Wednesday, June 20, 2007

NRI is first woman recipient of Engelberger Award

Monday, 18 June , 2007

Houston: An Indian-American has become the first female recipient of the Engelberger Robotics Award for Technology Development.

For over 25 years, Bala Krishnamurthy, founder and chief executive officer of Aeolean Inc, has been designing and developing a wide range of software in programming languages, networked systems, and related technologies which have contributed to the growth of robotics.

From her early days at Unimation Incorporated, Krishnamurthy was a pioneer in the field of electric and hydraulic industrial robots. She adapted the VAL language designed for the electric PUMA robot to the hydraulic Unimate robot and led the software design and development effort on Unimation's third generation UNIVAL controller.

From the mid-1980's to the mid-'90's, Krishnamurthy led the team that developed the software that allowed completely autonomous courier robots to navigate throughout hospitals, a mobile research base, and a 3-D range sensor at HelpMate Robotics Incorporated.

She also designed algorithms for multi-robot coordination and control and supervisory control for a 21-axis Robotic Transmission Line Rover developed for the Tennessee Valley Authority.

In 1997 Krishnamurthy founded Aeolean Inc, a company specialising in the design of custom software solutions for high-tech applications, and serves the company as CEO.

She has designed systems and software or led technical efforts resulting in such products as a floor cleaning robot, a communications system on a multi-robot platform, and next generation robots for a European manufacturer.

Krishnamurthy has also authored over a dozen technical articles and reports and was a member of NASA's Office of Exploration Systems research proposal review panel for Human and Robotic Technology.

Joseph F Engelberger, the awards namesake, said of the 2007 award winners:

"This year's award recipients have made outstanding contributions that have increased the use of robotics worldwide. Their innovations and perseverance have led to the use of robots in new ways, in educational curriculum, and have made it possible for companies to gain a foothold and prosper in the global economy they compete in.

"These leaders exhibit the pioneering spirit I envisioned for the Engelberger Robotics Awards and I am pleased to recognise this distinguished group of honourees on behalf of RIA and the Industry."