Oussama Khatib’s seminal work on robot planning and control has radically changed the basis of manipulation, interaction, locomotion, and other aspects of system design critical to the development of human-friendly robots. Khatib developed the artificial potential field concept for reactive control of robots, which became a fundamental framework for real-time obstacle avoidance. His pioneering contribution of control in operational space rather than joint space has been integral to advances in whole-body motion and force control, and in humanoid robotics. His group created macro-mini actuation for greater safety in medical robotics and in applications where humans work in close proximity to robots. Khatib’s recent work on a robotics-based approach to human motor control and human motion understanding is providing substantial benefits to restoring movement and improving human performance. His work on learning human skills and mapping to robot-compliant strategies is becoming fundamental to increasing the autonomous capabilities of robots in performing complex tasks and cooperating with people.
An IEEE Fellow, Khatib is a professor with the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.