ROBUST.AI - Carter

Lead mechanical design engineer for Carter, the world’s first truly collaborative autonomous mobile robot. Major contributions were:

- The design of force sensitive handlebars for customers to physically grab or touch the robot and then apply small forces to steer and override its motion, thus allowing the robot to be used as a powered assistive cart and an autonomous mobile robot.  

- Prototyped and built two novel holonomic drivetrains for their next generation Collaborative Autonomous Mobile Robot. The novel drivetrains that I designed cannot be shown here for copywrite, IP, and trade secret reasons.

- Managed several contractors and direct reports responsible for various mechanical, electrical, simulation and control subsystems.  Winner of company Hackathon.  

RACs at Zymergen

ZYMERGEN - Reconfigurable Automation Carts

Over the last 4 years at Zymergen I’ve designed and built Reconfigurable Automation Carts (RACs).  I was the founding engineer of the RAC system who prototyped the first flexible, mobile, modular and scalable factory vision that Zymergen still uses in production today.  I was the initial principal architect for the electro-mechanical design of our RACs and helped to demo and pitch the value of the system's design to various the stakeholders, investors, and end users. 

RACs are smart enclosures.  They're mechanically chained together via a magnetic conveyor track to allow microplates to travel between them.  The enclosures house robots for getting the microplates on and off the conveyor and into life science instrumentation (liquid handling robots, plate readers, thermal cyclers, centrifuges, plate sealing/peeling, temperature controlled storage).  I've installed and programmed many PLCs to make use of sensors and interlocks which make them robust to any system disturbances during workflow execution and safe for scientists to operate.  I've programmed and taught many of the 6-axis robots via robot simulation software and built custom end effector tooling to handle microplates and tip boxes.  The enclosures have many mechanical features that I designed such as interlocked and gravity compensated doors, instrument specific drawers with turntables and e-chains, hatches, and electrical cabinets.

Along the way I've learned how to be a thoughtful mentor, manager, and tech lead.  My team has grown to a team of 5 Mechatronic engineers - all working to develop and expand the system to enable more capacity and capabilities over time.

I've regularly been responsible for the reporting of timelines, development of product requirements and specs, and proposing new floor plans for an ever expandable and mobile factory floor (my team moved the RAC system at least 7 times between 5 different buildings around Emeryville, CA).

TRANSCRIPTIC (now Strateos)

Throughput performance improvements to Cartesian robot manipulators

Upgraded an existing robot design to allow it to rotate in transit any SBS format microtiter plates to devices that had plate holders in different orientations.  This improvement increased the total average throughput of the robotic system of Transcriptic by up to 33%. In addition, the robots now also have the ability to carry multiple plates at once which will further improve throughput once it's enabled via software scheduling.

Gravity compensation upgrades of Cartesian robot manipulators

Designed and assembled a gravity compensation mechanism utilizing a laminar mounted constant force spring to enable higher robot speeds at lower current draw with improved trajectory following ability.  

Automatic supply of SBS microtiter plates to automation lines

Through mechanical design upgrades, increased the speed of an automatic plate supply.  Design presents sterile and empty SBS footprint microtiter plates on demand for use in the automation system.


Self-assembling MOdular Robot for Extreme Shape-shifting (S.M.O.R.E.S.)

Design and Characterization of the EP-Face Connector, Tarik Tosun, Jay Davey, Chao Liu, Mark Yim,, 2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems

Emulating self-reconfigurable robots-design of the SMORES system, J Davey, N Kwok, M Yim, 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems


Tactically Expandable Maritime Platform (T.E.M.P.)

Self-assembly of a swarm of autonomous boats into floating structures, I O'Hara, J Paulos, J Davey, N Eckenstein, N Doshi, T Tosun, J Greco,  2014 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 1234-1240

Automated self-assembly of large maritime structures by a team of robotic boats, J Paulos, N Eckenstein, T Tosun, J Seo, J Davey, J Greco, V Kumar, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering 12 (3), 958-968


Connector Kinetic Robot (CK-Bot)

ModLock: A manual connector for reconfigurable modular robots., J Davey, J Sastra, M Piccoli, M Yim, IROS 2012, 3217-3222


Persona (PRY)

A personal robotic assistant



Self assembling robots playing 'ice hockey' (MEAM510 - Mechatronics @ UPenn)


MTRN3100 Robot Design (UNSW)

Navigation, localization and mapping with a mobile robot


ENGG2100 - Engineering Design (UNSW)

Weir Warman Competition 2007 National Final Winning run


An 18 DoF hexapod robot I built and programmed for kicks. Pun intended!


A self-balancing balloon following robot


A guitar Playing Robot Lego Mindstorms NXT using only the pieces available with the standard LM2 kit

CNC Machining

In IPD501 We were required to regularly create a product in SolidWorks and use the CNC machines to build it ourselves. Below are some of my results.


Final Result

Testing rough passes in wax

SolidCAM CNC machining software

Freshly cut (still flooded with coolant)