Hans Moravec

Hans P. Moravec
Born (1948-11-30) November 30, 1948 (age 74)[1]
Kautzen, Austria[1]
NationalityCanadian (U.S. Permanent Resident)[1]
Alma materBSc: Acadia University[1]
MSc: University of Western Ontario[1]
PhD: Stanford University[1]
Known forMoravec's corner detector
Moravec's paradox
Bush robot
Occupancy grid mapping
Quantum suicide and immortality
Rotating skyhook
Stanford Cart
Scientific career
FieldsRobotics, artificial intelligence
InstitutionsCarnegie Mellon University[1]
Stanford University[1]
ThesisObstacle avoidance and navigation in the real world by a seeing robot rover (1980)
Doctoral advisorJohn McCarthy, Tom Binford[1]

Hans Peter Moravec (born November 30, 1948, Kautzen, Austria) is an adjunct faculty member at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA. He is known for his work on robotics, artificial intelligence, and writings on the impact of technology. Moravec also is a futurist with many of his publications and predictions focusing on transhumanism. Moravec developed techniques in computer vision for determining the region of interest (ROI) in a scene.


Moravec attended Loyola College in Montreal for two years and transferred to Acadia University, where he received his BSc in mathematics in 1969. He received his MSc in computer science in 1971 from the University of Western Ontario. He then earned a PhD from Stanford University in 1980 for a TV-equipped robot which was remote controlled by a large computer. The robot was able to negotiate cluttered obstacle courses. Another achievement in robotics was the discovery of new approaches for robot spatial representation such as 3D occupancy grids. He also developed the idea of bush robots.

Moravec was a cofounder of Seegrid Corporation[2] of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,[3] in 2003 which is a robotics company with one of its goals being to develop a fully autonomous robot capable of navigating its environment without human intervention.

He is also somewhat known for his work on space tethers.[4]


  • 1988 – Sensor Fusion in Certainty Grids for Mobile Robots[5] appeared in AI Magazine.


Mind Children

In his 1988 book Mind Children,[6] Moravec outlines Moore's law and predictions about the future of artificial life. Moravec outlines a timeline and a scenario in this regard,[7][8] in that the robots will evolve into a new series of artificial species, starting around 2030–2040.[9]

Moravec also outlined the "neural substitution argument" in Mind Children[6]: 109-122 , published 7 years before David Chalmers published a similar argument in his paper "Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia", which is sometimes cited as the source of the idea. The neural substitution argument is that if each neuron in a conscious brain can be replaced successively by an electronic substitute with the same behavior as the neuron it replaces, then a biological consciousness would be transferred seamlessly into an electronic computer, thus proving that consciousness does not depend on biology and can be treated as an abstract computable process.

Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind

In Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind (ISBN 0195136306), published in 1998, Moravec further considers the implications of evolving robot intelligence, generalizing Moore's law to technologies predating the integrated circuit, and extrapolating it to predict a coming "mind fire" of rapidly expanding superintelligence.

Arthur C. Clarke wrote about this book: "Robot is the most awesome work of controlled imagination I have ever encountered: Hans Moravec stretched my mind until it hit the stops."[10] David Brin also praised the book: "Moravec blends hard scientific practicality with a prophet's far-seeing vision."[11] On the other hand, the book was reviewed less favorably by Colin McGinn for The New York Times. McGinn wrote, "Moravec … writes bizarre, confused, incomprehensible things about consciousness as an abstraction, like number, and as a mere "interpretation" of brain activity. He also loses his grip on the distinction between virtual and real reality as his speculations spiral majestically into incoherence."[12]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i http://www.frc.ri.cmu.edu/~hpm/hpm.cv.html
  2. ^ https://www.seegrid.com
  3. ^ "FAST COMPANY Announces Seegrid as One of the 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2013". Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
  4. ^ "Momentum-Exchange Tethers". Archived from the original on 2018-11-22. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
  5. ^ "Sensor Fusion in Certainty Grids for Mobile Robots | Moravec | AI Magazine". www.aaai.org. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04.
  6. ^ a b Moravec, Hans (1988). Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-57618-6. OCLC 1154983637.
  7. ^ Moravec, Hans (1998). "When will computer hardware match the human brain?". Journal of Evolution and Technology. 1. Archived from the original on 2006-06-15. Retrieved 2006-06-23.
  8. ^ Moravec, Hans (June 1993). "The Age of Robots". Retrieved 2006-06-23.
  9. ^ Moravec, Hans (April 2004). "Robot Predictions Evolution". Retrieved 2006-06-23.
  10. ^ ISBN 0-19-511630-5: Cover praise for Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind, by Sir Arthur C. Clarke, 1999
  11. ^ ISBN 0-19-511630-5: Cover praise for Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind, by Dr David Brin, 1999
  12. ^ McGinn, Colin (January 3, 1999). "Hello, HAL". The New York Times.

External links

  • "Superhumanism--Interview with Hans Moravec by Charles Platt". Archived from the original on 2019-02-17. Retrieved 2016-11-13. (Interview with Moravec on technical progress and artificial intelligence)
  • Hans Moravec's official website at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Center
  • Hans Moravec's official biography page
  • Hans Moravec's webpage at the Robotics Institute
  • Moravec Bush Robot Final Report
  • NOVA online interview with Moravec in October, 1997.
  • Moravec, Hans (March 23, 2009). "Rise of the Robots--The Future of Artificial Intelligence". Scientific American.
  • Wikiversity:Mind Children
  • v
  • t
  • e
OverviewsCurrentsPolitical ideologiesOrganizationsPeople
  • Category
  • Wikiproject
Authority control Edit this at Wikidata
  • FAST
  • ISNI
  • VIAF
  • WorldCat Identities
  • France
  • BnF data
  • Germany
  • Israel
  • United States
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Netherlands
  • DBLP
  • Mathematics Genealogy Project
  • SNAC
  • IdRef