The Robotics Institute
RI | Seminar | September 12

Robotics Institute Seminar, September 12
Time and Place | Seminar Abstract | Speaker Biography | Speaker Appointments

The Personal Rover Project

Illah Nourbakhsh

Time and Place

NSH 3305
Refreshments 3:15 pm
Talk 3:30 pm


The Personal Rover Project is a comprehensive effort to develop and deploy a low-cost rover platform for diverse environments, including the home. This rover serves as an exploration-centered, creative outlet for children as they shape the rover's daily and weekly activities. We argue that such a personal rover will excite and inspire users about math, science and engineering. Early project results span low-cost enabling technologies such as CMUcam, prototype mechanisms capable of climbing steps greatly exceeding wheel diameter, and educational study results following a 30-student test course, Robotic Autonomy, that we taught at NASA/Ames this summer. In this talk, I will describe project activities, including interaction design, platform research, user testing and educational evaluation. This project is part of the Toy Robots Initiative; see

Speaker Biography

Illah R. Nourbakhsh is an Associate Professor of Robotics in The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University in 1996. He is co-founder of the Toy Robots Initiative at The Robotics Institute. His current research projects include educational and social robotics, electric wheelchair sensing devices, believable robot personality, visual navigation and robot locomotion. His past research has included protein structure prediction under the GENOME project, software reuse, interleaving planning and execution and planning and scheduling algorithms. At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory he was a member of the New Millenium Rapid Prototyping Team for the design of autonomous spacecraft. He is a founder and chief scientist of Blue Pumpkin Software, Inc.

Speaker Appointments

For appointments, please contact Illah Nourbakhsh (

The Robotics Institute is part of the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.