David Wettergreen-Mechanical Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

David Wettergreen

Associate Research Professor, Robotics Institute

Courtesy Appointment, Mechancial Engineering

Carnegie Mellon University
Robotics Institute
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Office: NSH 2113


David Wettergreen is perhaps most well known for deploying robots around the world in polar and desert environments, and into volcanoes, caves, and locations that compel scientific investigation without human presence. His research focuses on robotic exploration. and, for nearly 20 years, has created robotic vehicles, and technologies in navigation and autonomy, and pioneered techniques for robotic investigation and automated scientific data analysis. Field investigations with innovative robots in challenging environments is a hallmark of his experimental method.


B.S. in Mathematics/Computer Science, Mellon College of Science, Carnegie Mellon, May 1987

M.S. in Software Systems, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon, May 1989
Dissertation: "Software Synthesis for Novel Robotic Systems"

Ph.D. in Robotics, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon, December 1995
Dissertation: "Robotic Walking in Natural Terrain"

Selected Publications

  • “Optimizing Information Value: Improving Rover Sensor Data Collection,” by J. Glasgow, G. Thomas, E. Pudenz, N. Cabrol, D. Wettergreen and P. Coppin, in IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, vol. 28, no. 3, May 2008.
  • “Life in the Atacama: Searching for Life with Rovers” by N.Cabrol, D. Wettergreen, et al., in Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, no. 112, December 2007
  • “Life in the Atacama: Science Autonomy for Improving Data Quality,” by T. Smith, D. Thompson, D. Wettergreen, et al., in Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, no. 112, December 2007
  • “Analysis Of High-Efficiency Solar Cells In Mobile Robot Applications ,” by F. Calderón, A. Lüders, D. Wettergreen, J. Teza, A. Guesalaga, in Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, August 2007
  • “Finding Common Ground: A Field Study of Human-Robot Interaction with a Remote Autonomous Explorer,” by K. Stubbs, P. Hinds, and D. Wettergreen, in IEEE Intelligent Systems, April 2007
  • “Real-Time SLAM with Octree Evidence Grids for Exploration in Underwater Tunnels,” by N. Fairfield, G. Kantor, D. Wettergreen in Journal of Field Robotics, February 2007
  • “Mission-Level Path Planning and Re-Planning for Rover Exploration,” by P. Tompkins, A. Stentz, D. Wettergreen, in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Elsevier, Amsterdam, January 2006