Forged Droids | Hughes Engineering

This project creates a low-cost, humanoid robotics system, which includes a robot, an immersive operator control/training system, and service for sharing the training data. Hughes Engineering believes a humanoid robotics system provides the most flexibility for automating human tasks. This system will enable automation for smaller manufacturers and extreme product customization. This solution also meets the Ana Avatar XPRIZE goals for remote operation of robotics for experts that can?t travel and operation in environments unsafe for humans. This XPRIZE Competition provides addition motivation for the team to complete the SBIR Phase 1 design objectives. Beyond the Ana Avatar XPRIZE, Hughes Engineering is setting a new price/capability point for general purpose robotics, enabling human robot operation to train the robot for autonomous operation, and sharing that training via Robotics as a Service (RaaS).

Clinton and Guy have both architected $1B programs, worked on advanced military lab research, and worked with startups. Together have a broad range of experience and expertise in systems engineering, RF, mixed signals, cloud computing, control and embedded systems, Electro-mechanical/software product development, amongst other things. In addition, from support of several sponsors and through the co-creation environment with university-based contributors and community engineers, gives Hughes Engineering the necessary background, skillsets, and competitive edge to be successful in this development effort.

Clinton Hughes, founder of Hughes Engineering, has a M.S. Degree in Electrical Engineering with over 20 years of experience in research and development of Consumer and OEM products; as well as, development of automation of robotic systems for the purpose of design, develop, test and assembly of technological products for military, industrial, and commercial applications.

Guy Bieber, co-founder of Hughes Engineering Robotics division, has a B.S.E Degree in Computer Systems Engineering. Formerly held office as CTO for various companies developing technologies; such as, helicopter autopilots, maneuvering rockets, wearable soldier systems, Intelligence Reconnaissance Surveillance (ISR) systems, and Command and Control (C2) systems.

Derek Martin

Derek Martin has 20 years of industry experience designing system-on-chip devices. In-depth experience designing embedded security processors. He currently works for Microchip. He is developing ROS, Unity, Motor Control Systems, and other software/hardware interfacing.

David Carrington

David Carrington has degrees in Computer Programming, Systems Analysis, Mobile Apps Development, CIS, Network Administration, and is working on a B.S.E. in Robotics. He has worked as a Software Engineer in the automation industry for over 20 years developing software for projects such as warehouse and semiconductor-fab automation, vending machines, Internet of Things, Vehicle Dispatching, and Irrigation Scheduling. He is developing ROS, Unity, Motor Control Systems, and other software/hardware interfacing. David also does some of the 3D printing of the prototype parts.

Bryan Hendrichs

Bryan Hendrichs works for a foosball promotions company and interested in automating a robotic foosball table. His interests in robotics brought him to our team.  He works on the Mechanical CAD, Illustrations and other 3D Artwork for the Forged Droids Robot and Operator/User Interface structures.  He does a lot of 3D printing to vet out the new designs and technology investigations.

Bill Petty

Bill spent most of his career in the semiconductor capital equipment field, working with photolithographic equipment. Starting as a Field Engineer, then progressing to a Technical Support Specialist and then an Applications Engineer. After spending a few years working in the field with customers in those positions, Bill again advanced into engineering as a Senior Member of the Technical Staff. Then he became Project Manager of the Advanced Stepper Application Program (ASAP), a joint venture between Sematech and Integrated Solutions. After the ASAP program was completed, he again advanced to Western Regional Manager, where he oversaw all operations from the middle of the US to the West Coast. After turning down a promotion that would have meant a move to San Jose, CA., Bill changed companies and careers and moved into a Systems Engineering / Operations Manager position where he oversaw engineering and manufacturing of quad racing components for a leader in the industry. He then opened his own business as a contract programmer, specializing in accounting, credit card processing for CRM systems and EDI for the transportation industries. Bill has now retired from full-time work and is currently pursuing his Ph.D.

Roberto Perry

Roberto Perry is a UAT Robotics and Embedded Systems student. Roberto spent ten years in the Navy working on RF communication systems. He also worked on computer networks for the Special Warfare community.  His latest school project, a Flight computer for high altitude balloon.  He has been the tech doing the soldering, testing, and assembly of the systems.

Dan Van Dusen

Over 15 years of experience as a Mechanical Engineer designing and developing the state of the art devices while working at Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, General Electric, and ASSA ABLOY. He leads the Teams CAD group. Besides doing the 3D modeling / CAD work, his experience from industry lends to our success in developing the Robot architecture

Mike Syfritt

Mike Syfritt is a freelance designer, prop maker, innovative fabricator 3D designer, and inventor. He does illustration artwork, 3D CAD work, 3D printing, CNC and laser cutting, and other fabrication for the team.

Greg Lutz

30+ years developing embedded real-time hardware/software/firmware for various companies: IBM, NASA, Motorola, General Dynamics, Cobham, Raytheon, to name a few.

Aaron Lutz

Aaron is currently a student attending Arizona State University as a Computer Science major. He has a great interest in the software industry and would love to get his hands on any experience available. He is assisting in the development and propagation of Unity, Gazebo, ROS, and other development platforms alongside other Software developers on the team. He is currently researching AI learning for DEEP Speech and training the system/robot side to speak as Jarvis, the Marvel Character.

Melissa Larson

Melissa has over 20 years of experience as a Commodities manager, Manufacturer’s Representative and Channel Manager in the Southwest for hi-tech suppliers and solutions including Altera, Empirion, Micron, Infineon, TI, Toshiba, Microchip, International Rectifier, Osram, IDT, Intersil,Vicor, Finisar, Mentor Embedded, GSI, Artesyn, FOX, NCAB, ISI and etc., including OEM, Contract Manufacturers and emerging accounts. Her advance networks of people/companies in the electronics industry make her a valuable part of the Forged Droids team. She helps source sponsorships, hardware, donations, and even engineering design services.

Purchander Mangu

Purchander helps out with the firmware and other software development efforts in Haptic Feedback and Sensors on the operator side and Image object detection and classification and other AI-related intelligence on the Robot side.

Paul Blashka

A Principle Systems Engineer for AVNET, Paul is a Designer with FPGA high speed/highly integrated systems. He designed the AVNET MiniZED and MicroZED boards. His electromechanical expertise brings valuable integration to know-how and programming skills for high-speed, low latency systems for this Robotics competition. Paul joined the team because of his passion for developing hi-tech devices and love for robotics.

Kevin Keryk

Kevin is a Technical Manager for Electronic components and Software alignment at AVNET. His electronics and embedded systems engineering experience with electronic instrumentation, software programming, and circuit design contribute to Forged Droids Robotic systems architecture and autonomous robot systems like safety, sensing, and balance. His expertise lends to Artificial Intelligence, edge/point cloud software development in ARM architecture microprocessors. He joined the team to advance the technology that drives his passion.