Astrobotic Selects Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Biorobotics as Senior Research Scientist

August 16, 2016

Andrew horchler small

Extensively Published, Andrew Horchler, Ph.D., Will be a Principal Investigator on Astrobotic’s Future Missions and Technology Team 

Pittsburgh, PA – Astrobotic, a lunar delivery service, NASA contractor, and an official partner with NASA in the Lunar CATALYST program, selected Andrew D. Horchler, PhD as the Senior Research Scientist on their Future Missions and Technology Team. Horchler will serve as a Principal Investigator on future technology development efforts, particularly Astrobotic’s "Planning for Planetary Science Mission Including Resource Prospecting" contract, which aids NASA in developing a software planning tool for planetary exploration. Additionally, he will lead proposal efforts, spearhead new research, and collaborate closely with the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute. 

Horchler’s background in robotics will be invaluable for innovating space robotics. He recently received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the Biologically Inspired Robotics Lab at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. While in pursuit of his degree, Horchler published extensively in over 50 papers, proceedings, abstracts, and patents in the areas of mobile robotics, sensing, design, simulation, and computational neuroscience. He wrote and won a National Science Foundation research proposal, in which he designed and constructed a new 3D printed, soft worm-like robot, and implemented a novel neural-inspired dynamical control scheme for segment coordination.

Prior to his Ph.D. work, Horchler completed a fellowship at the Air Force Research Laboratory, where he developed computational neuroscience approaches for sensor fusion of noisy time-varying input. He was a Tech Lead for Case Western Reserve’s DARPA Urban Challenge self-driving car team and led the creation and testing of driving behaviors and developed trajectory planning and mapping technology. While at Case, Horchler also invented Mini-Whegs, a series of small, highly-mobile, energetic, and inexpensive robots. 

“I am honored to be chosen for this position and excited to join Astrobotic to help build a world-class research and development team,” said Andrew Horchler. “Astrobotic’s achievements, partnerships, and strong track record of developing and demonstrating new technology position them well for success. I look forward to working together to develop the technology for a fully-fledged lunar delivery service and land the first privately-funded spacecraft on the Moon.” 

Horchler has also advised and mentored to 5 MS students, over 30 undergrad students, and volunteered time as a mentor for the National Science Olympiad during National Engineering Week for kindergarten through grade 12. 

###

About Astrobotic:
Astrobotic Technology is a lunar logistics company that delivers payloads to the Moon for companies, governments, universities, nonprofits, and individuals. The company's spacecraft accommodates multiple customers on a single flight, offering lunar delivery at an industry-defining price of $1.2 Million per kilogram. Astrobotic is a partner with NASA through a Space Act Agreement under the Lunar CATALYST program, and has 21 prior and ongoing NASA contracts. The company has 10 deals in place for its first mission and dozens of customer negotiations for upcoming missions. The company is also pursuing the Google Lunar XPRIZE with partner Carnegie Mellon University. Astrobotic was spun out of Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute in 2007, and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA.