Center for Marine Robotics

WHOI currently leads the world in advanced measurement and analysis of the ocean environment with sensors, vehicles, and autonomy.  But this leadership is at risk with the broader world of robotics exploding—and catching up, and current funding models under threat.  To maintain and expand the Institution's position in the robotics field, the Institution is evaluating potential for and benefits of a new center for marine robotics. The following is a timeline and documents related to the evaluation of and planning for the new center.

Phase 0: Notional

October 2011 to June 2012

Internal discussions

Funding for Phase 1

Selection of CMR Planning Coordinator

Phase 1: Input & Planning

June to October, 2012

David Mindell (MIT) begins as CMR Planning Coordinator

Individual conversations
Mindell conversations with WHOI individuals and external individuals or organizations, including potential partners and advisory board members

Open meetings for WHOI community
July 10, July 27, and August 16
Presentation by Dave Mindell followed by open discussion
» PPT presentation

Advisory Board is established

  • Larry Clark: WHOI Corporation Member; President, Deerbrook Charitable Trust; former Director of Division of Ocean Sciences, NSF
  • Adm. Gary Roughead: WHOI Trustee; former Chief of Naval Operations
  • Hagen Schempf: Principal Systems Scientist, Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute and Director of Hazardous Environments Robotics Lab
  • Chuck Thorpe: Provost, Clarkson University; former Assistant Director, Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics, White House OSTP; former Director of Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute and Dean CMU, Qatar
  • John Tylko: Vice President of Business Development, Aurora Flight Sciences

Internal PI planning meetings

Meeting of CMR Advisory Board
October 5
» Agenda & participants (MS Word)
» Presentation (ppt)
» Meeting notes (MS Word)

Line up initial sponsors, early committments

Presentation of initial plan to Board at Fall meetings
October 11

Phase 2: Early Startup

October 2012 to May 2013

International search for CMR Director

Selection of interim CMR Director

Continuing discussions on administrative, fiscal, & legal structure

Initial activities begin, including

  • Seminar series
  • Academic partner PI meetings
  • Research agenda, including identification of flagship project
  • Industry partner recruitment
  • Initial communications & marketing efforts, including development of research portfolio
  • CERA week

Phase 3: Initial Operating

Starting May 2013

Last updated: October 10, 2012