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Member of:
Former JPL Robotics Personnel
Thomas M. Howard, Ph.D.
Research Technologist
(Full description>>)

Biography (more>>)
Thomas Howard is a Research Technologist with the Robotics Software Systems Group at the JPL. Dr. Howard earned a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2009. His doctoral thesis research focused on developing model-predictive techniques for mobile robot motion planning in complex environments. While at Carnegie Mellon University he contributed the local navigation trajectory planner for Boss, winner of the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge.

Since joining JPL in 2009 he has worked on developing technologies for motion planning, navigation, control, and simulation of mobile robots and redundant manipulators. Dr. Howard has recently led research tasks on perception and pose estimation in poorly illuminated environments and mobile robot search space design. He is a member of the Mars Science Laboratory flight software team working on autonomous navigation and the motion planning lead for the JPL/Caltech team on the DARPA Autonomous Robotic Manipulation program.

Education (more>>)
Ph.D. in Robotics (2009)
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

M.S. in Robotics (2006)
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering (2004)
University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2004)
University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

Professional Experience (more>>)
Research Technologist II (2009-): Principal Investigator, Co-Investigator, Key Personnel, or contributor for research projects sponsored by NASA, SPAWAR, and DARPA.

Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering (2011,2012): Co-taught the two-quarter class Advanced Robotics: Navigation and Vision at the California Institute of Technology.

Research Interests (more>>)
Mobile Robots, Motion Planning, Navigation, Control, Mobile Manipulation, Redundant Manipulators, System Identification, Autonomous Systems

Selected Publications (more>>)

T.M. Howard, C. Green, and A. Kelly, "Receding Horizon Model-Predictive Control for Mobile Robot Navigation of Intricate Paths," in Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Field and Service Robotics, 2009.

T.M. Howard, C. Green, D. Ferguson, and A. Kelly, "State Space Sampling of Feasible Motions for High Performance Mobile Robot Navigation in Complex Environments," Journal of Field Robotics, Vol. 25, No. 6-7, 2008, pp. 325-345.

T.M. Howard and A. Kelly, "Optimal Rough Terrain Trajectory Generation for Wheeled Mobile Robots," International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2007, pp. 141-166.

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