My Resume

Project Manger for Robotics / Unmanned Vehicles: Over 20 years of senior leadership experience managing DOD, NASA and commercial vehicle programs. Designer of over 20 unmanned vehicles and robots. Major Robot Programs: US Army Future Combat Systems (MULE, Armed Robotic Vehicle, SUGV), DARPA Grand Challenge, Elbit Beagle, Archer, SARC, SPOC, PVID, Space Shuttle Robot Arm Simulator, Space Station Robotics, UAV’s, Industrial robotics, and assembly lines. Requirements, proposals, lead peer reviews, design reviews, customer reviews. Budgets and Schedules, EVM (Earned Value Management) trained. Program management expertise on some of the largest and most complex projects ever attempted (Int. Space Station, F-35 JSF, and Future Combat Systems). Top-notch communications skills, Active in the industry trade groups, nationally published author and public speaker. Managed multiple R&D programs. ISO-9000, LEAN, TQM trained. CMMI. Ground, Sea, Air, and Space Robotics.
Bachelor’s degree – Math and Computer Science – minor in Management – Texas State University 1988.
Commercial, Instrument, Multi-engine Rated Pilot – US Air Force Veteran –Security Clearance

20+ years of Design Engineering of complex systems, 10+ years of experience with recent hardware development and specialty engineering practices, and 10+ years of leadership experience. Experience with developing hardware and software architectures across many different systems. developed innovative hardware solutions to complex robotics problems. Very Strong verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to communicate complex issues to technical and non-technical audiences that include peers, partners, management, and customers. Nationally published writer and public speaker. Design, development, customer requirements, systems engineering, integration, sensor fusion, artificial intelligence, guidance and navigation, production design, maintainability, sustainability, testing, acceptance, verification and validation, safety, risk reduction.
Employment History
October 2011 to Present
Airship Ventures – Special Missions Manager
Responsible for bids, proposals, business development for airship flight testing, evaluation, and operations. Designed, installed and tested sensors, systems, guidance, navigation avionics on Zeppelin Airship. Responsible for quality control, training, customer satisfaction.

October 2010 to July 2011
Sportvision, Inc.- Vice President of Engineering
Sportvision is an innovative sports broadcasting company that invented the “Yellow Line” first and 10 marker seen on NFL and college football broadcasts. They also provide pitch tracking for MLB and telemetry for NASCAR. Root cause analysis, corrective action, quality control, test planning, operations. Designed race car GPS/IMU/Kalman Filter telemetry systems, worked with suppliers. Lead troubleshooting of MLB pitch tracking crashing problems on opening day, 2011. Budgets, Schedules, Personnel, milestones, performance measures and metrics.

April 2008 to October, 2010
Elbit Systems of America – Chief Engineer
Director of Advanced Programs and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (2009-10)
Lead the development of new unmanned vehicles, vehicle electronics systems, sensors, remote weapons stations. Led Business Development, Bids and Proposals, trade shows. Bradley Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) vetronics, Remote Weapons Stations. Designed, developed, and executed IRAD programs. EO/IR packages, airborne sensors, remote weapons stations, missile guidance packages (LGB), Head Mounted Displays (HMDs). Project Leader, DARPA EATR (Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot) program. Designed Beagle, ARCHER, PVID, AUSV robotic systems. Developed simulations and simulation based design for unmanned vehicles. Bids, proposals, project management, budgets, schedules, metrics.

March 2006 to April 2008
Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) – Deputy Chief Engineer
Future Combat Systems Unmanned Ground Vehicles (Robotics). Led the development of SUGV robot, three types of MULE UGV, two types of Armed Robotic Vehicle (ARV). Member of Program Decision Board. Manager of Chief Engineer’s Office. Developed Technical Performance Measures (TPM’s), Risk Reduction, Safety; IRADS. Chaired Autonomous Navigation System (ANS) PDR; Lead FCS Data Link committee (UAV and UGV). Principle Investigator, ARV Operator Simulation Workload Trade Study. Developed remote weapons systems latency test simulator. Integrated Javelin missile into MULE.

March 2003 to March 2006
Northrop Grumman Air Combat Systems – Program Manager – Flight Simulation
Program Manager -Man in the Loop Simulation. Joint Strike Fighter F-35 Lightning II. Responsible for test design, planning, and execution in man-in-the-loop simulation for engineering. Verification and Validation, Aircraft Certification, Pilot Workload. Helmet Mounted Displays. Developed “VizTool3D” post-mission simulation analysis tools for LO (Low Observable) and data fusion systems. Weapons and Sensors integration, budgets, schedules, personnel.

October, 1997 to March, 2003
SGI - Silicon Graphics, Inc. – Global Product Manager
Founding Global Product Manager, Decision Support Centers - C4ISR centers. On Site Systems Engineer – NASA Johnson Space Center. Won Space Shuttle Mission Simulator (NASA) hardware refresh, Space Walk Simulator, ASCI-VIEWS (world’s largest computer graphics system). Work on vision systems of simulators of all sizes and types (F-16, F-18, UH-60). Dome Simulators, HMD (Head Mounted Displays). Designed robotic vision systems, Space Shuttle Robot Arm training systems.

October 1994 to October, 1997
TASC (The Analytic Science Corporation) - Director
Founding Director of Advanced Simulation Laboratory. Lead R&D activity, bids and proposals. Developed simulation based analysis systems, virtual reality, synthetic vision systems, mission planning systems, data fusion, helmet-mounted displays.(HMD)

July, 1992 to October 1994
CACI Products Company -Project Manager - Simulation
Modeling and Simulation, Operations Research, Project Manager. European Business Manager. Lead Air Traffic Control simulation, Multi-warfare Assessment and Research Systems theater level combat simulator for US Navy. Designed land, sea, air vehicle simulations, radar models, sensor models, missile models, flight models, terrain,

June, 1989 to July, 1992
McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Company (now Boeing) – Lead Engineer
- Space Station Division Lead Engineer for International Space Station Command and Control (US, Europe, Japan). Responsible for control of all robots and robotics systems for ISS. Lead Integrated Systems PDR, other design reviews. Co-author of CCSDS “Red Book”, Space Station Level “A” Spec.

June, 1978 to December, 1982
US Air Force
Space Communications Systems Operator/Specialist – Primary “on the job” training instructor for satellite ground stations. Aircraft Electrician – F-4C Aircraft
Bachelors of Applied Science 1988 – Math and Computer Science, Management Minor
Associate’s Degree – English Education 1986


 April 2010: Scientific American “2010 World Changing Ideas” (DARPA EATR Project)

 February 2008: Boeing “Sprit” Award for contributions to US Army Future Combat Systems Program – chairman of Autonomous Navigation Systems (ANS) Preliminary Design Review (PDR)

 March 2004: Northrop Grumman Managers Timely Award for contributions to Joint Strike Fighter: Simulation Verification and Validation Test Planning.

 June 2003. Northrop Grumman Managers Timely Award for contributions to Joint Strike Fighter – VizTool 3D simulation visualization software

 2002 National Space Society - Explorer Award for “Get Away Special Program”

 McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Outstanding Achievement Awards:
- For outstanding contribution to the Space Station Level A Requirements
- For contribution to the Space Station Preliminary Design Review (PDR)
- For superior performance on contract evaluation from NASA customer (3 Awards)


• Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) – Timing and Scoring, Flags and Communication
• Commemorative Air Force – Fundraising Chairman for Invader Squadron WWII aircraft museum
• AUVSI Assoc. of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International – Program Director, Lone Star Chapter 2009-10
• Board of Directors, National Space Society 2000-2004
• Mission Scanner, 2nd Lieutenant, Civil Air Patrol.
• Steering Committee - Intelligent Vehicle Technology Transfer Group (DARPA)
• President, Birdville High School Band Boosters 2005-2006
• State Safety Judge, Texas BEST Robotics Competition 2005-7
• Board of Directors, Director Aircraft Maintenance, Six4aSix Flying Club Inc. 2004-2006
• Vice President, Houston Chapter, Mars Society, 1999-2000 -Official Member of the “Mars Underground”
• Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
• Space Frontier Foundation
• SISO -Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization (1995 -1999)
• Co-Founder: Space Station Freedom Fighters (A grass-roots pro-space political group)
• Clear Lake Area Economic Development Foundation -Keep it Sold Committee (Space Shuttle and Space Station) (1999/2001)
• Vice President, Experimental Aircraft Association (San Antonio Chapter) 1982-1986.


 LeMieux, Dr. Gerald, ed. “Introduction to Unmanned Ground, Sea, and Air Vehicles”. Unmanned Vehicle University, 2012.

 “Verification and Validation of Learning-Capable Unmanned Vehicles”, Proceedings of Unmanned Systems 2010, Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, August 2010.

 “So, You want to be a Robot Designer?” Robot Magazine Sept 2010

 “Everything is Turning 3D”, Robot Magazine. September 2010

 “TARDEC Robot Rodeo”, Robot Magazine. January 2010

 Henry’s Daughters (Movie), Produced by the National Institute for Engineering Ethics, Texas Tech University 2010. Movie features my Archer Unmanned Ground Vehicle, and was partially filmed in my R&D lab.

 “Robots to the Rescue”, Robot Magazine. January 2010

 “Archer Hybrid Electric - Robot for a new generation” Robot Magazine. July 2009

 “EATR – the next generation of robot”, Robot Magazine. January 2009

 “Supervised Autonomy: Reducing Operator Workload in Ground Robots”, Proceedings of Unmanned Systems 2009, Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, August 2009.

 “VIPeR Robot”, Robot Magazine March 2009

 “Dump Me – Robot Dump Truck”, Robot Magazine. November 2008

 “FCS MULE”, Robot Magazine. September 2008. Article, artwork, Cover Feature, Cover Artwork.

 White Paper, “Display Design for Critical Decision Making”, published by SGI, 2001. http://www.sgi.com/industries/government/technical.html

 White Paper, “Massively Scaleable Sensor Fusion Architecture”, International Society for Information Fusion, 2003.

 Contributor, NASA Publication 3346. Computational Tools and Facilities for the Next-Generation Analysis and Design Environment. Dr. Akmed Noor, Editor. 1997.

 “Display of Abstract Information in Virtual Reality” Virtual Reality World Magazine. February, 1995.

 “On The Edge: Analysis of Transactions and Computers ”, (with Dr. Michael Pierson) IEEE MICRO, October 1990

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Airships 101

Continuing the series on Airships:

Some basic comments on airship technical design. I'll be referring to Goodyear's web pages on flying their blimp.

The basic components of the airship are the envelope (outer covering), gondola, fins or aerodynamic controls, engines, and the balloonets.

Lift for the airship is provided by a combination of static (buoyancy) lift provided by the lifting gas - usually helium - and dynamic lift provided by the air moving over the aerodynamic shape of the airship and the thrust provided by the engines. Airships are boyant, like any balloon, by being less dense than the surrounding air. To be specific, the airship weighs less than the amount of air volume it displaces. This difference provides lift. If an airship weighs exactly the same as the air it displaces, then it is neutrally buoyant and will neither rise nor sink. The problem with this is that as you ascend into the atmosphere, the air becomes less dense. Airships are normally trimmed with ballast (added weight) to be slightly heavy at ground level - and to use dynamic lift provided by forward motion to climb.

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Attack of the Airships!

It seems that all of a sudden, everyone has an airship, a blimp or an aerostat (tethered blimp), either manned or unmanned. Two years ago no-one was talking about them, and now fat, boyant, helium filled UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), OPV (Optionally Piloted Vehicles), and MV (Manned Vehicle) lighter-than-air craft fill the skies. I just attended the AUVSI conference in Washington DC, and I saw a lot of blimps and airships.

A quick note: A blimp is a lighter-than-air craft that is propelled by an engine, has an aerodynamic-shaped (teardrop) body, and maintains its shape via internal pressure, like a balloon. An Airship is the generic name for a powered lighter than air craft. A Zeppelin, or rigid airship, has a metal frame, usually of aluminum, that maintains its shape. The vast majority of airships today are blimps. Zeppelins are heavier, but faster.

I think that the reason for all this interest in airships is fueled by the need for persistent survellance - the ability to maintain overwatch of a large area for long periods of time, and this need is created by the use of IED's to attack US troop overseas, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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My Robot Designs - the List!

In my official biography, I said that I have designed of over 20 unmanned vehicles over the years. You may wonder, what 20 vehicles am I talking about? I fell that I need to provide a list of all my original designs – time to “put up or shut up”. So here is the official list - to date:

So in this definition of “vehicle”, we will have anything that can move on its own – on wheels, tracks, or treads, float, swim, or fly. My smallest unmanned ground vehicle weighed just three pounds, while the heaviest a whopping 28,000 lbs (14 tons).

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Now entering BOOK MODE

I've finally decided to get off the fence and write a book about robots. The working title is "Don't Fear the Robots: The Myth of the Robot Apocalypse". This means that at some time I will have to learn to spell "Apocalypse".

You are familiar with the Robot Apocalypse of course- you've seen it in movies and read about in books. The story goes that robots become intelligent and decide that they can run the world better than we can and (for our own good) either destroy or enslave humanity. So that includes even the original story "RUR" that gave us the word "Robot", the Terminator Movies, the Matrix, and even the recent fiction book, imaginatively titled "Robopocalypse". You can check out "Armed Robots.com" which keeps track of this subject.

I'm here to say its all bunk.
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Robotics Technology May Keep Soldiers Far from Harm

Read more: http://www.asdnews.com/news/37274/Robotics_Technology_May_Keep_Soldiers_Far_from_Harm.htm#ixzz1UTyavbhp

Interesting article on the challenges of operating a robot remotely (like from the next continent) using the internet and a secure web site. As you would expect, latency is the issue. Interesting article.

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A Quick Update

OK, I've not been keeping my Blog updated. Well, its time to get back into the game, so expect to see a lot of updates over the next few weeks. I've been really busy doing some really interesting stuff. What kinds of stuff? I've been designing telemetry systems for race cars, with GPS and IMU sensors to track cars in real time. That job is over, but I'm really proud of the results we got. I'm now back looking for a new job and a new home, and faced once again with trying to figure out what I do when I grow up. At 50 that's both a lot tougher and a lot easier than at 17. Tougher in that I have dependents, a house, two cars, etc. that are affected, and easier in that I have a lot of tools to work with.

We also had a very sad time in our house this week, as our Cat, Aaron, passed away. He usually would sit right behind this computer as I would work at home, and would keep you company and snuggle with you if your were feeling low. He kept stealing my pillow at night and I would wake up with the cat purring happily on my pillow and my head on the mattress. I will miss him greatly. We have another cat, China, who is doing well and we are trying to keep her occupied.

So what do I do next? It all depends on what is open. I look back on what I've done, which includes designing over 20 robots, being responsible for 6 full unmanned ground vehicles (from start to finish), helping design the International Space Station and contributed to the Space Shuttle, and working on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. I guess that my first love has always been aviation, and I'd like to find a place where I can put all of my talents and interests to bear.

Wish me luck!

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New this month in ROBOT

I have two new articles in the current edition of ROBOT magazine, now on bookstands everywhere. For the younger crowd, there is an article on "SO you want to be a Robot Designer", with advice for what to study and what skills are necessary to work professionally in the Robot business. The other article is called "Everything is turning 3D" about putting stereo vision on a robot (3D glasses not included).
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Here come the Mummies!

One thing I'm famous for, at least inside my family, is the number of my hobbies. The robot thing that I do now as a profession started as one of my extra activities. I will say in my own defense that all of my hobbies have one thing in common - learning something new. I'm always looking for something new to learn and some new skill. My current favorite extra project is learning to play the electric guitar. I bought a used Fender Stratocaster and I've been enjoying learning to make music on it. The side effect of this is that I'm listening to music again for the first time in years - I had gotten away completely from listening to music other then when I was helping clean house. A recent video special on the HD channel on Sirius exposed me to a group called "Here Come the Mummies". And yes, the group dresses as mummies on stage. They play "funky" music - think Tower of Power or Parliament, if you are that old.

Here is a link:

Here come the Mummies:

Now rumor has it that this is a group of studio musicians who have contracts with various other record companies and conceal their identities so that they can play together legally. What ever the reason, the music is great and you need to give them a listen.
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What I'm working on now...

Right now at home, my personal project is to create a vertical take off and landing, horizontal flying UAV (Unmanned Aeriel Vehicle). I'm starting with an unusual model airplane called a "VFO", or Vertical Flying Object, by Electrifly http://www.electrifly.com/parkflyers/gpma1135.html

This is a "tail sitter" aircraft that takes off in the vertical position, sitting on its tail, and then pitches over and flys conventionally like a regular airplane. Right now I have the model all assembled and it can hover and fly about. I had to stop testing because I blew out my cheap lithium battery charger (from one of my RC helicopters) and need to get another.
I'm expecting to put a Aurdino-based autopilot and GPS on the aircraft and have it take off and land autonomously. It will also get a wireless camera.
There are lots of good video of the VFO on Youtube - just search "Youtube VFO". I'll keep you posted on my progress.

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Review - Hasbro Interactive R2D2

I've really lost count of how many robots I've got in my collection, but it is somewhere over 20. One of my kid's favorites is the interactive R2D2 made by Hasbro. We got one of the last ones at the Sharper Image -- we bought their floor model. Our R2D2 is about 18" tall and stays in the "three legged" stance that allows it to drive around. There are motors in the outside legs, and a ball caster in the center leg. R2 drives around carpet just fine, and the best part is that he makes all the right beeps, boops, and whistles of his movie prop progenetor.

The interactive part of this robot is all voice command - there is no hand controller or infrared remote for this robot. It really helps if the area is quiet, and you get within about a foot or so of the droid before speaking. It was interesting that my kids particularly liked that the robot did not always respond, or sometimes would just shake his dome in a "no" guesture. Rather than discouraging them from talking to the robot, it became a game to try and get the robot to respond.

My personal favorite feature is right on the front -- there is a separate button that disable the drive system, so that you can sit R2D2 on a table and talk to him without him driving off. The button lights up red for disabled and blue for go.

The interactive features include several that are quite innovative. The robot has a small IR sensor that can detect humans, and some sort of IRPD (Infrared proximity detector) to avoid obstacles. The R2D2 can drive around and even play hide and seek, using the IR sensor to find humans.

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Coverage of TARDEC robot rodeo

There are some good articles written on the Robot Rodeo that I recently participated in at Fort Hood Texas, that include photos of some of our robots.

You can look at

CNET (first and third pictures)

Popular Science

Also see Dr. Robin Murphy's post on Rescue Robotics
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