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Robotics Institute Seminar, January 23, 1998
Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh PA 15213-3891
412/268-8525 . 412/268-5576 (fax)

This page is provided for historical and archival purposes only. While the seminar dates are correct, we offer no guarantee of informational accuracy or link validity. Contact information for the speakers, hosts and seminar committee are certainly out of date.

The National Robotics Engineering Consortium: Mission, Challenges and Outlook

John Bares
Director, National Robotics Engineering Consortium
Research Scientist, Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University

Place and Time
Adamson Wing, Baker Hall
Refreshments 3:15 pm
Talk 3:30 pm

Seminar Abstract
The National Robotics Engineering Consortium (NREC) is a cooperative venture of NASA, the City of Pittsburgh, the State of Pennsylvania, and Carnegie Mellon University. The consortium is an entity of the Robotics Institute dedicated to the development of products incorporating advanced robotics technologies. Industrial partners join the NREC with the goal of using mobile robotics technology to improve productivity and safety while reducing costs. NASA supports this effort with robotics technology derived from the space program, skilled personnel, and matching monies. The NREC scientists and consortium industry professionals work together to guide product development toward the goals of the industrial sponsors. The NREC is currently developing robotic vehicles for the mining, earthmoving, agricultural and industrial material handling industries. Projects under formulation include a system for ecological timber harvesting and several products to reduce the cost of natural gas pipeline maintenance and repair. In this talk I will describe the NREC mission, project structure, funding structure, and approach to technology transfer. After overviewing our current projects, I will describe the challenges that I see for the short and long term. Of particular note is the need to become more integrated with the Robotics Institute so that the Institute can increase its role as a source of transferrable technology as well as a source for project concepts, scientists, students and staff.

Speaker Biography
Dr. Bares received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon in 1991 for research titled "Configuration of Autonomous Walkers for Extreme Terrain". After serving as a visiting research engineer for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan for 15 months, he returned to CMU take a faculty position at the Robotics Institute. He was co-PI and project lead on the Dante II project which developed and successfully deployed a semi-autonomous robot into an active volcano in 1994. Since then, Bares has focused on automation of surface and underground mining systems. He is co-PI on several projects which are automating mining equipment to improve productivity and reduce costs. His specific research focus is on system architecture, range sensor design, and system integration. Bares' research objective is to design, build and test large forceful robotic systems that will evolve to be used in industry to solve tasks in complex, dynamic (i.e., changing) and dangerous environments. He is especially interested in field robotic challenges which can be approached in dramatic new ways with robotics. In August 1997 Bares was named Director of the National Robotics Engineering Consortium.

Speaker Appointments
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