David Mindell, Ph.D.

David A. Mindell, Ph.D., Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics; and Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Author, Our Robots, Ourselves , Digital Apollo and other books on robotics. Dr. Mindell discussed Our Robots, Ourselves on Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations February 10, 2016. In his recent book he argues that modern robots are not really autonomous; human control is vitally important, and that the relationship between humans and robots, particularly in science, is complementary. This relationship is broadening what scientists can do in remote --often inaccessible-- places such as Mars and the deep sea.

Dr. Mindell's books for the general public

  • Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy (2015)
  • Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in the First Six Lunar Landings (2008) (Emme award for astronautical literature, American Astronautical Society)
  • Between Human and Machine: Feedback, Control, and Computing before Cybernetics (2002)
  • War, Technology, and Experience aboard the USS Monitor (2000) (awarded the Sally Hacker Prize, Society for the History of Technology)