Together the RST team has a vast amount of experience in medicine, business, and technology. We have developed all facets of Penelope from the initial idea, to the business model, to the hardware and software. Here are some of the key players in Penelope’s past, present, and future.
Dr. Michael Treat
Dr. Michael Treat founded RST in 2002. He holds an MS in Physics and several patents for surgical devices, one of which, a thermal tissue-welding instrument, is currently being marketed by Starion Instruments Corporation. Dr. Treat is an Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery in the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University in New York, currently on sabbatical to devote more time to the development of Penelope. He has been an avid robot builder and programmer for many years, and a pioneer of surgical technology. During his residency, he was the first general surgeon in the Department of Surgery to use laparoscopic techniques for general surgical problems. Since founding RST, Dr. Treat designed and constructed the early versions of Penelope, and has contributed heavily to all aspects of development.
As Chief Technical Officer, Mike Brady is responsible for overall system design and implementation. He also has primary responsibility for our Quality System Design Controls for software development, including document maintenance. Mr. Brady has extensive experience as a software engineer, particularly in the area of Artificial Intelligence. His previous work includes six years at Boeing, where he led the development team for CPACS, a cargo planning and analysis tool for the Space Station. He also contributed to the development of the Space Station Telescience Server, which allows scientists to monitor and control space-based experiments from ground. Since joining RST at an early stage of development, Mr. Brady has completely re-engineered the extensive Java code base of the robot, including revamping the physics-based simulator that controls its movement.
Russell graduated from Columbia University School of Engineering in 2002, and joined RST that summer. While at Columbia he worked with Prof. Peter Allen, designing and building an eight-foot nonmetallic robotic arm. Since joining RST he has contributed heavily to the electromechanical design of Penelope. Russell is an adept and creative builder with a variety of techniques at his disposal, including machining, freehand carving, fiberglass construction, and welding.
Jay Klein recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a BS in Computer Science, and joined RST immediately thereafter as a software engineer. His specific areas of study at Michigan included Bluetooth and Pocket PC programming, and Natural Language Processing. While at RST, he has contributed to the development of a Cognitive AI Architecture for Penelope, including the Prediction Engine software.
Marty Lichtman was one of the founders of RST and a major contributor to the early versions of Penelope. Marty developed most of the Java code for the initial versions of the robot, including the physics-based simulator and the image processing routines. He also designed and constructed the first 2 prototypes of Penelope. He is currently working on his PhD in Physics at Stanford, though he continues to consult on a part-time basis on the Penelope project.