Black History Month 2021 Feature: Carlotta A. Berry, Ph.D.

Carlotta A. Berry, Ph.D

Carlotta A. Berry, Ph.D. is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She teaches students how to design mobile robots to be intelligent by creating control algorithms. She received her doctorate in Human-Robot Interaction from Vanderbilt University.

How did you become interested in robotics?  I was in engineering school when I became interested. I was so disappointed in the fact that only the graduate students got to touch the robot that I desired to be an engineering/robotics professor with more hands-on activities.

Who do you look up to in this industry?  Dr. Ayanna Howard, one of the founders of Black in Robotics, is a role model and peer. Other role models are Robin Murphy, Maja Mataric, Julie Adams, Andrew Williams, James McLurkin, and Selma Sabanovic. Unfortunately, this industry is still so young and new for women and people of color that most of us are still pioneers, trailblazers, or unicorns.

What words of wisdom would you give to students in the robotics community? The most important thing is to continue learning, growing, and being creative. Participate in creative hobbies like building with LEGOS, coding at sites like, working with friends to build things, and asking questions.

Anything else you would like to share?   I was a robotics competition judge for 10 years, a judge advisor for 3 years, and a chairperson for 2 Crossroads Regional at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. I am also one of the faculty members who started the multidisciplinary minor in robotics at RHIT due to the success of high school competitions like VEX Robotics.

I’m one of the mentors for my daughter’s robotics team, Gamer Girlz. It is made up of Girl Scouts in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Indiana. We have received 2 REC Foundation grants to develop and grow our team, so we want to thank the organization for all of their support.

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