Rodney A. Brooks


Rodney A. Brooks
Rodney A. Brooks
Associated organizations
iRobot, Rethink Robotics
Fields of study
IEEE Founders Medal


Rodney A. Brooks has revolutionized the field of robotics and redefined people's perception of robots and their capabilities. Challenging the mainstream approach to robotics during the late 1980s, Dr. Brooks championed real-time strategies of robot control that enable robots to act and react in in real-world environments. He created behavior-based robotics, providing the foundation for mobile robots that can operate in human-crowded environments and for socially interactive humanoid robots. Dr. Brooks co-founded iRobot in 1990 to provide consumer-market robots in the United States, such as the Roomba vacuum. He founded Rethink Robotics in 2008, which developed the user-friendly and safe Baxter industrial robot that is trained to perform a task by a person directly manipulating its arms, showing it locations, fiducial markers and objects, and leading it through the steps of a task.

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Brooks is chairman and chief technology officer with Rethink Robotics, Boston, MA, USA and the Panasonic Professor of Robotics Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. He was the recipient of the 2023 IEEE Founders Medal.