New Director For WHOI Marine Robotics Center

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has appointed James Bellingham as the first director of its Center for Marine Robotics.

Dr. Bellingham will come to WHOI in early fall 2014 from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, where he was director of engineering and most recently chief technologist.

He earned his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was founder and manager of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Laboratory. He was also co-founder of Bluefin Robotics in 1997, a Massachusetts-based company that develops, builds and operates autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).  Bluefin was later acquired by Battelle.

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“Marine robotics is in its infancy, with tremendous potential to transform our understanding of the ocean,” Dr. Bellingham said. “I’m excited to join WHOI, with its outstanding history of advancing the ocean sciences through technology innovation. Our goals will be to foster a vibrant and innovative community, and to direct new robotic capabilities at solving important ocean science problems.”

Dr. Bellingham is the author of many scholarly papers, has participated in research expeditions around the world, from Monterey Bay to the Mediterranean Sea to the Antarctic, and has served on scientific advisory boards and steering committees, including chairing the Naval Research Advisory Committee and serving on four National Academy studies.

The Center for Marine Robotics at WHOI was established in 2012 to speed development of robotic technologies through collaboration with industry sponsors, academic partners, and government agencies. CMR academic partners include Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute, Draper Laboratory, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Johns Hopkins University Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and University of Rhode Island Ocean Exploration Trust.

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