Sebastian Thrun is the Finmeccanica Associate professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and a co-director of CMU's Robot Learning Laboratory. Thrun's research focuses on mobile robotics and statistical techniques for real-world perception and action.
Thrun and his students have developed a number of robotic systems for indoor, outdoor, underwater, airborne, and subterranean use. Key innovations include a family of interactive museum tourguide robots, and personal robotic assistance for elderly and frail people.
Thrun has published 3 books, over 220 papers, and given invited plenary talks at international conferences like IJCAI-01, ICML-02, NIPS-01, UAI-02, and ECAI-02. He has managed more than $15M in research funds from DARPA and the NSF, from which he received a CAREER award. In 2001, Thrun won the Olympus Award, Germany's most prestigious award in AI. Thrun also won best paper awards at the 2000 ICRA conference (selected from over 1,100 submissions) and the 1998 AAAI conference. He was the general conference chair of the 1998 CONALD conference and will be the general chair of the 2003 NIPS conference.