Robert Carroll Michelson

Profile Updated: July 6, 2023
Class Year: 1969
Residing In: Canton, GA USA
Homepage: View Website
Occupation: Principal Research Engineer Emeritus, Georgia Tech
Children: Two sons who are both members of the research faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In 2023 More…I have four grandsons and one granddaughter.

Robert Michelson (class of '69) was President of the FHHS Rocket Club 1968 - 1969. He grew up in Waynewood, a subdivision adjacent to Fort Hunt High School.

Prof. Robert C. Michelson is an American engineer and academic. He is widely known for inventing the Entomopter at the Georgia Tech Research Institute and for establishing the International Aerial Robotics Competition. He is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1973) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (1974) with degrees in Electrical Engineering. From 1971 - 1973 he was a research engineer working on aerospace radar systems at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C. Michelson spent the next 30 years in various engineering and management capacities within the Georgia Tech Research Institute in Atlanta, Georgia. From 1997 through 2004 Michelson was Adj. Associate Professor to the School of Aerospace Engineering teaching classes in avionics for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and Micro/Mini Air Vehicle (MAV) design.

Michelson retired from GTRI in September 2004 and currently holds the title of Principal Research Engineer Emeritus with the Institute. In 2004 he created Millennial Vision, LLC to continue research into biologically inspired aerial robots and remote sensing. He is the President of SEPDAC (Scientific Enterprise in Pursuit and Discovery of Ancient Cultures), a nonprofit educational and scientific organization. He currently sits on the Board of The Sharp Mountain Preserve.

Michelson has been the U.S. representative and Deputy Chief Referee to the Aviation Industry Corporation of China's UAV Grand Prix during its inaugural year (2011) and again in 2013. He was the section editor for "MAVs and Bio-Inspired UAVs" in Springer's Handbook of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (released in 2014). Michelson has been NATO/RTA lecturer at the Turkish Air Force Academy (Hava Harp Okulu) in Istanbul ( 06), and invited lecturer on Micro Air Vehicle technology at both the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics ( 99 & 03) and the Royal Military Academy ( 01) in Brussels. He was the first 'MITRE Technology Speaker '( 98). He has been a visiting technology professor in five nations: Australia, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, and Turkey. Most recently Michelson has been a consultant to the U.S. Army and the Indian Ministry of Defence, responsible for defining and organizing the 1st U.S.-Asian Micro Air Vehicle Demonstration in Agra India ('08). He performed similar duties for the U.S. Army in defining the 1st US-European Micro Air Vehicle Competition/Demonstration in Garmisch Germany ( 05). He created the short course, ' 21st Century Aerial Robotics' and the digital signal processing lecture/demonstrations in 'Principals of Modern Radar' at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also creator and organizer of the annual International Aerial Robotics Competition which is now in its 19th year (2008). Prior to joining GTRI staff, he participated in design and endo-atmospheric flight testing of computer-controlled space-based radar ocean-surveillance systems while employed by the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

Prof. Michelson is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a Full Member of the Scientific Research Society of North America, Sigma Xi. During the 1990s he served as President and member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (AUVSI) International organization. In 1998 Michelson received the AUVSI Pioneer Award which is the highest level of recognition within the unmanned systems industry for technical contributions. Michelson is the recipient of the 2001 Pirelli Award for the diffusion of scientific culture given by an international Jury for the 'best multimedia project coming from any educational institution in the world.' For endeavors related to the Entomopter, he was also awarded the first 25,000 Euro 'Top Pirelli Prize.'

He holds three patents, and is the author of over 90 major reports and publications. Michelson is listed in various editions of 'Who s Who in Engineering,' 'Who s Who in America,' and the 23rd edition of 'Who s Who in the World.'

Michelson is a certified SCUBA diver (NAUI) [certified during his senior year at FHHS] and an FCC Amateur Extra Class licensed radio operator (N4ATE). He has built his own homes and is an FAA certified pilot for his own home-built rotorcraft. He was a BSA Venture Crew Advisor and has two sons who are both Eagle Scouts (he is now involved with the overtly Christian "Trail Life USA" scouting organization). His oldest son (29 in 2014) is a member of the Faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology doing electrical engineering, and his younger son (27 in 2014) is also a member of the Georgia Tech faculty and works in human factors engineering. Michelson's wife of 40 years (in 2014) is an educator known for starting Cherokee County Georgia's largest private school (K-12), and is a Solid Source Realty agent in the State of Georgia.

School Story:

High school was just a right of passing; a bump in the road on the way to bigger and better things. Things just keep getting better and better as life goes on.

How often do you get back to Alexandria?

Sorry I won't make it to the 50th FHHS celebration-- I've got an international event to run at the same time this year (2019). Have fun.

Do you still see/talk to/hang out with any classmates? Who?

I see Kris Krogh, communicate with Bob Pomeroy and Gail O'Keefe (Antonucci) on occasion, and that's it! I kept in touch annually with Physics teacher, Jon South until his death in 2018.

What would we be surprised to know about you?

I've conducted several archeological expeditions into the military zone in Eastern Anatolia along the border with Iran (accompanied by a platoon of armed Turkish "Jandarma" (soldiers)) to research a site having to do with the actual Ark of Noah... and yes, we found artifacts specific to the Biblical Flood account. Want to know more? Watch:

Biggest thing you would do differently if you went back to your time at high school?

My life has been great. No regrets; I wouldn't change anything.

Robert Carroll's Latest Interactions

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Jul 06, 2023 at 12:00 PM
Apr 18, 2022 at 11:42 PM

Gail: I always enjoy your emails and hearing about what you are up to. Please feel free to pass on the Planetary Catastrophe video series that I created. I'm glad that you liked it (for anyone else reading this, check out: ). Cherish your kids and grandkids and keep caring for your Congo kids while you have them. Stay focused on the promises of Romans 8. Rob

May 23, 2019 at 8:33 PM

Jon South was a great physics teacher, but more than that, he led a Bible study at his home.  How politically incorrect that would be in this day and age-- and how sad that it has become politically incorrect, becaues thorugh that study, I came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ!  Why did he invite me and not others?  The group was small, but meaninful and effective.

Over the rest of his life, I kept in touch with Jon and his wife Doris, mostly through annual Christmas letters.  Today I don't remember the names of most of the others that he invited to the Bible study, except for one:  Dean Shahinian-- a very intelligent guy in a subsequent graduating class.

While others stumbled through life with substance abuse problems, divorces, and low expectations, I can confidently say that my life has been an outstanding success due in a large part to my walk with Jesus Christ as a result of that politically incorrect invitation by Jon South to come into his home and study the Bible with selected other peers from FHHS.    Prof. Robert C. Michelson

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May 23, 2019 at 11:57 AM
International Aerial Robotics Competition, Beihang University, Beijing China (2017)
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Dec 12, 2014 at 12:38 AM

The Lord be with you, Bob!

Dec 10, 2014 at 6:24 PM
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International Aerial Robotics Competition, Beihang University, Beijing China (2017)