William T. Townsend

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William T. "Bill" Townsend
Alma materMIT, Northeastern
OccupationCEO, Barrett Technology

Bill Townsend founded Barrett Technology in 1988. He is credited with introducing the WAM arm, the first haptic robot and one of the first haptic devices based on novel differential and high-speed cable drives.

Bill holds engineering PhD'88[1][2] and MS'84 degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS'82 from Northeastern University. He has been awarded nine US patents and won several professional awards including The Robotics Industries Association’s Joseph Engelberger Award in 2003 for pioneering the first haptic robot in the 1980s.[3]


  1. ^ Townsend, William T (April 1988). "The effect of transmission design on force-controlled manipulator performance : Technical Report 1054" (PDF). MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  2. ^ "The effect of transmission design on force-controlled manipulator performance | MIT PhD Thesis 1988". Hdl.handle.net. hdl:1721.1/14366. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. ^ "Joseph F. Engelberger Robotics Awards : Past Recipients By Year" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-28.