Ralph Sprang is a Principal Engineer and leads the Embedded Hardware Group. In this role he is responsible for the on-board embedded computer and electronic systems hardware that control the autonomous trucks.
Dr. Sprang began his career developing automation, communication, and workstation systems for defense contractors, including autonomous anti-tank platforms, artillery resupply vehicles, and robotic systems for other defense applications. In the second decade of his career, he developed products that leveraged military communications and security technologies to the commercial and consumer sectors. He then taught engineering classes at the Pennsylvania State University, The Behrend College for five years before returning to the robotics industry. He designed and developed industrial automation, control, robot, and inspection equipment for the glass and plastics industries, and later developed robotic joints and actuators for research applications. In late 2018 Dr. Sprang joined Locomation as one of the early employees and personally designed and fabricated the electronics control systems in the first Locomation vehicles. He continues to contribute his technical skills to the company while also leading a team to develop the electronic and computing systems for the next generation of autonomous semi trucks.
Dr. Sprang earned his PhD at the University of Pittsburgh and previously earned an MSEE degree from the Johns Hopkins University and a BSEE degree from the Ohio State University.
Dr. Sprang is active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and has held a range of positions including Pittsburgh Section Chair. He is currently Chair of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and serves the international IEEE organization as Region 2 A&A Committee Representative and Membership Development Coordinator.