Executive Bios

The co-founders of Robotic Research, LLC have built upon their prior work at the Intelligent Systems Division of the National Institute Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop cutting-edge technology for vehicle robotics.

Currently, Robotic Research employs over 40 engineers and 12 support staff. In addition, we have a network of co-investigators, business partners, and subcontractors located at the leading robotics-focused universities in the country and from small and large businesses. Robotic Research regularly forms partnerships in order to bring the highest degree of expertise to programs and Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants.

The resumes of our senior staff are listed below.

Alberto Lacaze

Alberto Lacaze

President/Senior Engineer

Alberto Lacaze is the President and co-founder of Robotic Research. He has extensive research experience developing planning algorithms for on and off-road autonomous vehicles, software for terrain perception using LADAR hardware, and registration algorithms for data from multiple sensors. His research has contributed to DoD programs including the Demo III, PerceptOR, FCS, VTI, SARTI and ANS programs. Mr. Lacaze holds an MS in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University (1994) and a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering from Florida Tech (1992). Mr. Lacaze is a winner of the Jacob Rabinow Applied Research Award for “World leading research and development in robotic perception, planning and control and its application to unmanned ground vehicles.”


    Karl Murphy

    Vice President/Senior Engineer

    Karl Murphy is the co-founder of Robotic Research. He has extensive research experience developing control software for autonomous vehicles (on and off-road), software for terrain perception using LADAR hardware, real-time control software, use of navigation sensors, control theory, stability analysis, and Kalman filters for mobility, and algorithms for sensor calibration and registration. His research has contributed to DoD programs including the Demo I, Demo II, Demo III, PerceptOR, FCS, VTI, SARTI and ANS programs. Mr. Murphy holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University (1984) and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech (1981). While working at NIST he was the Technical Lead for Demo I, Demo II, Demo III and Demo III+.

      Eddie Mottern

      Vice President

      Edward (Eddie) Mottern has over 18 years of experience with program development and execution, robotic vehicle development, integration and testing. His area of expertise lies in the planning and management of Government and Commercial robotic programs. As Executive Vice President of Robotic Research, Mr Mottern handles day-to-day operations, budgeting and high-level decision making. Mr Mottern is spearheading Robotic Research's push into commercial solutions where autonomy and ancillary technologies are needed. He holds an MS Systems Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2010 and a BS Electrical Engineering/BS Computer Engineering, West Virginia University, 2002; and has several publications on the safe operation of unmanned systems in complex environments.

      Please address business related inquiries to:
      Attention: Eddie Mottern

        James Frelk

        Senior Vice President Strategic Development

        Mr. James J. Frelk is a former National Security Affairs Analyst, specializing in SDI, anti-terrorism, arms control and defense procurement reform, for the House Republican Study Committee. As a professional staff member on the committee, he also served as a liaison to the President's National Security Advisor and Security Council staff.

        Following his service at the Republican Study Committee, Mr. Frelk served as the Executive Director and Treasurer of the George C. Marshall Institute, a non-profit scientific think-tank composed of prominent American scientists. Additionally, Mr. Frelk served as a Presidential appointee to President HW Bush as the Director of the Office of Space Commerce, at the US Department of Commerce.  As Director, James Frelk managed the principal unit that coordinated aerospace-related programs and initiatives within the Department of Commerce; represented the Department of Commerce at the National Space Council and other interagency forums that address US space policies.

        Today, Mr. Frelk is Robotic Research’s Director of Advanced Programs, proving his extensive knowledge in personnel and budgetary management on this complicated, highly visible program.  He has key and relevant experience in design, development and management support in additive manufacturing and 3D library modeling and security protocols.

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