Dr. Josh Mehling is NASA’s Principal Technologist for Robotics. In this capacity, he is responsible for guiding technology development strategy and investment priorities across the agency’s broad robotics portfolio, while also providing technical leadership in the design, planning, and execution of NASA robotic systems, missions, and technology maturation efforts.
He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. from Rice University in Mechanical Engineering where his research focused on the design and impedance control of compliant actuators for dexterous manipulation and humanoid robots.
Prior to serving as Principal Technologist, Dr. Mehling was the Technical Discipline Lead for Robotic Controls in NASA Johnson Space Center’s Engineering Directorate as well as the Principal Investigator/Project Manager responsible for dexterous robotic technology development activities at NASA JSC.
His experience spans a variety of robot archetypes (manipulators, humanoids, rovers, inspection systems, wearable robots, etc.) deployed for both terrestrial and space applications, and he is a regular NASA liaison for interagency robotics activities across the federal government, public-private partnerships with commercial industry, and collaborative efforts with the academic and international space and robotics communities.