Ian D. Walker
Office: 320 Fluor Daniel Engineering Innovation Building
             Phone: (864) 656-7209 Fax: (864) 656-7220

Ian D. Walker received the B.Sc. Degree (First Class Honours) in Mathematics from the University of Hull, England, in 1983 and the M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1985 and 1989, respectively. He then joined the faculty in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University, where he was an Assistant Professor from 1989 to 1995, and a tenured Associate Professor from 1995 to 1997. In the fall of 1997, he moved to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University, where he became a full Professor in 2001.

Professor Walker is a Fellow of the IEEE and an Associate Fellow of the AIAA. He served as Vice President for Financial Activities for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society from 2006-2009, and from 2006-2008 served as Chair of the AIAA Technical Committee on Space Automation and Robotics. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of Soft Robotics. He has served on the Editorial Boards of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics, the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, the International Journal of Robotics and Automation, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, and the International Journal of Environmentally Conscious Design and Manufacturing. His research has been funded by DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, NASA/EPSCoR, NSF/EPSCoR, the Office of Naval Research, the U.S. Department of Energy, South Carolina Commission of Higher Education, Sandia National Laboratories, and Westinghouse Hanford Company.

Professor Walker's research centers on robotics, particularly novel manipulators and manipulation.  His group is conducting basic research in the construction, modeling, and application of biologically inspired "trunk, tentacle, and worm" robots. This work has been funded by DARPA under the DSO BIODYNOTICS program, by NASA, by the National Science Foundation, and by NASA/EPSCoR. For a summary of DARPA work on octopus arm-inspired robots, click here. For a summary of past NASA work on continuum tendril-like robots, click here. For continuum worm-like robots, click here. The work is currently funded by NASA under the U.S. National Robotics Initiative program, concentrating on long thin continuum tendril robots, and by the National Science Foundation, concentrating on vine-like robots.

Another major focus of Professor Walker's research is on the use of robotics to create novel (physical) spaces, for example Animated Workspace Environments (AWE), an Assistive Robotic Table (ART), and a robotic LIT ROOM for investigating environmental effects on literacy in young children. This work has been funded by the National Science Foundation. For more information on this and related research in Architectural Robotics, see here.

Professor Walker is also conducting research on innovative ways of teaching robotics and the impact of robots and technology on society. Part of this effort is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation. See here for details of a related class.




Ian D. Walker/iwalker@clemson.edu