Co-founder & Chief Scientist
Alonzo Kelly is a co-founder, director, and the Chief Scientist of Locomation. Professor Kelly started his career as an engineering manager working on the Space Shuttle Remote Manipulator System in the 1990s while also obtaining a degree in computer science. He went on to gain Ph.D. credentials in the newly formed robotics department at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). While at CMU, he also joined the technical staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for 2 terms. He has since then collaborated with JPL on R&D for the Mars rovers from the Pathfinder mission to the present.
Professor Kelly has made numerous fundamental contributions to robotics including the inverse dynamics approach to local planning that is now standard on autonomous vehicles (AVs) everywhere. This algorithm was a partial basis for CMU winning the DARPA Urban Challenge — an event that placed AVs in the mainstream media for the first time. Prior to the Urban Challenge, numerous pioneers including Professor Kelly had already been active in the AV field for almost twenty years.
Over decades of teaching mobile robots at CMU while also executing close to 100 robotics R&D programs at NREC, he eventually became a tenured full professor of robotics. Professor Kelly is an internationally recognized authority on robotics technology. He is the author of the comprehensive engineering text Mobile Robots: Mathematics Models and Methods as well as 200 other technical articles ranging from trade journals to academic papers to intellectual property disclosures and patents.