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Andrew Bennett, Ph.D.

Andrew Bennett

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Milas Hall 263

Education

Ph.D. Naval Architecture, MIT
M.S., Mechanical Engineering Design, Stanford University
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, MIT

Select Courses Taught

Robotics II
Systems
Principles of Engineering

Biography

Prof. Bennett teaches courses in robotics and systems design.  He has more than 25 years of R&D experience developing novel robot systems for land, water and air use.  Currently he is investigating autonomous systems for long term remote deployment and sample collection in harsh environments.

In 1985-86 Dr. Bennett worked at the Stanford Department of Mechanical Engineering on a novel robotic all-terrain vehicle. From 1991-97 he worked on a variety of autonomous underwater vehicles at the MIT AUV lab, including the Sea Squirt, Odyssey I, Odyssey II and the WHOI Autonomous Benthic Explorer. From 1997-98 he worked on control systems for underwater vehicles and Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) rocket systems at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory. From 1998 to 2000 he worked for Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development where he helped create a full-sized walking quadruped robot technology demonstrator and several ride effects currently installed in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  From 2000-08 he was Director of Research and the Division Technology Officer (DTO) for iRobot’s Government and Industrial Robotics division where he oversaw all research and technology development and related activities. At iRobot he was also the Program Manager in charge of developing the PackBot mobile robot system under the DARPA Tactical Mobile Robotics (TMR) Program.  From 2008-10 Dr. Bennett was the VP for Research & Development at Scientific Systems Company, Inc. of Waltham, MA where he oversaw technical direction for a variety of cutting edge control and sensor development programs.

Dr. Bennett has served or continues to serve on numerous advisory boards, including the medical advisory board to the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), the Robotics Subcommittee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Ocean Alliance, a nonprofit established in 1970 to research whales and the marine environment. Two samples of Dr. Bennett's work, PackBot and the MIT Daedalus 88, are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution. The PackBot (named Hermes) is also in the Guinness book of World Records for being the first autonomous ground vehicle used in combat. 

He is a member of numerous professional societies including the AIAA, IEEE Ocean Engineering Society, the Association of Computing Machines (ACM), the Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME).  He is also a lifetime member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and the Experimental Aircraft Associaton (EAA).