David Wettergreen


I am a research professor at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. My research focuses on robotic exploration: underwater, on the surface, and in air and space, and in the necessary ingredients of perception, planning, learning and control for robot autonomy.

My work spans conceptual and algorithm design through to field experimentation and results in mobile robots that explore the difficult, dangerous, and usually dirty places on Earth, in the service of scientific and technical investigations. Much of this work is relevant to ongoing and future space activities.

I am
currently leading projects in robotic exploration using robots to investigate the geology and biology of the Atacama Desert in Chile using the rover Zoë.  It has surveyed over 250km autonomously measuring the distribution of micro-organisms.

In recent past I have developed and tested lunar polar prospectors, autonomous underwater cave explorers and technologies for Antarctic traverse.  I also led research in sun-synchronous navigation, conducting field experiments well above the Arctic Circle on Devon Island in Canada. Our rover Hyperion executed 24-hour long traverses tracking the ever present sun as it explored.

Research and development of mobile robotic systems involves complex systems engineering and is aided by effective software engineering practice. In a useful parallel, I teach System Engineering.



Hyperion (at left)