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Matthew Robinson's Picture
Address:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 82-105
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone:
818.393.6350
Fax:
818.393.3254
Email:
Click here
Member of:
347G
Robotic Manipulation and Sampling Group
Matthew Robinson, PhD
Senior Member of Engineering Staff
(Short description>>)

Matthew L. Robinson is currently the Deputy Product Delivery Manager of the Sampling and Caching Subsystem for the Mars 2020 Rover. In addition he is the lead robotic arm systems engineer and robotic arm surface operations lead for the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity. Previously he contributed to the 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander mission as the lead robotic arm flight software engineer, robotic arm engineer and surface operator. His research efforts have included the development of calibration-free, stereo-based manipulation techniques (HIPS) and general control systems for holonomic and hybrid nonholonomic/holonomic systems. Other research interests include machine vision, manipulation, mechatronic systems and controls. He is a senior member of the engineering staff in the Robotic Manipulation and Sampling Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he has been since 2001.

Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, 2001
B.S in Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, 1996

Senior Member of Engineering Staff, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2001-present:

Flight Experience:

Mars 2020
  • 2014-Present: Deputy Product Delivery Manager of the Sampling and Caching Subsystem


  • 2011 Mars Science Laboratory rover
  • 2009-Present: Lead Robotic Arm Systems Engineer
  • 2011-Present: Robotic Arm Surface Operations Lead
  • 2009: Integrated Motion Control System Engineer
  • 2008-2009: Robotic Arm FSW Engineer


  • 2007 Mars Phoenix Lander
  • 2004-2008: Software Cognizant Engineer for the Robotic Arm
  • 2003-2008: Robotic Arm Engineer, Analyst, and V&V Engineer
  • 2008 Robotic Arm Surface Operator


  • Research Experience:

  • Development of calibration-free, stereo-based manipulation techniques (HIPS) and general control systems for holonomic and hybrid nonholonomic systems
  • 2003-2004 MTP/IS Manipulation Task - developed algorithms to reduce the number of command cycles for instrument placement and sample acquisition for in-situ exploration
  • 2003 Team In-situ - participated in design study and trade analysis of the Sample Acquisition System (SAS) options for Mars Science Laboratory as part of the Tiger Team
  • 2003 Robot Work Crew (RWC) - developed algorithms for the autonomous, co-operative and coordinated deployment of a photovoltaic (PV) tent by a team of scout robots
  • 2001-2003 LEMUR (Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot) - software developer


  • Consultant, Smurfit Stone Corporation, 1999-2001:

  • Developed Robotic Vision System for palletizing & de-palletizing of empty and full bags
  • Conducted demonstrations for Corporation


  • Graduate Research Assistant, University of Notre Dame, 1996-2001:

  • Dissertation: A Structured Lighting Approach to Image Analysis for Robotic Applications Using Camera-Space Manipulation


  • Course Instructor, University of Notre Dame, 1999-2001:

  • Courses Taught: Dynamics, Statics

  • Flight Project and Research Task Involvement

    Flight Projects:
    2011 - Mars Science Laboratory
    2007 - Phoenix Mars Lander


  • Machine Vision
  • Manipulation
  • Sample Acquisition and Handling
  • Mechatronic systems and controls

  • NASA Honor Awards :
  • 2013 MSL Flight Software Team For outstanding achievement in the design and development of the Mars Science Laboratory Flight Software.
  • 2013 MSL Mastcam, MAHLI and MARDI Instruments Team For exceptional achievement in the definition, development, and operation of the Mastcam, MAHLI, and MARDI instruments and science investigations.
  • 2013 MSL Project Operations Team For outstanding achievement in the operation and successful execution of the Curiosity rovers mission of exploration to the surface of Gale Crater.
  • 2013 MSL Surface Sampling and Science Systems Team For exceptional performance in the face of significant challenges, from design and development through testing and operations of the sampling system.
  • 2009 Phoenix Project Payload Team For outstanding performance in the development, readiness for launch and operations of the Phoenix payload.


  • 2013 Mariner Award For outstanding contributions to and leadership of initial robotic arm operation for early surface operations and the first drill campaign.
  • SPOT Award for new technology development for Hybrid Image-Plane/Stereo (HIPS) Manipulation.
  • 2005 NASA Space Act Award for Hybrid Image-Plane/Stereo (HIPS) Manipulation.
  • ICAR 2003 Honorary Recognition Award for outstanding paper, Sensory Fusion for Planetary Surface Robotic Navigation, Rendezvous, and Manipulation Operations .


  • Patent :
  • Steven B. Skaar, Michael J. Seelinger, Matthew L. Robinson, and Emilio J. Gonzalez-Galvan, Means and method of robot control relative to an arbitrary surface using camera-space manipulation, No. 6,304,050, October 16, 2001.

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