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Brett  Kennedy's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 303-406G
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Member of:
Robotic Vehicles and Manipulators Group

Brett Kennedy
Group Supervisor
(Short description>>)

Brett Kennedy graduated from University of California, Berkeley in 1996 with his B.S. in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in controls and robotics. As an undergraduate, he was involved in research covering the design of composite material parts, the design of human amplification mechanisms, and the finite-element modeling of bones. In 1997, he received his M.S. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University concentrating on mechatronics and robotics.

7/97-present Jet Propulsion Laboratory- Staff Engineer (Robotic Hardware Group)

-Cognizant Engineer of two subsystems aboard the Mars Exploration Rover (MER)
-Rover/Lander separation joints
-Aerogel insulation of the Warm Electronics Box (WEB)

-Task Manager and Lead Mechanical Engineer for the Lemur-class robots (Lemur I, IIa, IIb, III). These robots are small, limbed, dexterous systems for autonomous inspection and maintenance in space

-Task Manager and Lead Mechanical Engineer for the Steep Terrain Access Robot (STAR) task, which used the Lemur IIb robot to research cliff-climbing

-Lead Mechanical Engineer (design definition, detailed design, testing, and field-testing)
-Exploration Technology Rover (FIDO), the functional prototype for MER
-Tactical Mobile Rover (TMR), a robotic "pointman" for DARPA
-All-Terrain Explorer (ATE), a concept system of robots for the exploration of traditionally inaccessible terrain
-JPL-wide Mentor for the SolidWorks CAD package and associated analysis tools
-Provided advice and tips to users of SolidWorks and associated tools
-Helped evaluate new CAD and analysis software

5/96 - 9/96 IBM Corporation, Storage Systems Division - Equipment Engineer (Head Stack Assembly)
Designed components for manufacturing and maintenance equipment. Designed and implemented an ongoing program for the optimization of actuator build jigs. Dealt with several automatic systems on the manufacturing line.

8/95 - 5/96 U.C. Berkeley - Researcher
Created a PATRAN model of an anterior screw prosthesis within a vertebral body. T. Keaveny advising professor.

5/95 - 10/95 IBM Corporation, Storage Systems Division - Process Engineer (Head Stack Assembly)
Analyzed quality control data of new disk drive actuators. Performed correlation studies on testers. Created an automated spreadsheet demand/capacity model for worldwide actuator production. Model was used by management to identify necessary capital expenditures in excess of $1M.

6/94 - 5/95 U.C. Berkeley - Researcher
Conducted work on a composite pressure vessel to be used as a fuel tank for methane-powered vehicles. Research covered fabrication, including an innovative winding technique, and design of the vessel. C.K.H. Dharan advising professor.

Flight Project and Research Task Involvement

Flight Projects:
2011 - Mars Science Laboratory
2003 - Mars Exploration Rover

Research Tasks:
AWIMR: Autonomous Walking Inspection and Maintenance Robot
DARE: Distributed & Re-Taskable Electronics
DRC - DARPA Robotics Challenge, RoboSimian (Track A)
In Space Robotic Assembly and Maintenance
ISS Remote Inspection System (IRIS)
Mars Ascent Vehicle Front End and Payload
Phoenix Gecko Gripper
Tactile Wheels
Unified Processing for Robotic Icy Terrain Exploration (UPRITE)

-novel robotic mobility systems

-robotic assembly, inspection, and maintenance for space operations

-high dexterity robotic systems

-underactuated gripping systems

-JPLs Technical Excellence Award, April 1999
-JPLs Notable Organizational Value-Added (NOVA) Award, July 1999
-JPLs Notable Organizational Value-Added (NOVA) Award, April 1998

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