Professor Twiggs retired from Morehead State University (MSU, Kentucky) in 2019, where he was a professor in the Space Science Center. At MSU Bob was involved in the development of the PocketQube small satellites which were launched in 2013 on a Russian Dnepr rocket. He is also a Professor Emeritus at Stanford University where he founded Stanford’s Space Systems Development Laboratory. He, along with Jordi Puig-Suari of California Polytechnic State University, created the CubeSat standard and a standard for deployment of the satellites in the 1990s. CubeSats have since become the world-wide standard for pico (under 10 kg) class satellites. NASA and other national space agencies, the U.S. Department of Defense, aerospace companies and universities world-wide have flown CubeSats since 2007. CubeSats have revolutionized university aerospace education by allowing graduate, undergraduate, and even high-school students to gain authentic experiences in space systems design, fabrication and operation. The aerospace industry has referred to CubeSat systems as "disruptive technology". Bob is often referred to as the "father" of CubeSats.
In 2010 he was selected as by the Space News publication as one of 10 space professionals “That Made a Difference in Space”. The other two selected from the United States were Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and the present US President, Barack Obama. One of his recent publications is as a coauthor of the article “Citizen Satellites” in the February 2011 Scientific American. The article outlines the increasing importance of nanosatellites and specifically CubeSats to the aerospace industry, to scientific research, to aerospace education, and national defense. Professor Twiggs was invited to write a chapter on Alternative Spacecraft Design called “CubeSats” in Space Mission Engineering: The New Space Mission Analysis and Design (SMAD), (Robert Twiggs and Benjamin K. Malphrus, edited by James R. Wertz, David F. Everett, and Jeffery J. Puschell, Space Technology Library, Hawthorne, CA 2011). SMAD has become the industry standard reference for space systems development.