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An avid attendee of his parents’ preschool, Robert first got interested in computers and technology at the age of 6, when his father brought home an Apple II, that he had purchased for $5,500 (used!). Robert started his technology career by booting the computer using two five an a quarter inch disks (no hard drive) to play the legendary game Artillery, but it wasn’t until he was introduced to RobotWar (at age 9) that he really got interested in computers, particularly after his $13 first-prize win at the local RobotWar tournament. At that time, upon foreseeing the future of computers and their physical interaction with the world, Robert decided to pursue his basic purpose of helping others by making autonomous robots that could help people – and this thrust into programming robots (Omega, RoboWar) along with a healthy dose of sports and some serious outdoors trips kept him pretty busy right through high school.

Robert then studied engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, and after a lot of work and three years of collegiate lacrosse (mid-fielder), he graduated with honors with a degree in Computer Science and Engineering. In his last year of school, Robert started an internship at the Jet Propulsion Lab, a NASA center, and following graduation he was hired as a full-time staff engineer. His first project was programming flight system software on the Deep Space 1 project. After the launch of DS1, Robert started in on robotics work in earnest with the JPL Urban Robot research task. He first worked on system software, then navigation and path following algorithms, and then he became the overall task manager.


Concurrently Robert started the Micro-Robot Explorer research task, also known as the “Spiderbot”. The first Spiderbot was tested in the JPL Mars Yard, with a series of mobility and radio-relay tests. The next year of Spiderbot development led to various forms of hanging and crawling across a wire-mesh grid, simulating a large radar array deployed in space.

During his NASA career these different projects garnered public attention and so he spent some of his time delivering lectures and interviews to further increase public interest in robotics technology and space exploration.

Robert then decided to follow his original purpose of helping people more directly, by switching gears to work for his Church for a few years, where he spent most of his time managing Church projects through various stages of development.

Robert is now running, a technology consulting company, he is developing two Internet tech startups, and he is finding lots of other ways to get into trouble – and it all somehow seems to lead to helping others.