About Me

I am a Robotics PhD student at the University of Michigan working in the Deep Robot Optical Perception (DROP) Lab. My research interests include perception for underwater robots, mobile robotics, 3D reconstruction, and plenoptic imaging. I hold a M.S. in Robotics from University of Michigan and a B.S.E. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering with a Certificate in Applications of Computing from Princeton University.

Current Research Projects

My ongoing work focuses on perception for underwater robotic systems using plenoptic cameras for tasks including manipulation and grasping underwater.

Plenoptic Imaging

Plenoptic cameras have a microlens array between the camera's main lens and image sensor, enabling recovery of a depth map and high resolution image from a single optical sensor. I am interested in using plenoptic (light field) cameras for underwater perception.

Real-time Underwater 3D Reconstruction for Manipulation

Real-time underwater 3D reconstruction is an enabling technology for deep sea autonomous intervention missions.

Past Research Projects

Robotic Survey of Sunken Pirate City

Our team conducted a robotic survey of the submerged city of Port Royal, Jamaica to create a 3D reconstruction of the marine archaeological site. [Read more]


EECS 442: Computer Vision -- Fall 2016, Graduate Student Instructor

This course is an introduction to 2D and 3D computer vision offered to upper class undergraduates and graduate students. Topics include camera models, multi-view geometry, stereo reconstruction, low-level image processing methods, segmentation, clustering, and high-level vision techniques such as object recognition.

ENG 100: Introduction to Engineering -- Fall 2016, Guest Lecturer

This course is an introduction to underwater vehicle design for freshmen undergraduates. [Lecture Slides]

Outreach Activities


Our lab coordinated with Wayne State University's Gaining Options - Girls Investigate Real Life (GO-GIRL) program to design a summer workshop for high school girls as an introduction to engineering. The workshop involved building a SeaPerch remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and testing it in a lab setting and in a local pond to gather data. [Presentation]

More Involvement

  • Robotics Graduate Student Council - Officer
  • Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program - Mentor
  • Mentor2Youth Program - Technology Workshop Organizer
  • U-M COE Summer STEM Program - Robotics Workshop Organizer
  • GradSWE Elementary School Science Experiments - Instructor
  • Robotics Day Planning Committee - Student Representative
  • A World in Motion - Instructor


[3] "Towards Real-time Underwater 3D Reconstruction with Plenoptic Cameras." (Katherine Skinner, M. Johnson-Roberson), In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2016. [bibtex]

[2] "Detection and Segmentation of Underwater Archaeological Sites Surveyed with Stereo-Vision Platforms." (Katherine Skinner, M. Johnson-Roberson), In MTS/IEEE OCEANS, 2015. [bibtex]

[1] "Bathymetric factor graph SLAM with sparse point cloud alignment." (Vittorio Bichucher, Jeffrey M. Walls, Paul Ozog, Katherine A. Skinner and Ryan M. Eustice), In MTS/IEEE OCEANS, 2015.[bibtex, pdf]

Curriculum Vitae