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Rajmohan Madhavan (Fed)

International Standards Advisor and Physical Scientist

Dr. Raj Madhavan serves as an International Standards Advisor and Physical Scientist in the Standards Coordination Office (SCO) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He is an internationally recognized researcher and technical leader with an outstanding record of conducting world-class research in robotics and automation, measurement science, and performance evaluation and standardization. He has considerable experience and expertise in robot performance testing and evaluation, humanitarian robotics, and emerging technology and standards policy development. He has published 200+ papers on robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, technology policy, and ethical, legal, and societal aspects of these topics. He has previously help appointments at three government agencies: U.S. Department of State (as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow and Embassy Science Fellow at the U.S. Embassies in the Netherlands and Sweden), U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (as an R&D Staff Member), and U.S. Department of Commerce’s NIST (as a Guest Researcher); as a faculty member in two Universities: University of Maryland, College Park and Amrita University; and as Founder and CEO of Humanitarian Robotics Technologies, LLC.

Dr. Madhavan has served on several journal editorial boards, conference committees and national/international panels and review boards, and has given numerous keynote presentations across the globe to both scientific and non-scientific audiences. He has served in various leadership roles with the IEEE and its Robotics and Automation Society. Within IEEE, he served as a Founding Executive Committee Member of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems (2015-19), Founding Chair of the Economics of Machine Automation and Humanitarian Issues Committee (2016-17), and as a Co-author of Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision for Prioritizing Human Well-being with Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, First Edition (2016) and Second Edition (2017), Member, TAB Future Directions Committee (2015-18), Co-chair, IEEE Symbiotic Autonomous Systems Initiative (2017-18), and Member-at-Large, IEEE-USA Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems Policy Committee (2018-19). Within the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, he served as the Founding Chair of the Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (2012-19), Chair of the Robotics and Automation Research and Practice Ethics Committee (2017-19), Founding Co-chair of the Technical Committee on Performance Evaluation and Benchmarking of Robotics and Automation Systems (2009-11), Founding Co-chair of the Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge (2014-17), Vice President of the Industrial Activities Board (2012-13 & 2014-15), and Chair of the Standing Committee for Standards Activities (2010-15).


Dr. Madhavan is an elected eminent Engineer of the Tau Beta Pi (University of Maryland Chapter), a full member of the scientific research society, Sigma Xi (NIST Chapter), and the Washington Academy of Sciences. He has received several awards including the 2016 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s Distinguished Service Award for “distinguished service and contributions to RAS industrial and humanitarian activities” and the 2021 U.S. Department of State Superior Honor Award for “outstanding performance, leadership, and teamwork to advance the U.S. national security and economic policy objectives”.



  1. R. Madhavan, E. Tunstel and E. Messina, “Performance Evaluation and Benchmarking of Intelligent Systems”, Springer Publishers, 338 pp., Hardcover, 2009.
  2. R. Madhavan, E.R. Messina and J.S. Albus, “Intelligent Vehicle Systems: A 4D/RCS Approach”, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 342 pp., Hardcover, 2007.
  3. R. Madhavan, “Terrain Aided Localisation of Autonomous Vehicles in Unstructured Environments”, Universal Publishers, 223 pp., 2003.

 Edited Journal Special Issues

  1. M. Kruusma, X. Tan, P. Fiorini, C. Laschi and R. Madhavan (Eds.), Special Issue on Selected Papers from the International Conference on Advanced Robotics, Journal of Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 2014.
  2. R. Madhavan, E. Messina and E. Tunstel (Eds.), Special Issue on Quantifying Performance of Intelligent Systems, International Journal of Intelligent Control and Systems, 2011.
  3. R. Madhavan, C. Scrapper and A. Kleiner (Eds.), Special Issue on Characterizing Mobile Robot Localization and Mapping, Autonomous Robots, Springer, 2009.
  4. R. Madhavan, A. Jacoff and E. Messina (Eds.), Special Issue on Quantitative Performance Evaluation of Robotic and Intelligent Systems, Journal of Field Robotics, 2007.

 Archival Journal Articles, Magazines, Refereed Conference Papers, and Technical Reports

  1. R. Madhavan, J. Kerr, A. Corcos and B. Isaacoff, “Toward Trustworthy and Responsible Artificial Intelligence Policy Development”, IEEE Intelligent Systems, 2020.
  2. L. Righetti, R. Madhavan and R. Chatila, “Unintended Consequences of Biased Robotic and Artificial Intelligence Systems”, IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, 2019.
  3. R. Madhavan, “Robotics and Automation for Societal Good: Global South Challenges and Technology-Policy Considerations”, in Interlinked: Machine and Humans Facing the 10101 Century, Mètode Science Studies Journal, 2019.
  4. Q. Pham, R. Madhavan, L. Righetti, W. Smart and R. Chatila, “The Impact of Robotics and Automation on Working Conditions and Employment”, IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, 2018.
  5. R. Madhavan, “Understanding the Societal Impact of Autonomous Technologies”, IEEE Future Directions Technology Policy and Ethics, 2016.
  6. T. Silva, R. Madhavan, E. Prestes, F. Farina, T. Gandra, R. Wiebbelling and D. Almeida, “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Environmental Monitoring, Ecological Conservation, and Disaster Management”, Proceedings of the UNESCO Chair in Technologies for Development (Tech4Dev), 2016.
  7. T. Furukawa, L.C. Mak, H. Durrant-Whyte and R. Madhavan, “Autonomous Bayesian Search and Tracking, and its Experimental Validation”, Advanced Robotics, Vol. 26, Issue 5-6, pp. 461-485, 2012.
  8. R. Madhavan, S. Balakirsky and C. Schlenoff, “Next Generation Packaging, Kitting, and Palletizing: Can One Robot Do It All?”, National Institute of Standards and Technology Internal Report 7866, 2012.
  9. E. Messina, R. Madhavan, S. Balakirsky and A. Jacoff, “The Role of Robotic Competitions in Advancing Intelligent Systems: A Practitioner's Perspective”, Proceedings of the Performance Metrics for Intelligent Systems (PerMIS) Workshop, 2009.
  10. C. Schlenoff, J. Albus, E. Messina, A. Barbera, R. Madhavan and S. Balakirsky, “Using 4D/RCS to Address AI Knowledge Integration”, AI Magazine, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 71-82, 2006.
  11. R. Madhavan, K. Fregene and L.E. Parker, “Distributed Cooperative Outdoor Multirobot Localization and Mapping”, Autonomous Robots, 2004.
  12. R. Madhavan and H.F. Durrant-Whyte, “Terrain-aided Localization of Autonomous Ground Vehicles”, Journal of Automation in Construction, 2004.
  13. R. Madhavan, G. Dissanayake and H. Durrant-Whyte, “Autonomous Underground Navigation of an LHD using a Combined ICP-EKF Approach”, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pp. 3703-3708, 1998.
Created May 13, 2022, Updated January 13, 2023