The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) has elected EECS professors Rodney Brooks and David Perreault to IEEE Fellow status. Professors Brooks and Perreault are among a class of 297 selected for the class of 2013 IEEE Fellows. The IEEE grade of Fellow is conferred each year by the IEEE Board of Directors on a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest.
Prof. Rodney Brooks (pictured above, left) was elected to IEEE Fellow status “for contributions to theory and practice of behavorial robotics and artificial intelligence”. Brooks, the MIT Panasonic Professor of Robotics, Emeritus, has been impacting the field of robotics for over 30 years. His research on mobile robotics has defined new ways for building and programming robots, and is bringing robots into everyday life. The key technical innovation was the subsumption architecture, a method for organizing the control system of a robot that was purely reactive and did not depend on complex representations of the world. This work, done during the 1980s, led to the creation of the first wave of inexpensive mobile robot platforms with real-time performance. These mobile robot platforms fueled significant theoretical, algorithmic, and experimental progress in mobile robot locomotion, and spurred further innovation. In 1990 Rod founded the company iRobot. Since 2002, iRobot put over 8,000,000 Roomba robot cleaners in regular homes and showed the world that the dream of personal robots is real. He is a robotics entrepreneur and Founder, Chairman and CTO of Rethink Robotics (formerly Heartland Robotics). He is a Member of the NAE, a Founding Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAAS), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (the other AAAS), and a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
Prof. David Perreault (pictured above, right) was elected to IEEE Fellow status “for contributions to design and application of very high frequency power electronic converters”. Prof. Perreault’s research is devoted to understanding, controlling, optimizing, and economizing energy flow and consumption in electromechanical and electronic systems. He has combined an engineering science perspective with his artistic skill as a world-class circuit designer to advance the state-of-the-art in power electronic circuit design to a new generation of capability in power density, conversion efficiency, and control bandwidth. His work, summarized in over 100 refereed publications, overcomes obstacles to converter improvement with careful topological design choices, new component and materials inventions, an intimate understanding of energy flow in high frequency electromagnetic systems, and control techniques. His ideas have had impact on the automotive, computer, and renewable energy industries, and he is currently collaborating on radio-frequency power amplification for systems ranging from cell phones to MRI machines. He has received numerous professional awards from outside of MIT for both research and teaching, including several IEEE prize paper awards, the IEEE Power Electronics Society's Richard Bass award and an outstanding educatior award from the Society of Automotive Engineers.