Hans Moravec

Hans Moravec

Hans Moravec (born November 30, 1948 in Austria) is an adjunct faculty member at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. He is known for his work on robotics, artificial intelligence, and writings on the impact of technology. Moravec also is a futurist with many of his publications and predictions focusing on transhumanism. Moravec developed techniques in computer vision for determining the region of interest (ROI) in a scene. His last academic publication was in 2003.[1]



Moravec attended Loyola College in Montreal for two years and transferred to Acadia University, where he received his bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1969. He received his master's degree in 1971 from the University of Western Ontario. He then earned a PhD from Stanford University in 1980 for a TV-equipped robot which was remote controlled by a large computer. The robot was able to negotiate cluttered obstacle courses. Another achievement in robotics was the discovery of new approaches for robot spatial representation such as 3D occupancy grids. He also developed the idea of bush robots.

Moravec was a cofounder of SEEGRID Corporation in 2003 which is a robotics company with one of its goals being to develop a fully autonomous robot capable of navigating its environment without human intervention.

He is also somewhat known for his work on space tethers.[2]


His most cited research publication is his 1988 Sensor Fusion in Certainty Grids for Mobile Robots which appeared in AI Magazine.


In his 1988 book Mind Children (ISBN 0674576187), Moravec outlines Moore's law and predictions about the future of artificial life. Moravec outlines a timeline and a scenario in this regard,[3][4] in that the robots will evolve into a new series of artificial species, starting around 2030-2040.[5]

In Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind (ISBN 0195136306), published in 1998, Moravec further considers the implications of evolving robot intelligence, generalizing Moore's law to technologies predating the integrated circuit, and extrapolating it to predict a coming "mind fire" of rapidly expanding superintelligence.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke wrote about this book: "Robot is the most awesome work of controlled imagination I have ever encountered: Hans Moravec stretched my mind until hit the stops."[6]. David Brin also praised the book: "Moravec blends hard scientific practicality with a prophet's far-seeing vision."[7] On the other hand, the book was reviewed less favorably by Colin McGinn for the New York Times. McGinn wrote, "Moravec … writes bizarre, confused, incomprehensible things about consciousness as an abstraction, like number, and as a mere "interpretation" of brain activity. He also loses his grip on the distinction between virtual and real reality as his speculations spiral majestically into incoherence."[8]

See also


  1. ^ http://www.informatik.uni-trier.de/~ley/db/indices/a-tree/m/Moravec:Hans_P=.html
  2. ^ Momentum-Exchange Tethers
  3. ^ Moravec, Hans (1998). "When will computer hardware match the human brain?". Journal of Evolution and Technology 1. http://www.transhumanist.com/volume1/moravec.htm. Retrieved 2006-06-23. 
  4. ^ Moravec, Hans (June 1993). "The Age of Robots". http://www.frc.ri.cmu.edu/~hpm/project.archive/general.articles/1993/Robot93.html. Retrieved 2006-06-23. 
  5. ^ Moravec, Hans (April 2004). "Robot Predictions Evolution". http://www.frc.ri.cmu.edu/~hpm/project.archive/robot.papers/2004/Predictions.html. Retrieved 2006-06-23. 
  6. ^ ISBN 0-19-511630-5: Cover praise for Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind, by Sir Arthur C. Clarke, 1999
  7. ^ ISBN 0-19-511630-5: Cover praise for Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind, by Dr David Brin, 1999
  8. ^ Hello, HAL by Colin McGinn in the New York Times, January 3, 1999, Accessed November 30, 2008.

External links

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