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 has over 100 employees. 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.
Co-Founder & President, Senior Engineer
Alberto Lacaze is the co-founder and president of Robotic Research. He is an internationally recognized leader in robotic engineering and frequently sought-after expert speaker at technology and industry forums around the world. Lacaze is a robotics engineering visionary, who leads the Robotic Research team in developing innovations that bring greater safety and security to public transportation and defense systems through the power of robotics and supporting technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. He holds more than 18 patents for robotics automation that include a robotic driving system, detection of multi-rotors using electromagnetic signatures and robotic swarm localization using ranging radios. Lacaze’s research has contributed to numerous Department of Defense programs, including the Demo III, PerceptOR, FCS, VTI, SARTI and ANS. He is a winner of the NIST Jacob Rabinow Applied Research Award for “world-leading research and development in robotic perception, planning and control and its application to unmanned ground vehicles.” Lacaze earned a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and computer engineering from Florida Tech.
Co-Founder & 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+.
Executive Vice President
Eddie Mottern is executive vice president of Robotic Research. A nationally recognized subject matter expert on robotics and autonomy with more than 18 years of experience in planning and management of government and commercial robotic programs, he effectively leads the company’s daily operations. In this role, Mottern manages some of Robotic Research’s largest programs, including supervision of budgeting operations and executing high-level decision-making. He also is driving Robotic Research’s push into commercial solutions, where autonomy and ancillary technologies are much in demand and needed to enhance public safety and save lives. Mottern has strong expertise in program development and execution, and robotic vehicle development, integration and testing. He previously served as a project manager for General Dynamics Robotic Systems. Mottern is a published authority on robotic engineering, having published numerous articles on the safe operation of unmanned systems in complex environments. He earned a Master of Science in systems engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and computer engineering from West Virginia University.
Senior Vice President
James J. Frelk is senior vice president of Robotic Research, leading the company’s work in robotics technology solutions. As a recognized national expert in critical technologies, he served as a leader in government and industry, shaping commercial and government programs on the use of robotics in support of commercial, civil government, and national security missions. He served as national security affairs analyst for the U.S. House of Representatives Republican Study Committee, presidential appointee as director of the Office of Space Commerce at the U.S. Department of Commerce, director of headquarters operations (SES) at NASA, and deputy associate administrator for program analysis and evaluation at NASA. Frelk also has more than 20 years of executive management experience serving publicly traded and privately held companies. He served as vice president of market development and government operations for Digital Globe (previously EarthWatch Inc.), vice president for geospatial information systems for Veridian, senior vice president for government services at TerreStar Networks, senior vice president for Business Development and Strategic Planning at Integral Systems, senior vice president at QinetiQ NA (QNA/TSG) and General Manager of Q Inc. Frelk completed ongoing educational training at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School, at its Government Executive Program “Driving Government Performance,” and the OPM Federal Executive Institute “Collaborating Across Organizational Boundaries and Building a Great Place to Work.”