Global Conference Menu

Dr. Richard Doyle

Richard Doyle
Dr. Richard Doyle

Seven Years on Mars with Spirit and Opportunity

Ever wonder what it would be like to drive on Mars? One of the most special jobs at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is that of Rover Driver. These privileged workers plan and execute the movements and activities of the two Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. I'll give an overview of the science objectives of this mission to Mars, and the hardware and software that make the rovers so capable. Then I'll describe the jobs of Rover Driver and Rover Planner and introduce some of the people who have filled these roles. The heart of the talk will focus on the discoveries and adventures of Spirit and Opportunity, including how the rovers (and their operators) have become smarter over many kilometers and years. Finally, we'll look ahead to the next mission to Mars, called Mars Science Laboratory, and the rover called Curiosity.

Richard J. Doyle is Deputy Manager of the Solar System Exploration Technology Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and he holds the Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He edits the department “AI in Space” for IEEE Intelligent Systems. He was General Chair for the International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space (i-SAIRAS), held at University City, Los Angeles in 2007, and he was Local Arrangements Chair for the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-09) held in Pasadena in 2009.