Dr. Gill Pratt is the Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Research Institute (TRI), a research and development enterprise designed to bridge the gap between fundamental research and product development. Launched in 2016, TRI’s mission is to enhance the safety of automobiles, with the ultimate goal of creating a car that is incapable of causing a crash. It seeks to provide increased access to cars for those who otherwise cannot drive, including those with special needs and seniors. Furthermore, TRI looks to translate outdoor mobility technology into products for indoor mobility, and accelerate scientific discovery by applying techniques from artificial intelligence and machine learning. Dr. Pratt also serves as a Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) “fellow” within the Advanced R&D and Engineering Company. This a new post that was established for executives to contribute to the management of the company with their high level of expertise in specific technical domains.
Before joining Toyota, Dr. Pratt served as a program manager in the Defense Sciences Office at the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) from January 2010 through August 2015.
Dr. Pratt’s primary interest is in the field of robotics and intelligent systems. Specific areas include interfaces that significantly enhance human/machine collaboration, mechanisms and control methods for enhanced mobility and manipulation, low impedance actuators, and the application of neuroscience techniques to robot perception and control.
Dr. Pratt holds a Doctor of Philosophy in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His thesis is in the field of neurophysiology. Dr. Pratt was an Associate Professor and Director of the Leg Lab at MIT. Subsequently, he became a Professor at Franklin W. Olin College, and before joining DARPA and then Toyota, was Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Research. Dr. Pratt holds several patents in series elastic actuation and adaptive control.