Ken Goldberg in front of a projection of robotic arm

Research Expertise and Interest

robotics, art, social media, new media, automation

Research Description

Ken Goldberg is an inventor working at the intersection of art, robotics, and social media. At UC Berkeley, Ken teaches and supervises research in Robotics, Automation, and New Media. Ken holds dual degrees in Electrical Engineering and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania (1984) and MS and PhD degrees from Carnegie Mellon University (1990). He joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1995 where he is craigslist Distinguished Professor of New Media. He is a Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, with secondary appointments in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science and the School of Information. Ken also holds an appointment in the UC San Francisco Medical School where he pursues research in medical robotics.

Ken has published over 300 peer-reviewed technical papers on algorithms for robotics, automation, and social information filtering; his inventions have been awarded nine US Patents. He is co-founder and past Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE), Co-Founder of the Berkeley Center for New Media, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of Ambidextrous Robotics, Co-Founder of the Moxie Institute, and Founding Director of UC Berkeley's Art, Technology, and Culture Lecture Series.

In the News

Deep learning helps robots grasp and move objects with ease

In the past year, lockdowns and other COVID-19 safety measures have made online shopping more popular than ever, but the skyrocketing demand is leaving many retailers struggling to fulfill orders while ensuring the safety of their warehouse employees.

Meet the most nimble-fingered robot ever built

Grabbing the awkwardly shaped items that people pick up in their day-to-day lives is a slippery task for robots. Roboticists at UC Berkeley have a built a robot that can pick up and move unfamiliar, real-world objects with a 99 percent success rate.

Life with machine: Robot relationships get real

Berkeley’s renowned programs in artificial intelligence and robotics involve scores of professors in the College of Engineering. Their aim is to create machines with the intelligence to better serve and work with human beings.

Announcing the California Report Card

Californians can now use smartphones to grade their state on timely issues. Developed by the office of Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom with the CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative at UC Berkeley.

Making Art Out of Earthquakes

UC Berkeley’s Ken Goldberg, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, is featured in The Atlantic for his recent work, Bloom - “an Internet-based earthwork”.

Big NSF grant funds research into training robots to work with humans

What if robots and humans, working together, were able to perform tasks in surgery and manufacturing that neither can do alone? That’s the question driving new research by UC Berkeley robotics experts Ken Goldberg and Pieter Abbeel and colleagues from four other universities, who were awarded a $3.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

AFRON builds robotics education, research, industry in Africa

Roboticists in Ghana and at UC Berkeley this week launched AFRON, the African Robotics Network, an initiative to enhance robotics education, research and industry in Africa. Co-founder is professor Ken Goldberg, a fellow with IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
February 14, 2024
Brian Heater

Jacobi Robotics was founded by a quartet of UC Berkeley robotics students, along with Professor Ken Goldberg.

December 16, 2023
Brian Heater

"Not a single roboticist I know worries about robots stealing jobs or becoming our overlords," said Goldberg, a professor at the College of Engineering.

January 18, 2019
Kaveh Waddell
A team of Berkeley researchers has developed a two-armed robot that is capable of picking up random objects 95 percent of the time, at a rate of about 300 successful grasps per hour. The robot has been taught to look at a selection of items and determine which objects would be more easily picked up with pincers or a suction cup. Remarking on the promise this robot offers to speeding up online retail and warehouse work, robotics professor and principal investigator Ken Goldberg says: "You could have very dense warehouses where you could have these bins and robots in really tight quarters." The lead author of the paper describing the work is postdoctoral researcher Jeff Mahler. For more on this, see our story at Berkeley News. Stories on this topic have appeared in dozens of sources around the world, including IEEE Spectrum, Science & Technology Research News, Daily Mail (UK), Gadgets Now, Yahoo! News (UK), Tech Digest, Business Standard (India), and Electronic Component News.
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