Robin Murphy named one of the 25 women in robotics everyone should know

October 21, 2013
| By: Aubrey Bloom

Dr. Robin R. Murphy, Raytheon Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and director of the Center for Robot Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR), was named one of the 25 women in robotics that everyone should know about by Robohub.

The list, which was compiled in celebration of Ada Lovelace Day, includes MacArthur Genius award winner Daniele Russ and iRobot co-founder Helen Greiner as well as professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Georgia Tech Institute of Technology.

"The list highlights both that women are and always have been part of robotics and that women are focusing on applications that will change the world," said Murphy.

According to the Robohub website the women on the list are all leaders in their field with a huge impact on robotics regardless of their gender.

Murphy joined the faculty at Texas A&M in 2008 and is best known for her work with search and rescue robots which have been used in the rubble of the World Trade Center following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as in mud slides, caved-in-mines and collapsed buildings around the world.

She has been honored with the 2010 Motohiro Kiosoi Award from the International Rescue System Institute for her outstanding academic contributions in establishing a new research field in rescue engineering. Murphy was one of five women named in "The Brainiacs" category of the of the 2011 Most Influential Women in Technology by Fast Company. Other categories included "The Entrepreneurs," "The Gamers," "The Advocates," "The Media," and "The Executives." Fast Company began the list of Most Influential Women in Tech in 2009, and this year's list highlights 30 women in the six different categories.

Additionally, in 2009 she was named an Alpha Geek by Wired magazine, and in 2008 she was awarded the Al Aube Outstanding Contributor award by the AUVSI Foundation, the first time the award has been given to an academic. She was also profiled in the June 14, 2004 issue of Time magazine as an innovator in artificial intelligence.

Murphy received a B.M.E. in mechanical engineering, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from Georgia Tech, where she was a Rockwell International Doctoral Fellow. Her basic research focuses on artificial intelligence and human-robot interaction for unmanned systems. These efforts are/have been funded by DoE (RIM), DARPA, ONR, NASA, NSF and industry, and have led to more than 100 publications in the field including the textbook AI Robotics (MIT Press).

Ada Lovelace was the world's first computer programmer and in spite of her undoubted mathematical brilliance, she was reluctant to publish herself and made do with publishing "commentaries" on the works of others.

Her commentaries were far longer far longer and more original than the originals and in the process she demonstrated the future applications for the universal computing machine that Charles Babbage proposed but never built.

Now in its fourth year, Ada Lovelace Day is about sharing stories of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the aim is to create new role models for girls and women in the male-dominated fields by raising the profile of other women in STEM.


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