in Robotics Applications, Min of S&T, Sri Lanka
- CAR, Center of Advance Robotics, University of Moratuwa, 2017
- UAV Research Laboratory, Dept. of Electronic and Telecom Engineering, 2011
- MERCon, the Scopus indexed Moratuwa Engineering Research Conference, 2015
- Intelligent Machines Laboratory, Dept. of Electronic and Telecom. Engineering
- Introduced five taught modules to the engineering UG degree program [EN4071: Robotics, EN2060: Robot Design and Competition, EN2410: Astronomy and Cosmology, EN2142: Electronic Control Systems, EN4562: Autonomous Systems]
- “Smart Affordable Technologies for Transforming Agriculture Industry in Developing Countries, International Conference on Smart Agriculture for Developing Nations, virtual event, Center for Science and Technology of the non-aligned and other developing countries, 11-12 August 2021
- “Drone Revolution”, IET Sessions, Aug 2021
- “Innovation ecosystem and cross-border collaborations” Startup Insight 2020, Business Indonesia Singapore Association, 25-27 Nov. 2020
- “Intellectual Property and Patent Rights”, webinar for FITIS- Federation of IT Industry, Sri Lanka, 8th Sept, 2020
- “Emerging Drone Applications for Economic and Social Transformation”, Workshop on Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering Applications for Sustainable Development of Sri Lanka, Department of Aeronautical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University, 9th Sept 2019
- “Vision-Based Real-time Traffic Sensing using AI on General Purpose Hardware”, Post-conference workshop on ‘Intelligent Transport Systems - Transport Research Forum 2019’ Department of Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa, 7th September 2019
- “Telepresence Robots: Challenges and Opportunities”, at the 10th Annual Sessions of Sri Lanka Association for Artificial Intelligence (SLAAI) at the Open University of Sri Lanka, 29.11.2013
- “Aerial Robotics”, 20th IET Annual Conference, Galadari Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Oct 12th 2013
- "Living with Robots", Annual International Conference, ToC H Institute, Kerala, India, July 2014
- Telepresence Robot
- CeyHawk, a 10kg autonomous twin boom medium range UAV, 2014
- DeliAir, package delivery drone, 2020
- Hornet, Quad-Plane hybrid drone, 2019-20
- Medic, the medical package delivery drone, 2019-20
- X-vision, RTK commercial quadrotor mapping drone, 2019
- CeyGull and CeyBell, RTK portable mapping drones, 2019
- CeyTwin, RTK mapping drone, 2017
- CeyBee, ultra-portable mapping drone, 2016
- CeyMapper, mapping deltawing drone, 2015
Mann Library B75
Ithaca, NY 14853
srm278 [at] cornell.edu