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Meet: Chris Culbert

Chief of the Robotic Systems Technology Branch
Automation, Robotics, and Simulation Division

Johnson Space Center

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Who I am and What I do

I am the chief of the Robotic Systems Technology Branch in the Automation, Robotics, and Simulation Division at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC). I joined the Automation, Robotics, and Simulation Division in 1999, becoming chief of the Robotic Systems Technology Branch in 2000. This branch is responsible for developing advanced robotic concepts and technologies. Products of the branch include the Pneumatic Transporter, a unique device for transporting large payloads over a planetary surface, and Robonaut, the world's most advanced humanoid robot.

Career Path

I first came to work for NASA in 1981, as a member of the Mission Planning and Analysis Division (MPAD). While in that group, I served as a flight controller at the High Speed Ground Navigation Console in the Mission Control Center participating in a number of space shuttle flights. I was also responsible for development and use of navigation analysis software. In addition to my flight controller duties, I had division-wide responsibility for many of the initial personal computers and UNIX workstations installed in MPAD.

I joined the Software Technology Branch (STB), when it first formed in 1984, in the Artificial Intelligence Section. As a member of the STB, I participated in the development of numerous expert systems. I have done extensive work in evaluating and developing expert system tools. I managed numerous projects in such areas as cooperating expert systems, the CLIPS expert system tool, Ada-based expert system tools, advanced training technologies such as Intelligent Computer Aided Training (ICAT) and Virtual Reality systems, and applications of advanced automation to elements of the Space Station Freedom. I became Chief of the Software Technology Branch in 1992.

I became chief of the Client/Server Systems Branch in 1994, a part of the Information Systems Directorate (ISD) at JSC. In that capacity, I was responsible for the development and deployment of advanced technology information systems and client/server applications and tools for the JSC environment. I became the manager of the Information Technology Office for ISD in 1995, and later Chief of the Information Technology Division. These groups had responsibility for all JSC networks, telephone systems, e-mail systems, client/server applications, and advanced technology for JSC's information systems.


I earned my bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Arizona (1981) and my master of science degree in physical sciences from the University of Houston - Clear Lake (1986).

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