Welcome to the

Visual and Autonomous Exploration Systems
Research Laboratory

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Fink, FAIMBE, FPHMS, FSPIE, UA FdaVinci, UA FACABI, Senior IEEE, founded the Visual and Autonomous Exploration Systems Research Laboratory in 2003 at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, USA.

Since October 2009, Dr. Fink has been an Associate Professor and the inaugural Edward & Maria Keonjian Endowed Chair in Microelectronics at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona in the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Systems & Industrial Engineering, Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, and Ophthalmology & Vision Science. He held a Visiting Associate in Physics appointment at Caltech (2001-2016), as well as concurrent appointments as Visiting Research Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurological Surgery at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California (2005-2014). He was a Senior Researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2001-2009).


Current News

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Fink was featured on News 4 Tucson KVOA-TV regarding the historic first controlled flight of an aerial vehicle on another planet: Helicopter Ingenuity on Mars. Dr. Fink explained that this marks the first real-world embodiment of a paradigm he and his team devised in 2002 during his time at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Caltech: Tier-Scalable Reconnaissance.

March 9, 2021

Autonomous robotic reconnaissance missions are called for in extreme environments, as well as in potentially hazardous or inaccessible operational areas on planetary surfaces and subsurfaces. Such future missions will necessitate multi-tiered architectures and require increased degrees of operational autonomy, especially when following up on transient events in (near) real time. This talk reported on ongoing research and development efforts at the VAESRL that focus on several aspects of an autonomous C4ISR robotic testbed for planetary exploration.

December 23, 2020

The Prognostics and Health Management Society has elected Wolfgang Fink, electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering professor and inaugural Edward & Maria Keonjian Endowed Chair in the College of Engineering, as the organization’s vice president. "I feel deeply honored by the confidence entrusted to me by the Executive Board of Directors to help define, direct, and advance the goals and aspirations of the PHM Society," Fink said. "Taking on such a leadership role is the culmination of my involvement with the PHM Society."

November 30, 2020

University of Arizona biomedical engineering and electrical and computer engineering professor Wolfgang Fink received the inaugural Scott Clements Most Valuable Person Award at the Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) Society’s 12th annual conference. The Scott Clements MVP Award recognizes individuals who have contributed to community engagement, cross-sector initiatives and other support of the PHM Society. The Society awarded Fink both for his contributions to their events and his assistance in gaining broader recognition from the scientific community.

January 21, 2020

University of Arizona electrical and computer engineering professor and Edward & Maria Keonjian Endowed Chair Wolfgang Fink is one of the newest Fellows of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, or SPIE. The organization, with a membership of about 255,000, has selected only 1,500 fellows since 1955. Fink received the designation “for achievements in vision science for the blind and tele-ophthalmic healthcare worldwide.”

January 5, 2020

On behalf of the SPIE Board of Directors and Fellows Committee, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Fink has been elected to Fellow SPIE "for achievements in vision science for the blind and tele-ophthalmic healthcare worldwide."