Computer Science Profile Red Whittaker



William (Red) Whittaker is a roboticist best known for his role in leading Carnegie Mellon University’s Tartan Racing team to victory in the DARPA Grand Challenge, a driverless car competition funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).


Whittaker got his official start in robotics in 1979, after the meltdown of the nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island. He was part of a team that was given $1.5 million to build robots to inspect and perform repairs in the reactor's damaged basement. From that project, the Field Robotics Center at Carnegie Mellon was created. In 1987, Whittaker co-founded RedZone Robotics, an organization devoted to robots that could operate in hazardous environments and situations too dangerous for humans, such as nuclear reactor accidents like Chernobyl. Whittaker has also worked extensively with robots that explore dangerous or barren landscapes like the ice fields of Antarctica, active volcanoes in Alaska, the Atacama Desert, and collapsed or abandoned mines.


Currently, Whittaker is the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute’s Fredkin Research Professor and the Director of the Field Robotics center and the Chief Scientist of the Robotics Engineering Consortium. If that’s not enough on its own, Whittaker is leading the Carnegie Mellon team competing for the Google Lunar X Prize, in which privately-funded teams are competing to successfully launch a robotic spacecraft that can land and travel across the surface of the moon, all while sending back specified images and data back to Earth.


Check out a speech he gave earlier this year at the World Economic Forum talking about the importance of robotics...





Posted on December 13, 2015 in Announcements by LeeAnn Baronett : 1 Comments

You must be logged in to comment | Sign In

Ravyan786Asro says:

Loved reading your bio. I am an amateur in robotics.I am really inspired by your speech on World Economic Forum!

• Posted on January 19, 2016 |