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New Group Supervisors for Mobility & Robotic Systems Section


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Clockwise from upper left: Al Sirota, Issa A.D. Nesnas, Paul Backes, Larry Matthies, and Homayoun Seraji.
Five new Group Supervisors have been announced to lead the reorganized Section 347. They are: Al Sirota, Issa A.D. Nesnas, Paul Backes, Larry Matthies, and Homayoun Seraji.

Sirota will lead the new Robotic Hardware Systems Group, which includes both electronic and mechanical component development for the section. Al comes to the job with 33 years of robotic system development for both research and flight applications.

Nesnas will lead the Robotic Software Systems Group, which includes unifying software systems for control, simulation, robot operations. He comes to the job from the ongoing experience of leading the multi-institutional development effort for the Coupled Layer Architecture for Robotic Autonomy (CLARAty).

Backes will lead the Mobility and Manipulation Group, which includes section development of algorithms for control and coordination of implementations including arms, rovers, and aerial platforms. Paul has 17 years of experience in manipulation and operator interfaces, and recently was a recipient of the NASA Software of the Year Award for his teamed efforts in the development of the MER Maestro Science Activity Planner.

Matthies, remains supervisor of the revamped Computer Vision Group, which develops image processing algorithms and implementations for robotic systems. Larry is a Senior Research Scientist at JPL, and has widened his leadership in stereo vision development into a broad-based oversight of machine vision for space and terrestrial applications.

Seraji will lead the new Advanced Robotic Controls Group, which will be a home to efforts in navigation, rover coordination, behavior-based control, fuzzy-logic sensor processing, and similar reaserch techniques. Homayoun is also a Senior Research Scientist, IEEE Fellow, and has a wide background in controls for manipulation and navigation.

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