IRIM Robotics Seminar–Michael A. Gennert

Michael A. Gennert, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, presents “Systems, Software, and Simulation: Meeting the DARPA Robotics Challenge” as part of the IRIM Robotics Seminar Series. The seminar will be held in the TSRB Auditorium from 12-1 p.m. and is open to the public.  


The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) requires teams to integrate mobility, manipulation, and perception to accomplish several disaster-response tasks.

This talk describes the WPI-CMU DRC Team entry, the hardware choices, and software architecture that enable human-in-the-loop control of a 28 degree-of-freedom Atlas humanoid robot over a limited bandwidth link. We discuss our methods, results, and lessons learned from the DRC Trials tasks, focusing on driving. We were one of only seven teams to attempt the driving task, and the only team with an Atlas robot to successfully drive the course. The effectiveness of our system architecture was demonstrated as the WPI-CMU DRC Team scored 11 out of a possible 32 points, ranked 7th at the Trials, and was selected as a finalist for the DRC Finals.


Michael A. Gennert is the director of the Robotics Engineering Program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he is a professor of both computer science and electrical and computer engineering. Previously, he has worked at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, the University of California–Riverside, General Electric Ordnance Systems, and PAR Technology Corporation.

The author or co-author of more than 100 papers, Gennert’s research focuses on computer vision, image processing, scientific databases, and programming languages. He has ongoing projects in biomedical image processing, robotics, and stereo and motion vision. Gennert is a member of Sigma Xi, the NDIA Robotics Division, and the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council Robotics Cluster. His is also a senior member of IEEE and ACM.

In 1980, Gennert received his S.B. in Computer Science and his S.B and S.M. in Electrical Engineering, after which he then received his Sc.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1987, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Event Details


  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014
    12:00 pm - Thursday, April 24, 2014
    12:59 pm
Location: TSRB Auditorium

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