Dr. Kimberly Hambuchen

Dr. Kimberly Hambuchen
Kimberly Hambuchen
Principal Technologist, Game Changing Development Program


Dr. Kimberly Hambuchen has spent the last 20 years developing software and applications to advance the intelligence, usefulness and operational intuitiveness of robots. Upon completing her Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University in 2004, she began a National Science Council post-doctorate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, during which she developed novel interfaces for remotely operating robots over intermediate time delays. In 2006, she joined the Robotics Systems Technology branch in the Software, Robotics and Simulation division of engineering at NASA Johnson Space Center.

Dr. Hambuchen has participated in multi-center activities that developed software allowing for the deployment of tools and interfaces across multiple centers and their robots, providing shared robotic interfaces across NASA. She participated in the development of NASA’s bipedal humanoid, Valkyrie (R5), to which she extended her work developing human interfaces for robot operations. She was previously the manager for the Human Robotic Systems project and the challenge administrator for Centennial Challenges’ Space Robotics Challenge, while also managing university-hosted robots provided for that challenge. Additionally, she managed a task to increase robotic autonomy for the Autonomous Systems and Operations project.

Dr. Hambuchen is currently a member of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group’s (ISECG) Telerobotics Gap Assessment team, providing gap analysis in the field of operating space robots for the international space community, and in 2016 was named “One of the 25 Women in Robotics to Know” by RoboHub.

Current interests include robotic technologies to assist in science and human exploration missions including advanced hardware, autonomous software and human-robot interaction methodologies.