Howie Choset

Interview Location: United States

Interview Synopsis

In this interview, Choset recounts his career in robotics and his contributions to the field. He describes his early interest in motion which led him to study robotics, and his early collaborations with Ruzena Bajcsy and Joel Burdick which helped guide his career. He speaks about his research at Carnegie Mellon, especially his work on medical robots, his contribution to the development of the snake robot, and his various industrial and student collaborations, and the practical applications that arose from it. Additionally, he reflects on the evolution of the field of medical robotics, and provides advice to young people interested in the field.


Howie Choset was born in New York and grew up on Long Island. Choset's early interest in motion led him to pursue robotics. He earned a dual bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990 in computer science and engineering in 1990 from the Moore Schooli and in entrepreneurial management in from the Wharton School. He did his graduate work in mechanical mngineering at Cal Tech, earning a master's and Ph.D. in 1991 and 1996, respectively. After graduation, he joined the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, where he continues today a a Professor of Robotics, directing the undergraduate robotics minor and teaching an undergraduate course on Robotics.

During his undergraduate years he worked under Ruzena Bajcsy at the GRASP lab working on vision systems, and at Caltech he worked with Joel Burdick on the the robotic exploration of three-dimensional space. At Carnegie Mellon, his reseach has centered on medical robots, control design, and multi-agent path planning . Choset has researched and designed snake robots, co-founded Medrobotics (which utilizes snake robots for minimally invasive surgery) with Marco Zenati and Alon Wolf, and founded a second company which manufacturers modular robot actuators.