Universal Robotics, Inc. was founded as a holding company in 2001. The core intellectual property (IP) was invented by Dr. Alan Peters, a professor at Vanderbilt University, in collaboration with NASA and the Department of Defense DARPA program. Alan’s brother, David, a motion picture producer in Hollywood, was experienced in the monetization of IP and starting new ventures. He recognized the market potential in the invention. Over six years Alan built and vetted his idea on NASA’s humanoid robot, Robonaut. With a fundable demonstration in hand, David quickly raised and closed a round of financing in 2007, launching the company in Nashville, TN in early 2008.
The core software technology is designed to function as a “brain” for actuated machines. Universal spent the first four years as a Skunk Works developing a software platform capable of handling the range of behaviors the system would require to mimic the actions of semi-skilled manual labor on supply chains. This effort secured company ownership of the platform IP.
In 2010 Universal began to sell applications to early adopters, affording the company the opportunity to test their work under the pressure of real world applications. Over time, the platform has reached excellent reliability metrics.
Beginning in 2013 the company built a system integration division within the company to begin providing full turnkey solutions directly to end users. This team runs concurrent with the software development team, providing additional services for the customers.
Today the company is experiencing exponential growth, as the adoption of sensor-based artificial intelligence systems becomes more widely accepted in supply chain solutions.
David PetersChief Executive Officer
David launched operations at Universal in April of 2008, after closing a round of financing. He has been running operations, growing the company, and expanding market penetration ever since. He is the Chairman of the Board. Previously, he was a Hollywood motion picture producer for 17 years, delivering his first feature film before the age of 30. He has co-authored two books for the Center for Creative Photography. David is a member of the Director’s Guild of America and the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Committee of the World Economic Forum. He holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Art.
Hob WubbenaVice President
Prior to joining in 2009, Hob successfully planned, marketed and introduced software solutions for Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies for 16 years, based on 10 years of engineering expertise. He has experience in aerospace & defense, telecommunications, test & measurement, electronic manufacturing, and the chemical process industries. He has three patents, won numerous marketing awards, and has published over a dozen articles in the US, Europe and Asia. He has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from University of Wisconsin and an Executive MBA from University of Denver.
Goutham MallapragadaChief Scientist
Goutham leads Universal’s research and development. He has in-depth expertise in such broad areas as machine learning, robotics, computer vision, formal languages and discrete-event systems. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, where he has been a member of the Networked Robotics and Sensor Intelligence Laboratory. He earlier received his Baccalaureate Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India.
Donte MartinSenior Field Engineer
Donte oversees application engineering and installations. He has over ten years’ experience designing, programming, testing, and deploying a wide range of electronic equipment, controls, robots, and systems. In addition to a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee State University, he has project management experience as well as an understanding of NEC codes and standards.
Owen LongProject Manager
Owen spent seven years in the Army where he served as a staff Engineer Officer. He was also part of the combat and facilities engineering teams. While on his first tour of duty at Fort Drum, NY and Afghanistan, he had user level training and experience with human assist robots He studied Arabic, Spanish and Korean. He is a graduate of West Point.
Nick Buchta Project Manager
Nick joins Universal Robotics as an expansion of the Project Management team. He carries a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and over six years of Project Management experience in both the Commercial Construction and Public Utilities sectors. His professional background also includes Estimating and Field Supervision.