This image shows Urbie, one of PackBot's
This image shows Urbie, one of PackBot's "ancestors." This lightweight structure, which included some NASA technology, had rugged features that were useful in emergency response situations.

How do you teach a robot to avoid obstacles, map its surroundings and go where you want it to go?

Robert Hogg of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and colleagues have done just that. Hogg will share their work during two free lectures entitled, "Autonomous Navigation for Urban Robots," on Thursday, March 14 at JPL and Friday, March 15 at Pasadena City College.

Hogg works on "Urbie," an urban robot designed to navigate city terrain without any help from humans. This research on self-navigation, stereoscopic vision and locomotion holds promise for a variety of applications, including search and rescue missions, unmanned reconnaissance and the exploration of distant planets.

Both lectures are open to the public and will start at 7 p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Thursday's lecture will be in JPL's von Karman Auditorium, located at 4800 Oak Grove Drive in Pasadena, off the Oak Grove Drive exit of the 210 (Foothill) Freeway. Friday's lecture will be at the Pasadena City College Forum, located at 1570 E. Colorado Blvd.

Thursday's lecture will be Webcast starting at 7 p.m. at .

For more information, call (818) 354-0112 or go to .

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

News Media Contact

JPL/Carolina Martinez (818) 354-9382