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About

About the Company

While preparing for the DARPA Urban Challenge at the University of Florida, Nicholas (the Founder) spent countless hours testing the robot. Tests took at least 20 mins to set up and run, and they had to go to a special site to perform the testing which required an hour to load the robot and drive to the site. Basically, every software change took forever to validate and a whole day could go by with little progress to show for it. Now over 15 years later, robotic testing hasn’t changed much. In general, it still takes a very long time to test a robotic system, and software changes are slow to be validated or grouped with other changes, making it difficult to know if the changes fixed one thing while also breaking another. 

We’re working on fixing that.

We want to build robots better. From taking people out of dangerous situations, to helping people with disabilities live more independently, to handling mundane tasks so we can have more fulfilling lives; we believe that robotics has the potential to transform the world. However, that won't happen until robots become easier to build, easier to test, and safer to be around.

Of course, they also need to be affordable and profitable.

 

That's where we come in. Having to manually run hundreds or thousands of hours of tests doesn't work. Having customers be your Beta testers isn't safe. Both approaches are expensive. Instead, designing your robotic system for testability, maintainability, and upgradability will greatly reduce cost, accelerate development, and shorten the time necessary to bring your robots to the people who need them.
 

About the Founder

I fell in love with robots when I saw my first Transformers (G1) episode as a child growing up in the 80s. Even though it was a fictional, animated TV show, there was something that sparked a passion to work on real life robots; to make real life Transformers. However, growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, a small country in the Southern Caribbean, I really had no idea how to make that possible.

Then in 1992 or so, I got my first computer; a Commodore 128, and it changed my life. That's when I first experienced the magic of programming and felt like there was maybe a path to building robots like I dreamed about. Not long after I took a class in secondary school called "Electricity" where we learned about basic electrical circuits, and digital logic and again the dream was just a little closer.

This led me to leave Trinidad and Tobago to pursue an Electrical Engineering degree at Howard University, where I got my first real taste at building robots using a PIC microcontroller and programming in assembly. It was like magic.

Eventually, I ended up at the University of Florida, a school I only applied to because they had participated in the DARPA Grand Challenges in 2004 and 2005. Soon after I started at UF the DARPA Urban Challenge was announced and I jumped at the chance to be on that team. We made it all the way out the semifinals in Victorville, CA but didn't make the finals. 

Competing in the DARPA Urban Challenge was an amazing, and incredibly fun experience; it was also immensely stressful. It's not something I think I'd want to repeat today but it's the norm for many roboticists around the globe. 

Almost 20 years after the DARPA Grand Challenge building robots hasn't gotten much easier and we don't have that much more functionality to show for all this effort either.  Let's change that.

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