Oral-History:Robotics History: Narratives and Networks

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Robotics History: Narratives and Networks Oral Histories

Beginning in 2010, The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, together with the School of Informatics and Computer Science at Indiana University, undertook a major robotics history project, “Robotics History: Narratives and Networks." Selma Šabanović of Indiana University was the principal investigator leading the project team. One of the major goals of the project was to document the development of robotics as a scientific field through an extensive program of oral histories with major figures in the field. Over 90 such oral histories were completed between 2010 and 2013. These oral histories are being posted here as they become available.

  • Rachid Alami Alami's work has focused primarily on robot-robot and human-robot collaboration. Alami is currently the director of Robotics and A.I. research at the Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems (LAAS) of the CNRS, the French National Research Center at the University of Toulouse.
  • Michael Arbib Arbib's work has focused on the intersection oftheoretical neuroscience and computer science, and the influence of that intersection on the field of robotics. He held positions successively at Stanford, the University of Massachusetts, and USC.
  • Robert Ambrose Ambrose is at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX where he is currently the Principal Investigator of the Game Changing Development Program. Ambrose also heads NASA's Robonaut project and has been instrumental in the development of human-robot interactions.
  • Ronald Arkin Arkin, an IEEE fellow has spent most of his career at Georgia Tech, where is currently Regents' Professor, Director of the Mobile Robot Laboratory, and Associate Dean for Research and Space Planning. Much of his work is in robot ethics and deception. He is also known for his corporate consulting, especially his decades long work for SONY on the AIBO and QRIO robots.
  • Minoru Asada Asada is known for his work on image processing and robotic behaviors and has been a graduate professor for the department of Adaptive Machine Systems at Osaka University since 1997.
  • Ruzena Bajcsy Bajcsy has long been a member of the ECE Department at UC-Berkeley. While her previous research centered on robotics and automation, her current focus is on artificial intelligence; biosystems and computational biology; control, intelligent systems, and robotics; graphics and human-computer interaction, computer vision; and security.
  • George Bekey He spent forty years on the engineering faculty of the University of Southern California. He has played major roles in the fields of robotic prosthetics, human robot interaction, and robot ethics. Bekey is an IEEE Life Fellow and founding member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.
  • Jim Bobrow Bobrow, a long time professor at University of California-Irvine has spent the greater part of his career developing robots for use in patient rehabilitation.
  • Bob Bolles Bolles has long been a researcher at SRI international. His work has focused on the combined areas of robotics and computer vision.
  • Herman Bruyninckx Bruyninckx was both educated and has spent most of his career at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, where he has studied problems such as the integration of vision and force control.
  • Joel Burdick Burdick, a long time faculty member at Cal Tech has devoted split his career among several areas including medical applications, especially for the treatment of paralytics, and space exploration work for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • Norm Caplan Caplan spent most of his career at the U. S. National Science Foundation, where he administer programs that funded a wide range of robotics projects. He was also one of the founders and later served as president of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society
  • Brian Carlisle Carlisle has long been a leader in the development and sale of robots for industrial applications, co-founding and leading several companies including Vicarm, Adept Technologies, and Precise Automation.
  • Raja Chatila Chatila has spent most of his career with CNRS in Paris. His research encompasses a broad range of topics within the filed, especially in creating an understanding of the interactions and applications of autonomous and cognitive robotics.
  • Howie Choset Choset has been a robotics professor at Carnegie Mellon since 1996. His research focuses on flexible snake robots, especially their application to medical robotics such as minimally invasive surgery.
  • Peter Corke Corke spent 25 years at the Australian Government research agency CSIRO, where much of his work was on applications of robotics in mining and vision based robot control, also known as video servoing. Since 2010 he has been on the faculty of Queensland University of Technology.
  • Ron Daniel A long time faculty member at Oxford, Daniels' long robotics career as centered on remote control robots, such as those used in nuclear power plants.
  • John Craig Over the course of his almost forty year career, Craig has worked with several different robotics groups and companies performing research on the motion and control of robots and robotic parts, including JPL, Adept, Invenios, and his own company, Silma.
  • Paolo Dario Dario has long been a leader in the application of robotics to medicine and rehabilitation.
  • Ernst Dickmanns Dickmanns spent most of his career at the Universität der Bundeswehr München, where he worked on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, specifically on dynamic computer vision and on autonomous vehicles.
  • Ken Goldberg Goldberg, an IEEE Fellow, has spent most of his career at Berkeley. Much of his work has centered on the intersection of robotics, art, and social networks. He has also worked extensively on automation, and is the founding editor of the IEEE Transactions of Automation Science and Engineering.
  • Norihiro Hagita Educated at Keio University, Hagita has split his career between NTT (Nippon Telephone) and ATR (The Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute). Much of his work has focused on agent systems and pattern recognition.
  • Barbara Hayes-Roth Trained as a cognitive psychologist, Hayes-Roth's work moved from memory analysis in her early years to computer simulation and eventually robotic simulations for human-robot interactions, such as robotic puppets.
  • Shigeo Hirose Hirose has spent his career beginning in graduate school at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, where his research has focused on snake and spider robots.
  • Gerd Hirzinger Herzinger has spent his career at DLR, the German national aeronautics and space research center, where he has played a leading role in the development of robots for use in space.
  • Ralph Hollis Hollis spent the first part of his career in robotics research at IBM, and then moved to Carnegie-Mellon. His research has centered on haptics, agile precision assembly, and dynamically-stable mobile robots
  • Seth Hutchinson Hutchinson, a longtime faculty member at the University of Illinois has devoted much of his career to the intersection of computer vision and robotics.
  • Hirochika Inoue Inoue is professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo. He has had a varied career in robotics, including extensive work on humanoid robots.
  • Ray Jarvis Jarvis, an IEEE Life Fellow, divided his career between the Australian National University and Monash University. His research spanned as wide range of topics within robotics, including computer vision, intelligent robots, path and pattern recognition and planning, and image processing.
  • Petar Kokotovic A Native of Belgrade and an IEEE Life fellow, Kokotovic studied widely in both Eastern and Western Europe before joining the faculty at the University of Illinois where in the 1960s he developed the sensitivity points method which is still in use for the automatic tuning of industrial controllers.
  • John McCarthy McCarthy, a long time professor of computer science at Stanford was a the founders of the field of artificial intelligence, and applied artificial intelligence to robotic arms. He also devised the LISP programming language.
  • Francesco Mondada Mondada was both educated at and has spent his career at the the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. His work has led to at least two commercial successes: the Khepera robot for laboratory applicatons and the E-Puck for educational applications.
  • Nils Nilsson Nilsson spent the first half of his career at SRI and the second half at Stanford. In both places, much of his work focused on Pattern Recognition and AI.
  • Victor Scheinman Scheinman is a leader in the research, development, and industrial applications of robotic arms.
  • Reid Simmons Simmons, from a position a Carnegie-Mellon spent many years working on robotics projects for NASA, and in more recent years has worked extensively on human-robot social interactions.
  • Luc Steels Steels, a long-time professor at the University of Brussels, is best known for his work on employing language for human-robot interactions. Among other things, he played a central role in the development of Sony's AIBO robotic dog.
  • Shigeki Sugano Sugano has spent his career at Waseda University in Japan, where much of his work has concentrated on realizing the Japanese concept of "kokuro," mind, ffection, emotion and intelligence combined, in humanoid robots.
  • Chuck Thorpe Thorpe, working chiefly at Carnegie-Mellon, is a long time leader in the development of autonomous land vehicles, better known as self-driving cars.
  • Red Whittaker Whittaker has spent his career at Carnegie-Mellon, where he has long been a principal in its Robotics Institutes. Among his achievements was the design and a deployment of a robot used in the clean up of the failed Three Mile Island Nuclear Reactor.