Carnegie Mellon University

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RI Seminar: William (Red) Whittaker
Robots at Work: Thirty Years

William (Red) Whittaker
Head of the Field Robotics Center, Carnegie Mellon University

October 11, 2013, 3:30-4:30PM, NSH 1305

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Field Robotics is automation’s breakaway success story. The technology develops, secures, and feeds the world and explores worlds beyond. The success is attributable to huge markets like mining, defense, agriculture and automotive coupled with technical success on land, sea, air and space. Some of this success is coincidence of good timing. Much is a consequence of vision, research, enterprise and people, many with roots at Carnegie Mellon University. This talk chronicles the origins and breakthroughs of the first decades with emphasis on the people who made it happen, and speculates on the future of field robotics.

Additional Information

Host: Sebastian Scherer

Appointments: Ashley McClinton (

Speaker Biography

Red Whittaker is the Fredkin professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has developed dozens of technologies and robots, breaking new ground in autonomous vehicles, field robotics, space exploration, mining and agriculture. Whittaker developed the robots that cleaned up the Three-Mile Island nuclear accident. His ground vehicles have driven thousands of autonomous miles. Whittaker won DARPA's $2 million Urban Challenge. Whittaker is competing for the $20-million Google Lunar X Prize for privately landing a robot on the moon.