New Leadership for Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Center

Philip LehmanMonday, February 23, 2015

Herman Herman will succeed Anthony Stentz as director of the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), effective today.

Carnegie Mellon University today announced that Herman Herman will succeed Anthony Stentz as director of its National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), effective today.

Herman has been a principal commercialization specialist at NREC for eight years, focusing on robotic system design and integration. His work is central to NREC's mission, which is to mature robotics technologies into operationally relevant, field-tested systems and transfer them for commercialization. As a principal commercialization specialist, Herman has been at the center of these thrusts.

"We are delighted that Herman Herman will be leading NREC," said Martial Hebert, director of the Robotics Institute in the School of Computer Science. "He deeply understands NREC's culture of hard work and creativity, which bring these technologies from sketches on a white board to fully realized, deliverable prototypes."

Stentz will step down as director of NREC after 18 years of outstanding administrative service there. He has been a faculty member at the Robotics Institute for 25 years and will remain a regular member of the CMU faculty. After a transition period at NREC — during which he will continue leading efforts toward the DARPA Robotics Challenge and other project work — he plans to take an academic leave of absence from the university to pursue a new technical opportunity.

"Tony's leadership has been central to the many successes of NREC, its growth, and the organization's many contributions to the reputation of the Robotics Institute and Carnegie Mellon over the last two decades," Hebert said.

NREC has been working to develop the CHIMP robot, an entrant into the DARPA Robotics Challenge, which is driving the development of robots with humanlike capabilities. Work on the CHIMP robot will pave the way for improvements in plant operations, maintenance and inspection, disaster recovery, logistics and transportation, and assistive care.

About Herman Herman: Herman Herman is a principal commercialization specialist at the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), a center within the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Herman has extensive experience in robotic system design and integration, sensor design, image processing, system engineering, and program management. He has developed numerous robotic vehicles and sensor suites for defense and commercial applications, including robotics mine-detection systems for military and humanitarian demining applications and various vision-based intelligent sensors for agricultural applications. He is also the perception hardware and electronics lead for the Tartan Rescue Team, NREC's entry in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. Herman holds a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. in computer science from the University of Illinois.

About Anthony Stentz: Anthony Stentz is a research professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute and director of the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC). Stentz's research includes autonomous ground and air vehicles, robot planning for uncertain environments, multi-robot coordination, perception for outdoor vehicles, manipulation for humanoid robots, robot architecture, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in the context of fieldworthy systems. He has more than 250 papers and patents to his credit. Stentz has received the Alan Newell Award for Research Excellence for his agricultural automation work and a NASA Board Award for developing software used on the Mars Exploration Rovers. His organization (NREC) was nominated for a DARPA Sustained Excellence Award for its unmanned ground vehicle work and received an Edison Gold Award for its paint-stripping robot.

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