Matt Mason

Interview Location: United States

Interview Synopsis

In this interview, Matt Mason discusses his career in robotics, in particular in compliant motion, force control, and fine motion planning. Outlining his involvement in projects at IBM, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon, he provides insight into the state and evolution of robotics at the time. Describing his current work on manipulation and robotic hands, he comments on the future of robotics at CMU and of the field as a whole.


Matt Mason was born in Oklahoma City in 1952. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he completed a B.S degree in Computer Science, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence in 1976, 1978, and 1982, respectively. After graduation, he came straight to Carnegie Mellon University where he is a Professor in the Computer Science Department and at the Robotics Institute. Additionally, from 1995 to 2004, he was Chair of the Robotics Doctoral Program, and from 2004 to 2014 he was the Director of the Robotics Institute. Mason was also a Research Visitor at Sandia National Labs in 1994 and 1995, and at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in 1978. His interests include robotics and robotic manipulation. For his work in robotics he has earned several awards and honors, including the Systems Development Foundation Prize in 1983 and the Pioneer Award from the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society in 2009, and is the 2018 recipient of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Award.