The Robotics Institute

RI | Seminar | October 24, 2008

Robotics Institute Seminar, October 24, 2008
Time and Place | Seminar Abstract | Speaker Biography | Speaker Appointments

Robots at Work



William "Red" Whittaker

Carnegie Mellon University


Time and Place


Wean 7500

Time: 3:30 to 4:30 pm




Automation is creating a future where robots develop, secure and feed the world. Intelligent machines are already changing the way we live, work and expand our experiences. They are now tools for labor and hazardous duty on earth, and for exploring other planets, and these robots are here to stay. Development, refinement and markets are driving solutions into the world.

Automation continues to move from laboratory to life. The great questions are no longer whether robots can sense, think and act, but why, how, and where to do this. The talk explores latest technical innovations. It also presents applications for these robots in energy, agriculture, construction, mining, security and exploration. Grand Challenge robot competitions are technical enterprises that are driving leaps of technology in applications from mining to space. These inspire the public and galvanize new visions.

Competitions are played out on a world stage. Breakthroughs from challenge competitions catalyze technology, open huge markets, and forever alter the view of what is possible. The presentation concludes with how robots are affecting ourselves, our world and our futures.


Speaker Biography


Dr. William L. "Red" Whittaker is the Fredkin Professor of Robotics, Director of the Field Robotics Center, and founder of the National Robotics Engineering Consortium, all at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also the Chief Scientist of RedZone Robotics. He has an extensive record of successful developments of robots for craft, labor and hazardous duty. Examples include robots in field environments such as mines, work sites and natural terrain. Dr. Whittaker's portfolio includes the development of computer architectures for controlling mobile robots; modeling and planning for non-repetitive tasks; complex problems of objective sensing in random and dynamic environments; and integration of complete field robot systems.


Speaker Appointments


For appointments, please contact Michele Gittleman (

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