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Death of Georges Giralt, Robotics pioneer

11 février 2013


Georges Giralt passed away on Sunday, 10th of February at the age of 82. He helped create LAAS alongside Jean Lagasse and the entire team of founders.

George was a true visionary with a remarkable clairvoyance and scientific guide of the laboratory. His broad spectrum of scientific expertise made him the instigator of the genesis scientific areas of LAAS-CNRS:

  • PhD in Electronics in 1958, on a particularly innovative aspect on the foundations of electronic controls using semiconductor: high voltages and high currents.
  • Initiator of the "Electronic Components" research activity with Henri Martinot and Bernard André in the mid-60s, which led to the LAAS "micro and nanosystems" area today.
    His work earned him the CNRS silver medal in 1972.
  • Founder of the LAAS "Robotics and Artificial Intelligence" area in the mid 70s after his sojourn at the University of Berkeley. This led to the success that we know and earned him major recognition in France and worldwide, such as the prestigious international Joseph Engelberger which prize that was awarded to him in 1997.

Very attached to the CNRS that he had joined in 1956, Georges Giralt was a distinguished and brilliant scientist. Thanks to his charisma and conviction, he was also able to mobilize and energize all those who knew him and worked with him: there are many in this case! LAAS has lost his second co-founder and knows how much it owes to this strong, passionate and great man with a rare humanity.

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We invite you to follow this exemplary career through some video testimonies recorded in 2008 by the Toulouse University scientific  heritage safeguarding Dpt (in French).

Online videos (a few minutes each, total 36 min)
- The origins of a vocation: decisive meeting with Jean Lagasse
- The beginnings of electronics: the experience of the CERN - The beginnings of electronics research laboratory, interview with Roland Prajoux
- The Adventure of LAAS - LAAS in 2008, interview of Raja Chatila, head of Laas
- The sabbatical at Berkeley, University of California, USA
- Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

- Towards an autonomous robot: experience Hilare 1977, interview with Roland Prajoux - The "manipulation of cubes", one of the first experiments in robotics laboratory by Roland Prajoux
- The National ARA (Advanced Automation and Robotics)

- ARA presented by Rachid Alami (Head of pole robotics and artificial intelligence at LAAS)
- The robots onsite planetary program (RISP) - After the crawler, the service robot and robot air ... by Raja Chatila, LAAS Head
- Conclusion: the robot and the human cohabitation what tomorrow? Applications of robotics by Rachid Alami