In Memorium: Richard D. Klafter – Former RAS President
Richard D. (Dick) Klafter died on 11 November 2019. He was an IEEE Fellow and served as the fourth President of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) from 1994-1995.
Dick received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the City University of New York in 1969. He was a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He served as the Director of Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering during his tenure there.
Dick was a founding member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Council which later became the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. He was the first Treasurer of the Council. He served for many years in this role and was the Vice President for Finance during the transition from a Council to a Society. He was the Treasurer for the first ICRA (IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation) held outside the USA in Nice, France in 1992.
He co-authored one of the early textbooks in robotics – Robotic Engineering: An Integrated Approach in 1989. He was elevated to IEEE Fellow in 1996 for his contributions to robotics education and graduate training in electrical and computer engineering.
During his term as President, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine began publication in 1994. He co-chaired the IEEE RAS Awards Committee after his term as President during which time the RAS Pioneer Award and IEEE RAS Early Career Awards were established.
Dick was known for his good humor and supportive leadership. He will be remembered as one of the early leaders within the IEEE in the field of robotics and automation.
RAS Past Presidents were honored during ICRA 2012.
l-r: David Orin, Kazuhiro Kosuge, Bruno Siciliano, Dick Volz, Paolo Dario, Larry Ho, Toshio Fukuda, George Bekey, Norm Caplan, Dick Klafter, Art Sanderson and TJ Tarn