Robert D. Howe

Robert D. Howe

  • Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Engineering


Robert D. Howe is Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Engineering in the school of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. Professor Howe founded the BioRobotics Laboratory in 1990, which investigates the roles of sensing and mechanical design in motor control, both in humans and in robots. His research interests focus on robot and human manipulation and the sense of touch. Biomedical applications of this work include the development of robotic and image-guided approaches to minimally invasive surgical procedures. Dr. Howe earned a bachelors degree in physics from Reed College, then worked as a design engineer in the electronics industry in Silicon Valley. He received a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University in 1990, and then joined the faculty at Harvard.

Contact Information

Nickname: Rob
Office:323 Pierce Hall
Office Phone:(617) 496-8359
Lab Name:BioRobotics Lab
Lab Room:Room 312
Lab Phone:(617) 496-9098
Assistant:Melissa Majkut
Assistant Office:Pierce 310
Assistant Phone:617-496-5167

Primary Teaching Area


Positions & Employment

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

  • Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Engineering

Patents Awarded

  1. P. S. Wellman. J.S. Son, R.D. Howe, System generating a pressure profile across a pressure sensitive membrane,” U.S. Patent No. 5,983,727, November 16, 1999.
  2. R. D. Howe and G. Kychakoff, "Fiber-optic Inverse-square Displacement Sensor," U.S. Patent No. 4,865,443, September 12, 1989.