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Robert Williams

Professor and Undergraduate Chairman
Biomedical Engineering,Mechanical Engineering
STKR 262
Phone: 740.593.1096

Dr. Robert L. Williams II is professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio University, focusing on robotics and haptics research and education. Previously he worked for five years at NASA Langley Research Center as space roboticist. Dr. Williams has published 36 journal articles and more than 100 conference papers in dynamics, control, robotics, and haptics. He is a reviewer for many journals including ASME and IEEE journals. He has been principal investigator on externally funded projects totaling more than $3M. During his time at Ohio University, he has worked two summers each at NASA Kennedy Space Center and Wright-Patterson AFB. During his 2002-03 sabbatical, he worked for the NIST Intelligent Systems Division in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Dr. Williams' research interests include parallel robots, cable-suspended robots, mobile robots, and haptics for education and training.

Research Interests: Biomedical Engineering, Controls, Mechanics, Robotics

All Degrees Earned: Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1988. M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1985. B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Ohio University, 1984.


R.L. Williams II and D.A. Lawrence, 2007, Linear State-Space Control Systems, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., ISBN 978-0-471-73555-7.

R.L. Williams II, J.N. Howell, and R.R. Conatser Jr., 2008, “Digital Human Modeling for Palpatory Medical Training with Haptic Feedback”, in Handbook of Digital Human Modeling for Applied Ergonomics and Human Factors Engineering, Chapter 48, ISBN 978-0-8058-5646.

J. Wu, R.L. Williams II, and J.Y. Lew, 2006, “Velocity and Acceleration Cones for Kinematic and Dynamic Constraints on Omni-Directional Mobile Robots”, ASME Transactions on Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, 128(4): 788-799.

R.L. Williams II, J.S. Albus, and R.V. Bostelman, 2004, “3D Cable-Based Cartesian Metrology System”, Journal of Robotic Systems, 21(5): 237-257.

R.L. Williams II, B.E. Carter, P. Gallina, and G. Rosati, 2002, "Dynamic Model with Slip for Wheeled Omni-Directional Robots", IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, 18(3): 285-293.

Complete list:


R.L. Williams II and P.M. Bosscher, "Contour Crafting Cartesian Cable Robot", U.S. Patent No. 7,753,642, July 13, 2010.

R.L. Williams II, J.N. Howell, R.R. Conatser Jr., D.H. Noyes, and J.M. Burns, "Methods for Measurement of Human Tissue Properties In Vivo", Ohio University Invention Disclosure, July 26, 2005.

J.S. Albus, R.V. Bostelman, and R.L. Williams II, “Self-Contained, Economical Construction Crane”, Ohio University/NIST Invention Disclosure, May, 2003.

R.L. Williams II, F. van Graas, and J.J. Hall, “GPS/IMU Calibration Platform”, Provisional Patent, April 4, 2000.

R.L. Williams II, “Active Scaffolding Systems”, U.S. Patent No. 5,803,203, September 8, 1998.


Best Research Paper Award, International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare, 2009

P&G Best Paper Award, Applied Mechanisms & Robotics Conf., 1999

Promising Young Investigator, Applied Mechanisms & Robotics Conf., 1997

Russ Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2011

Mechanical Engineering White Research Award, 2008

Something you may not know about me: I play guitar and bass and sing in 2 rock bands.