Joe is a senior majoring in Robotics Engineering. As the Chief of Design for his high school’s Lemelson-MIT Inventeam group, Joe oversaw the design, analysis, and production of a “Reusable Fire-Fighting Grenade” that was presented to a group of entrepreneurs at MIT. For the past 3 years, Joe has been a mentor for FIRST Team 190, where he has helped with the design and manufacturing of multiple award-winning robots. In 2010, he was awarded the ASEE SMART Scholarship, guaranteeing him a job with Army Operational Test Command (OTC) out of college. For the past 2 summers, Joe has worked with OTC testing various robotic platforms to ensure that they are suitable for use before they are deployed overseas. His main interests include machine vision, artificial intelligence, human-robot interaction, and mobile robotics. Joe will be the lead software engineer for this project.
Jon is a senior majoring in both Robotics and Mechanical Engineering. He was born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado. As a part of FIRST Team 159 @ Poudre High School he was introduced to robotics and fell in love with it! Before starting as a freshman at WPI he worked as an intern at Wolf Robotics in Fort Collins, which specializes in industrial welding robotics. For the past three summers he has been with the product development group at Hologic’s diagnostics division, working on the design of automated medical diagnostic instruments. After living in Thailand for 8 weeks for IQP, Jon returned to lead WPI’s Team Oryx to victory at NASA’s Exploration Robo-Ops Competition (2011). He was heavily involved in the design and construction of the rover earning him the opportunity to travel to the Rock Yard @ Johnson Space Center for the competition. It was this competition that raised his awareness and interest in space exploration robotics. His main areas of interest include mechanical design, machine vision, unmanned ground vehicles, medical robotics, human-in-the-loop controls, and robotic system modularity. Jon will play an important role in mechanical design as well as controls aspects of this project.
Tom is a senior majoring in Robotics Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. He lives in Avon, CT where he was introduced to robotics in high school through FIRST on Team 1124. As an undergraduate, Tom divides his time between school work, being a student assistant for robotics engineering courses, and an ongoing internship/co-op. Since March 2010 he has worked at a company called Energid Technologies which specializes in advanced controls, automation, and 3D machine vision systems. Before leaving to complete his IQP in Melbourne, Australia Tom was part of a team that made the project proposal and began designing the rover for NASA’s Exploration Robo-Ops Competition. It was this competition that sparked his interest in surface exploration robotics, and which also has formed the basis of the current rover project. His main interests include mobile robots, unmanned aerial vehicles, machine vision, and medical robotics.
Michael is a senior in the Liberal Arts and Engineering Program concentrating in manufacturing and industrial engineering, with a minor in History. He is from Los Altos, California, where while in high school he was the lead machinist and shop manager for FIRST Team 114. He continued his involvement with FIRST robotics in college as a mentor and shop manager for WPI’s Team 190. For three summers he worked as a machinist at Stanford University in the Department of Neurobiology building custom laboratory equipment for neurophysiology research. He currently works at Comprehensive Power, Inc. in Marlborough, MA. While at WPI, Michael became interested in the sport of combat robotics, taking his 30 pound robot, “Higgins” to two successive wins and a second place finish. He designed and fabricated many components of WPI’s Team Oryx winning entry into NASA’s Exploration Robo-Ops Competition (2011). This competition showed many similarities between the difficulties of planetary surface exploration and robot combat. His main areas of interest include design for manufacturability, lean enterprise in the small shop, and commercialization of research projects. His primary contribution to this project will be in the areas of mechanical design and fabrication, manufacturability analysis, environmental testing, and design realization in the commercial context.
Our advisor, Professor Padir, is a faculty member in the Robotics Engineering Program at WPI. He has been working on robots and control systems for more than 15 years. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Purdue University. He is constantly looking over our shoulders to make sure we are on track. Professor Padir will be traveling with us to the RASC-AL Robo-Ops Competition this year at NASA Johnson Space Center.
Professor Stafford started his WPI career as an advisor to university student design teams. In the past 12 years, robotics, automotive and other design teams he has advised have won more than 75 regional, national, and international awards. This is the second year he has co-advised Team Oryx (he was part of the “travel team” of WPI’s winning entry in the 2011 Robo-Ops Competition). An adjunct associate professor in mechanical engineering and robotics engineering, he is currently the Director of the WPI Robotics Resource Center and Associate Director of the Robotics Engineering Program.
Brad enjoys taking complicated subjects and making them easy to understand. Some of the projects he has worked on include developing WPILib, the software library used by all FIRST Robotics Competition teams as the basis for its robot programs. Brad is starting the FIRST/WPI Research Center initiative, a system for getting robotics engineering research and project work into the hands of FIRST.