Technical Director (via contract with Penn State ARL)
Bob Touchton, Ph.D. – Technical Director for the WatchStander System and Dept. Head of Intelligent Control Systems at the Penn State Applied Research Lab
Dr. Bob Touchton, a full time employee of the Applied Research Lab (ARL) at The Pennsylvania State University, has served as the Principal Investigator for WatchStander’s R&D contract with ARL since its inception in 2011. As such, he has directed all technical aspects of the design, engineering, implementation, and testing of the WatchStander System. He has over 35 years of experience in technology innovation and leadership, engineering, software development, and project management, spanning autonomous robotics, artificial intelligence, decision support systems, and intelligent control. Touchton was a team member and Finalist at both DARPA Grand Challenge Events and the DARPA Urban Challenge, events which catalyzed the movement towards self-driving automobiles.
Touchton joined ARL in 2009 and has led and participated in numerous robotic, autonomous perception and control, and unmanned system projects sponsored by the US military. Prior to that, Touchton was the Vice President of Business Innovation and Robotics for Prioria Robotics and Managing Director of Autonomous Systems for Honeywell’s Business Innovation Center. In 1984, he co-founded PathTech Software Solutions in Jacksonville, FL and served as its Chief Technology Officer for almost 20 years. Touchton began his career as a Nuclear Engineer in the commercial nuclear energy sector.
Dr. Touchton holds two MS degrees, one in Nuclear Engineering from Carnegie Melon University and the other in Computer Science from the University of North Florida. His Ph.D. was received from the University of Florida in Mechanical Engineering where his doctoral research focused on autonomous robotics.
Dr. Touchton is a native of Jacksonville, Florida and is a licensed Professional Engineer there.