Robotics History: Narratives and Networks Oral Histories: Gurav Sukhatme

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Gaurav Sukhatme received his undergraduate education at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT), completing a B. Tech degree in Computer Science and Engineering in 1991. He attended the University of Southern California, Los Angeles (USC) for his Master's (1993) and Ph.D. (1997) degrees in Computer Science.Following graduation, Sukhatme joined the faculty at USC as a Research Associate; later becoming a Research Assistant Professor in December 1997, an Assistant Professor in 2000, and an Associate Professor in 2005. As an Associate Professor, he also gained a joint appointment in Electrical Engineering-Systems. In 2009 he became a full Professor of Computer Science (joint appointment in Electrical Engineering), a position he continues to hold in addition to his role as founder (in 2000) and director of the USC Robotic Embedded Systems Lab, and co-director of the USC Robotics Research Lab (as of 2002). He is also Associate Director of the Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems at USC and Co-Principal Investigator for the Center for Embedded Networking Sensing, UCLA (as of August 2002), and Director of Research for the USC Computer Science Department (as of September 2009).

Sukhatme's research interests focus on multi-robot systems, sensor networks, robot estimation and data fusion, mobile robots, and artificial intelligence. Publishing extensively on the field, he has served as Principal Investigator on several NSF, DARPA, and NASA grants, been a member of numerous robotics organizations and publications, and been awarded various awards and honors, including the NSF Career Award (2002) and Okawa Foundation Research Award (2006).

In this interview, Sukhatme discusses his career in robotics, focusing on mobile robots, marine robotics, and estimation and data fusion. He reflects on his career influences and various collaborations with roboticists as well as his involvement with NSF, DARPA, and NASA projects. Commenting on the evolution and challenges of robotics, and the state of international robotics programs, he advises individuals interested in engineering on the potential of robotics.

  • Published on
  • March 3, 2020

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