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Photo of Illah R. Nourbakhsh Illah R. Nourbakhsh

Illah R. Nourbakhsh is an Assistant Professor of Robotics in The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University in 1996. He is co-founder of the Toy Robots Initiative at The Robotics Institute. His current research projects include electric wheelchair sensing devices, robot learning, theoretical robot architecture, believable robot personality, visual navigation and robot locomotion. His past research has included protein structure prediction under the GENOME project, software reuse, interleaving planning and execution and planning and scheduling algorithms. At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory he was a member of the New Millennium Rapid Prototyping Team for the design of autonomous spacecraft. He is a founder and chief scientist of Blue Pumpkin Software, Inc. and Mobot, Inc. He is also chief scientist of Hyperbot, Inc, and leads robot autonomy for Probotics, Inc. For more about Illah and his projects, visit his website

See Illah Nourbakhsh's answers to Ask the Scientists questions.


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.