Matthew Johnson

Research Scientist

Dr. Matthew Johnson is a Research Scientist in the area of human-machine teaming for technologies such as robotics, software agents, and autonomous vehicles, in a variety of domains including disaster response, space applications, aviation, and military operations.

Matt came to the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) out of the military where he served as a Naval Aviator, flying both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. Matt continued in the Navy Reserves retiring after 20 years of service. Matt obtained his undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Notre Dame (go Irish!) prior to entering the Navy. He obtained a Masters of Science in Computer Science from Texas A&M – Corpus Christi while on active duty. Matt completed his PhD from Delft University in the Netherlands; his thesis proposed a new approach to human-machine system design called Coactive Design.

Matt has been a researcher with IHMC – a not-for-profit research institute located in Pensacola, Florida – since 2002. Matt is passionate about making technology more flexible, resilient, and effective, through human-machine teamwork. His research areas include human-machine teaming, human-machine system design, human-centered computing, human-machine interface design, and multi-robot control. Currently Matt is involved in several projects:

  • Working with local police department to set up a drone program
  • Working with AeroVironment to explore the complexities of people controlling large numbers of vehicles
  • Working with NASA on characterizing the nature of foundational and applied research that need to evolve in order to develop advanced intelligent technologies that reduce cost, enhance performance and improve safety.
  • National Robotics Initiative: Toward Humanoid Avatar for Co-exploration of Hazardous Environments. Developing humanoid behaviors and advanced interface concepts to enable complex work using both Boston Dynamics Atlas robot and NASA’s Valkyrie robot.

Previous projects include:

  • Working with Xerox PARC to brainstorm human-machine teaming concepts
  • DARPA Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) to develop a robotic copilot (video)
  • Nissan Fleet Management for Autonomous Vehicles
  • The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) for disaster response
  • AFRL Micro-Air Vehicles to develop a novel UAV interface
  • NASA rotorcraft noise minimization
  • OZ flight display
  • DARPA Augmented Cognition project to develop technology to enhance human performance
  • NASA Human-Robot Teamwork for exploration
  • DARPA Learning Locomotion quadrpedal walking over complex terrain
  • ARL applying semantic technologies to support information gathering and sharing for the soldier
  • ONR Coordinated Operations for multiple people working with multiple robots

Additional Qualifications

  • Commercial Pilot Ratings
    • Airplane Single Engine Land
    • Rotorcraft-Helicopter
    • Instrument Airplane and Helicopter
  • Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

You can find Dr. Johnson’s CV here.

When not working on robots for IHMC he enjoys time with his family, playing soccer, traveling, and supporting the Children of Christ Home orphanage in Galette Chambon, Haiti. Matt also developed and maintains medical record software for the medical clinic adjacent to the orphanage.