Leadership

Alberto Lacaze
Co-Founder & President

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 has written close to 100 patents in the field of robotics and automation. 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.”

Karl Murphy
Co-Founder and Vice President, Senior Engineer

Mr. Murphy, co-founder of Robotic Research, LLC, has over 30 years of experience developing control systems for ground robotic vehicles.  Spanning the range of tele-op to autonomous control, his research has contributed to numerous DOD programs involving the cutting edge of robotic technology.  Early in his career, he began 18 years of service at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) where he worked on industrial robots and factory automation before turning to military robotic applications.  Mr. Murphy became the technical lead for NIST’s ground robotic programs prior to leaving the government.  Mr. Murphy has been a technical lead and/or managerial leader for a wide range of DoD programs starting with his work at NIST and continuing to the present. These include: Demo I, II and III, PerceptOR, the Army’s Future Combat System’s /Autonomous Navigation System (FCS/ANS), Vetronics Technology Integration (VTI), SARTI, Combat Autonomous Mobility System/Joint Capability Technology Demonstrations (CAMS-JCTD ), Robotic Technology Integration and Assessment (RTIA), Robotic Collative Technology Alliance (RCTA), Robotic Mine Detection System (RMDS) and SafeOps. The most recent programs include: IMOPAT, SOURCE, and the RASR Team in MAGIC-2010 (an international competition to demonstrate autonomous collaborative behavior for small robotic platforms).

Edward (Eddie) Mottern
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.

James (Jim) Frelk
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.”