In late 2015 I was named a MIT Technology Review "35 Innovators Under 35" (aka TR35) Award Winner! Previous winners include Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Jonathan Ive, and Helen Greiner. This is the most prestigious accolade I've ever received. It's a huge honor, and I'm extremely humbled. It's also a bit scary (have I peaked?) and intimidating (impostor syndrome?). I guess it just means I gotta step up my game. In reality, I owe my success to a lot of people: collaborators, mentors, advisors, friends, family, and wife. Thanks y'all! As part of the TR35, I gave a 3-minute talk at MIT's Emerging Technology (EmTech) Conference: Making Baymax a Reality -OR- Personal Care Robots Enabled by the Internet of Things
I was a co-founder of Lollipuff.com: an online auction and authentication service dedicated exclusively to women's designer clothes and accessories, where every item is authenticated by a team of experts. Lollipuff was part of YCombinator's winter 2013 (W2013) class.Though I departed from day-to-day operations in 2014, I'm still a board member, technical advisor, and occasional code contributor.
Prior to Lollipuff, I worked with my long-time mentor (Dr. Matt Reynolds) as a postdoc researcher at Duke University. I was supported by a prestigious NSF / CRA "Computing Innovation" (CI) Postdoc Fellowship. While at the Reynolds lab, I worked on cutting-edge backscatter wireless systems: wireless power harvesting and high-speed wireless data transfer akin to souped-up UHF RFID tags. My work focused on a software-defined radio receiver to decode (in real-time) the high-speed biotelemetry signals reflected by a custom neuro-telemetry chip. This system was designed to capture high-fidelity neural signals from a dragonfly in flight -- aka, a "cyborg dragonfly" (details on Wired). I worked in the Reynolds Lab from Oct. 2011 to Dec. 2012.
I earned a PhD in Fall 2011 from Georgia Tech's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). I was a member of the Healthcare Robotics Lab, where I studied under the tutelage of my advisor, Dr. Charles C. Kemp. My thesis was entitled, "Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) for Robot Perception and Mobile Manipulation." I hold a MS from Georgia Tech (2008) and dual-BS with quad-majors (EE, Comp-E, CS, Math) from the University of Nebraska (2005). For many years / summers I worked at Sandia National Labs in Livermore, CA.
You can find detailed information in my curriculum vitae (CV).
Back in October 2010, I appeared on CNN's "The Big I" segment. Apparently doing a live robot demo (autonomous and sensorized!) is something of a rare and gutsy move! You can read more about the experience and watch the video over at Hizook.com. The producers requested some last minute functionality ("make the robot wave to the camera for the commercial break transition"), which resulted in some surreal robot programming sitting on CNN's news room floor... all while coverage of the Chilean miners crisis happens in the background.
I founded Hizook.com, a robotics website for academic and professional roboticists. The website has ~30k unique monthly visitors, over 4 million cumulative YouTube viewers, and has been prominently featured on several major internet news outlets. I have been called "one of the world's top robotics bloggers" by IEEE Spectrum.
I have a penchant for science fiction novels and films. Some day, I hope to pen a science fiction novel of my own, but in the meantime I maintain a massive library of scifi books (and I'm always on the lookout for new books / authors!). I am an avid reader -- consuming anything related to science, technology, and entrepreneurship.