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Speaker Biographies

Robots: An Exhibition of U.S. Automatons from the Leading Edge of Research
Highlighting the WTEC International Study of Robotics

SPEAKERS AND PANELISTS

Photo of Junku Yuh

 

Junku Yuh

Head, Tokyo Office
Office of International Science and Engineering, NSF

Contact information:
NSF, U.S. Embassy, Tokyo, 1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan 107-8420
Phone: +81-3-3224-5505
Fax: +81-3-3224-5507
Email: jyuh@nsf.gov

Dr. Junku Yuh is the head (director) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Tokyo Regional Office. With the increasingly global nature of science and technology, he plays a critical role in helping to bridge the research and education communities of the United States and the East Asia and Pacific region. He has over 20 years of experience in science, engineering and technology programs and policy matters as a researcher and as a U.S. federal government officer. He was, most recently, NSF program director of the Robotics and Computer Vision programs in Washington, D.C. Prior to coming to NSF, he was professor of mechanical engineering and information and computer science at the University of Hawaii for 16 years, where he also served as director of the Autonomous Systems Laboratory. Dr. Yuh is an elected Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) fellow and received several prestigious awards, including an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award from former U.S. President George Bush (1991). He has published over 120 technical articles and edited/co-edited 10 books in the area of robotics. He is an internationally reputable author in robotics, especially underwater robotics.

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Photo of George A. Bekey

 

George A. Bekey

Computer Science Department
University of Southern California

Contact information:
University of Southern California, 941 West 37th Place, SAL 218, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0781
Phone: (213) 740-4501
Email: bekey@usc.edu

George A. Bekey is an emeritus professor of computer science at the University of Southern California (USC). His research interests include autonomous robotic systems, multi-robot cooperation and human-robot interaction. He received his doctorate in engineering from UCLA. Following employment at Beckman Instruments and TRW Systems he joined the faculty at USC in 1962. He served as chairman of the electrical engineering-systems department from 1978 to 1982, as chairman of the computer science department from 1984 to 1989 and as associate dean for research of the USC School of Engineering from 1996 to 1999. He has published over 200 papers and several books in robotics, biomedical engineering, computer simulation, control systems and human-machine systems. Dr. Bekey is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). He is editor in chief of the journal Autonomous Robots, and founding editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation. During 1996 and 1997, he served as president of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.

His new book, entitled Autonomous Robots: From Biological Inspiration to Implementation and Control, was published by MIT Press in May 2005.

Dr. Bekey officially retired from USC in 2003, but continues to be active on a part-time basis at the university, as well as in consulting and service on the advisory boards of several high technology companies. He is also affiliated with a medical devices startup company in San Luis Obispo and a robotics company in Los Angeles.

Effective September 2005, he will also be an adjunct professor of engineering at California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo.

His Web site is http://robotics.usc.edu/~bekey.

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Photo of Robert O. Ambrose

 

Robert O. Ambrose


Robotics Systems Technology Branch
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Contact information:
NASA Johnson Space Center, Mail Code ER4, Houston, TX 77058
Phone: (281) 244-5561
Email: rambrose@ems.jsc.nasa.gov

Robert O. Ambrose received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in mechanical engineering from Washington University, and his doctorate from the University of Texas. His publications include topics in robot design, space environmental modeling, actuator development, kinematics, kinetics, bio-mechanics, interactive design software and non-linear optimization. He has built robotic systems for space, microelectronics, nuclear and agricultural applications, including manipulators, force feedback joysticks, gantries, walking machines and wheeled robots. He is currently Johnson Space Center's Robonaut Project leader.

The Web site is http://vesuvius.jsc.nasa.gov/er_er/html/robonaut/robonaut.html

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Photo of Vijay Kumar

 

Vijay Kumar


Department of Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mathematics
University of Pennsylvania

Contact information:
University of Pennsylvania, 3330 Walnut Street, Levine Hall, GRW 470 Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 898-5814
Email: kumar@grasp.upenn.edu

Vijay Kumar received his Master of Science and doctorate in mechanical engineering from The Ohio State University in 1985 and 1987 respectively. He has been on the faculty in the department of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics with a secondary appointment in the department of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania since 1987. He is currently the UPS Foundation professor and the chairman of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics.

Dr. Kumar served as the deputy dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science from 2000-2004. He was director of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory, a multidisciplinary robotics and perception laboratory, from 1998-2004. He is a co-founder of Bio Software Systems, a start-up company in Camden, N.J., commercializing novel software tools for the analysis of regulatory networks.

Dr. Kumar's research interests lie in the area of robotics and networked multi-agent systems. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a member of the Robotics International, Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He has served on the editorial board of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, editorial board of the Journal of The Franklin Institute and the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design. He is the recipient of the 1991 NSF Presidential Young Investigator award, the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the 1997 Freudenstein Award for significant accomplishments in mechanisms and robotics and the 2004 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation Kawamori Best Paper Award.

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Photo of Arthur C. Sanderson

 

Arthur C. Sanderson

Professor, Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Contact information:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180
Phone: (518) 276-2879
Email: sandea@rpi.edu

Arthur C. Sanderson received his Bachelor of Science degree from Brown University, Providence, R.I., in 1968, and his Master of Science and doctorate degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1970 and 1972, respectively.

Dr. Sanderson held faculty positions at Carnegie Mellon University from 1973 to 1987, where he was co-director of the Robotics Institute, the largest university-based robotics research center in the United States. In that role, he provided guidance for programs in industrial robotics, mobile robotics with applications to space, defense, and hazardous environments, medical robotics, and fundamental research in intelligent systems. He pioneered research on real-time visual servo control systems for robotics applications, and introduced sensor-based control architectures in a number of different domains.

He has held visiting positions at Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, Mexico, and Philips Laboratories, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. In 1987, he joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as professor and served as department head of the electrical, computer and systems engineering department from 1987 to 1994. He was co-director of the Center for Advanced Technology in Automation and Robotics, and co-principal investigator of the Center for Intelligent Robotic Systems for Space Exploration, and developed real-time hierarchical architectures for space flight applications. He developed the "Tetrobot" system of modular distributed robotics that provides flexible reconfiguration of robotics capability for different applications.

Dr. Sanderson is the author of over 250 publications and proceedings in the areas of biomedical signal processing, robotics and automation systems, sensor-based control, computer vision, and applications of knowledge-based systems. He has published the books Intelligent Task Planning Using Fuzzy Petri Nets, World Scientific Publishers, 1996, with T. Cao; Tetrobot: A Modular Approach to Reconfigurable Parallel Robotics, Kluwer Academic Press, 1998, with G. Hamlin; and Multisensor Fusion: A Minimal Representation Framework, World Scientific Publishers, 1999, with R. Joshi. The book Network-Based Distributed Planning Using Coevolutionary Algorithms, co-authored with R. Subbu, World Scientific Publishers, is currently in press.

In January 2000, Dr. Sanderson was appointed the vice president for research of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In this capacity, he is responsible for coordination of all research programs on the campus. He has a leadership role in the development of strategic priorities for research at Rensselaer, and has oversight of interdisciplinary research centers in nanotechnology, microelectronics, scientific computation, automation technology, terahertz research, and pervasive computing and networking. In April 2003, New York state established the Rivers and Estuaries Center on the Hudson with strong involvement of Rensselaer. Dr. Sanderson is currently working with the center on the application of distributed systems, sensors and sensor networks, and robotics to environmental sensing and monitoring.

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Photo of Brian Wilcox

 

Brian Wilcox

Principal Investigator
Rough and Steep Terrain Lunar Surface Mobility Project
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Contact information
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, M/S 107-102, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone: (818) 354-4625
Email: Brian.H.Wilcox@jpl.nasa.gov

Brian Wilcox is the principal investigator for the Rough and Steep Terrain Lunar Surface Mobility Project, which is developing a robot for use in the upcoming NASA Vision for Space Exploration of the moon and Mars outlined by President Bush in January of 2004.

Brian was the supervisor of the Robotic Vehicles Group at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for over 20 years, and has also been the manager of the Solar System Exploration Mobility Technology program. He led the group that was responsible for the electronics, software and mission operations for the Sojourner Rover that explored a small part of Mars in 1997, and he was personally responsible for Sojourner's cameras and autonomous navigation system.

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Photo of Yuan F. Zheng

 

Yuan F. Zheng


Electrical and Computer Engineering
The Ohio State University

Contact information:
Phone: (614) 292-8039
Email: zheng@ece.osu.edu

Professor Yuan F. Zheng received the Master of Scince and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio in 1980 and 1984, respectively. His undergraduate education was received at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 1970. From 1984 to 1989, he was with the department of electrical and computer engineering at Clemson University, Clemson, S.C. Since August 1989, he has been with The Ohio State University, where he is currently Winbigler professor of electrical and computer engineering. Professor Zheng served as the chairman of the department from 1994 to 2004. Between 2004 and 2005, Professor Zheng was on leave at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) in Shanghai, China, where he continues to have an adjunct appointment. Professor Zheng was vice president for technical affairs of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Robotics and Automation Society from 1996 to 1999. He was an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation between 1995 and 1997. He was the program chair of the 1999 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, held in Detroit, Mich., on May 10-15, 1999. Professor Zheng received the Presidential Young Investigator Award from President Ronald Reagan in 1986.

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