Marc Raibert (born December 22, 1949) is a former Carnegie Mellon University and MIT professor who founded the CMU Leg Lab in 1980, moved it to MIT in 1986, and continued to direct it through 1995. He founded Boston Dynamics, a simulation and robotics company in 1992. Raibert developed the first self-balancing hopping robots, a significant step forward in robotics. Raibert earned a BSEE from Northeastern University in 1973 and a Ph.D from MIT in 1977. His dissertation is entitled "Motor control and learning by the state space model".
Raibert skirts questions of ethics with the observation that he is simply "an engineer who builds robots". "I’ve been thinking about this, and I’m not sure that I have the answer yet". His dream is to advance bipedal and quadrupedal robotics to a supernatural state. Boston Dynamics was acquired by Google in December 2013. On the acquisition, Raibert commented that he was "excited by Andy Rubin and Google’s ability to think very, very big... with the resources to make it happen." As of June 2016, Google is offering Boston Dynamics for sale.
Patents granted to Marc Raibert
8126592 Actuator system
An actuator subsystem preferably for a robot or bionic linkage. A joint between two robotic or bionic members includes at least first and second actuators such as piston-cylinder assemblies connected between the members. A hydraulic circuit includes a sensor subsystem for sensing the magnitude of the load on the piston-cylinder assemblies and/or members. A fluid supply system includes an actuatable control valve operable to supply fluid to one or both piston-cylinder assemblies. A control circuit is responsive to the sensor and is configured to electronically control the fluid subsystem to supply fluid to the first piston-cylinder assembly when the sensor subsystem senses a load below a predetermined magnitude and to supply fluid to both piston-cylinder assemblies when the sensor subsystem senses a load above the predetermined magnitude. Co-inventor: Aaron Saunders
6484069 Robot apparatus and method for controlling jumping of robot device
A robot apparatus that is able to perform jumping. In a leg structure 110 of the robot apparatus, connecting bars 113, 114 and pivots 112a to 112d constitute a four-point link mechanism. A rod 117 is inserted into an opening formed in the distal end of a leg part 116. A coil spring 118 as an elastic member is provided between one end of the rod 117 and the distal end of the leg part 116. A bar member 120 is connected and secured to a preset point of a connecting member 115 as a knee joint. The coil spring 118 is extended/contracted by the stretching/contraction of the connecting member 115. By the operation of the four-point link mechanism, the trajectory of the distal end of the leg part is linear. The coil spring 118 is mounted at a position such that the distance between a driving shaft 101 and the distal end of the bar member 120 has a substantially linear relationship with respect to the force virtually operating between a driving shaft 101 and the distal end of the bar member 120. Co-inventors: Takashi Yamamoto, Martin de Lasa, Shervin Talebinejad, Darrin Jewell, Robert Playter
Several of the MIT Leg Lab robots appear in the movie Rising Sun.
Raibert was a keynote speaker at the 2016 Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders.