Course Diagram
The Committee
Administration and adjudication of the W Prize is handled by the
Referees Committee.  Each member has a long-standing background
in legged robots and automated systems.
Tad McGeer trained as an aeronautical engineer at
Princeton and Stanford, and then joined the new
Engineering Science faculty at Simon Fraser University
in his native British Columbia.  There he developed
the concept of
passive dynamic walking, which went
on to be adopted as a paradigm for study of human
locomotion and design of legged robots.  In 1990 he
returned to aeronautics, joining a Virginia start-up,
Aurora Flight Sciences, as Chief Scientist.  He headed
early design studies on the
Perseus and Theseus
unmanned research aircraft, and then proposed the
Aerosonde miniature aircraft concept for long-range
weather reconnaissance.  This led to founding of the
The Insitu Group, beginning in a Silicon Valley garage in 1992, and moving to the Columbia River
Gorge in 1994.  Insitu pioneered development of miniature robotic aircraft in worldwide trials, under
conditions ranging from
arctic winter to severe tropical thunderstorms.  Aerosondes made the first
unmanned Atlantic crossing (1998), first unmanned typhoon reconnaissance (2001), and first eye
penetrations into tropical cyclones (2005).  In 2000, Dr McGeer led design of the Seascan miniature
aircraft for long-endurance imaging reconnaissance.  
Seascan made the longest-ever flight for a ship-
based aircraft in 2004, while the GeoRanger variant made the first unmanned geomagnetic surveys, and
the
Scaneagle military variant was adopted by the US Marines and Navy.  Dr McGeer directed Insitu’s
engineering program for more than 10 years, with particular responsibility for conceptual and
configuration design, performance, dynamics and control, avionics, algorithms, simulation, and onboard
and ground software.  During his tenure the company grew to more than 100 employees and more than
$20M/year in revenue, with
recognition as one of the fastest-growing technology firms in North
America.  In 2006 he moved on to start the Aerovel Corporation with his Stanford classmate and
longstanding colleague
Andy von Flotow.  Aerovel is developing new concepts and civil applications for
robotic aircraft.
Ivan Sutherland earned his Bachelor's degree in electrical
engineering from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, his Master's
degree from Caltech, and his PhD from MIT in 1963. He is a
member of the National Academy of Engineering ands the National
Academy of Sciences.  He was the inventor of
Sketchpad, an
innovative program that influenced alternative forms of interaction
with computers. For his invention of Sketchpad and related work,
Sutherland received the
Turing Award in 1988. From 1966 to 1968
he was an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Harvard.
With the help of his student Bob Sproull he created what is widely
considered to be the first Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) Head Mounted Display
(HMD) system in 1968. He then co-founded
Evans and Sutherland, which went on to do pioneering
work in the field of fight simulation, real-time hardware, accelerated 3D computer graphics, and printer
languages. From 1974 to 1978 he was the Fletcher Jones Professor of Computer Science at Caltech,
where he was the founding head of the Computer Science department. He then founded a consulting
firm, Sutherland, Sproull and Associates, where among other things he developed a
man-carrying
hexapod in the early 1980s. The company was bought by Sun Microsystems in 1990 to form the seed
of its research division, Sun Labs.  Dr Sutherland is currently a Vice President and Fellow at
Sun
Microsystems and is a visiting scholar in the Computer Science Division at UC Berkeley (Fall 2005 -
Spring 2007).
Richard van der Linde began playing with robots at
age 5, and went on to do research on bipeds at
Delft.  He developed a powered "passive" machine
called
Stappo in 1995, and, during his PhD work,
Baps in 2001.  He then worked on marketing robots
in the private sector with
FCS Control Systems and
Altran Group, while continuing to serve as an
assistant professor in the Delft
Biorobotics
Laboratory, which he had started in 1998. There he
began projects in
biocompatible design and haptics.
Course Diagram
Currently Richard serves as an account manager at the Delft Research Center for Mechatronics and
Microsystems, focusing on technology transfer. Meanwhile the Biorobotics Laboratory continues the
work on locomotion, building a series of
bipedal machines and generating lots of papers and media
attention.