Richard Murray

Interview Location: United States

Interview Synopsis

In this interview, Richard Murray discusses his career in robotics, in particular his work on manipulation and grasping, non-holonomic motion planning, and locomotion. He describes the state of robotics at CalTech and his contribution to robotics projects there, as well as the challenges of his research. Moving into work with UAV/UAS, he outlines his involvement with the Grand Challenge and his eventual involvement with bio-molecular feedback. Additionally he comments on human-robot interaction and the challenges and problems facing robotics.


Richard Murray grew up in El Paso, Texas before going on to study undergraduate Electrical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) in 1981. He received a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from CalTech in 1985, and a master's degree and doctorate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley in 1988 and 1990, respectively. In 1991 he returned to CalTech as an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, where he quickly moved through the ranks; Associate Professor from 1997-2000, Full Professor from 2000-2005, Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems from 2005-2006, Everhart Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems from 2006-2009, and finally Everhart Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems and Bioengineering from 2009 to present. Murray also co-founded the Control and Dynamical Systems program at CalTech and served as Chair of the Engineering and Applied Science department from 2000-2005, Director of the Information Science and Technology department from 2006-2009, and Interim Chair of Engineering Applied Science from 2008-2009, as well as Director of Mechatronic Systems at the United Technologies Research Center in Hartford, CT. Murray's research interests focus robotics, control theory, network systems, and biomolecular feedback applications. For his work he has received several awards and honors, including the NSF Early Faculty Development Award in 1995 and the AACC Donald P. Eckman Award in 1997.