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Faculty Spotlight with Dr. Cammy Peterson: Climbing Mountains and Flying Cars

Each week, we will be getting to know our faculty members a little bit better. This week, we will be getting to know Dr. Cammy Peterson.


Dr. Cammy Peterson teaches New Student Seminar, Math of Signals & Systems, and Nonlinear System Theory and performs research in a number of areas, including tracking, estimation, autonomy, and multi-vehicle motion coordination. Though her range of interests is wide, they are all brought together by one fundamental passion: creating tangible products that can change the world and improve people’s lives. Each aspect of her research works together to help create autonomous robotic systems. These, in turn, can be used for countless life-changing humanitarian projects, such as delivering medicines in third world countries within a fraction of the time otherwise possible.

While working to help further these types of technologies, she helped to design and implement a proof of concept which she described as both one of her most stressful and most fun projects. In an impressive feat of innovation, she showcased four autonomous air vehicles flying at the same time performing dynamic formations.

Pushing the boundaries of modern technology isn’t Dr. Peterson’s only impressive feat, though. When she goes home at the end of the day, she continues to push boundaries as she hikes, travels, and rock climbs. She even hiked the Himalayas, going all the way to Everest Base Camp.

Looking to future feats, she noted that if there were one thing she could create in her lifetime, it would be fully autonomous and fully safe air taxis, changing forever the world of both personal and commercial transportation. “The last thing we want, though” she chuckled, “is for one of them to drop from the sky onto someone’s head”—which is why she and thousands of others are working together across the globe to make them robust enough, safe enough, and advanced enough to bring the technologies of Back to the Future into our future.