Bill Ross
My last day at CMU was July 31, 2013.
I am now at Carnegie Robotics LLC. -- (412) 848-1148

I have worked as an engineer, researcher, and project leader in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon since 1990 and have been involved with many of CMU's robotics projects, contributing across a variety of disciplines including real-time software and controls, computer vision and sensing software algorithms, advanced simulation, design of custom multi-processor systems, sensor hardware, and mechanical design.  I currently work as a Principal Commercialization Specialist at the NREC where I lead projects which drive advanced robotic technologies into everyday industrial and government use.

Selected Current and Past Projects

Mobile seven degree of freedom manipulator arm for remote intervention and other tasks. Arm is lightweight, agile, and designed for safe use in Zone-1 explosive atmospheres.

Mobile robot arm video.

Realtime, high-resolution 3D stereo vision system generates rich 3D world data on the fly with a small, lightweight, simple and passive camera pair.

Stereo demonstration video.

Sensabot IECEx compliant sensing robot for semi-autonomous and teleoperated inspection tasks in oil and gas plants and other hazardous industrial environments. Designed for long-term operation in unmanned facilities, hazardous environments, offshore platforms and other high-risk environments.

Sensabot web site with latest pictures and videos.

Powerful, compact, heavy-duty robot for a variety of remote applications. Hybrid diesel-electric power with 4 wheel independent drive.

TRP demonstration video.

2-D Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM) software system for control of industrial robots in indoor settings.  Optimized and enhanced algorithm based on DpSlam running with a single planar laser scanner in real-time on a standard workstation.

Video of real-time SLAM processing.

Agile six-legged work robot. Diesel-electric hybrid drive provides high power density for effective work in tight, complex spaces. Six legs with independent wheel drive motors gives excellent mobility in even the most challenging environments.

Agility demonstration video.

Six camera, 360 degree teleoperation camera system with integral video encoding.  Provides capability to tune image parameters to suit a wide variety of communication link capabilities from 1 to 25 Mbit/sec.  Deployed on operational robot systems.

Agile robotic platform for software development.  High performance, battery powered system for use indoors or in the field.  Ample power and payload supports a wide variety of sensors and computing platforms while high torque motors allow robot to be driven in either articulated or skid-steer modes.

Teleoperation testbed for NREC Crusher robot.  Five high resolution cameras tethered with fiber-optic spooler to operator's station mounted in motion-simulator pod.  Full control of video quality, bandwidth and latency allowed characterization of operator performance for a variety of simulated communications systems. 

System for classification of mouse behaviors for an ongoing research and development effort in cooperation with a private drug discovery company. This hardware and software system automates pharmaceutical research by using computer vision to automatically classify behaviors of mice. Scored behaviors for thousands of mice are automatically analyzed using machine learning techniques to determine the behavioral effects of potential drug compounds.  Multiple systems in commercial use.

Robotic coatings removal system for ships, storage tanks and other steel structures.  Highly agile electric drive with patented magnetic attach.  Blasts paint and rust from the surface using ultra high pressure water.  Debris is vacuumed away for enviromentally safe capture and treatment.  In commercial use by shipyard service company.

Video of robot in action.

Reconfigurable Vision Machine project which developed a very high performance, DSP-based, custom 120-CPU reconfigurable image processor now in production.  Machine can be configured using a variety of processing, control and I/O modules.  Six high-speed communications ports per module enable use of a variety of multiprocessing approaches and topologies.  In use for commercial product inspection.

Partial List of Refereed Publications
Bill Ross, David LaRose, Hank Wilde, L. Douglas Baker.  "High Performance Teleoperation for Industrial Work Robots" in CARPI proceedings 2010.
Ross, B., J. Bares, D. Stager, L. Jackel, and M. Perschbacher. 2008. "An Advanced Teleoperation Testbed", 2007 Conference on Field and Service Robotics, Chamonix, France
Ross, Bill, John Bares, and Chris Fromme. 2003. "A Semi-Autonomous Robot for Stripping Paint from Large Vessels". The International Journal of Robotics Research. 22 (7-8): 617-626.
Ross, B., J. Bares, and C. Fromme. 2003. "A Semi-Autonomous Robot for Stripping Paint from Large Vessels",  2001 Conference on Field and Service Robotics, Helsinki Finland.
Ross, B.  “A Robot Boat for Offshore Science” in FSR Proceedings 1999.
Ross, B.“A Practical Stereo Vision System” in CVPR Proceedings 1993.

School of Computer Science Most Innovative Effort Award 2003.
Shared Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence 2006.
Eight patents issued or pending.