Empire Robotics, Inc. specializes in flexible robotic end-effectors that leverage the jamming phase transition of granular materials. Founded in 2012, Empire's team of soft robotics experts, materials scientists, and experienced automation engineers are serving diverse technology fields including agile manufacturing automation and collaborative robotics. Across a broad range of applications, Empire's products enable secure grasping and manipulation of widely varying objects with a single inexpensive tool.
Bill co-founded Empire Robotics after spending four years in robotics and developing technology-based startup companies. With a unique background in robotics research and product launch strategy, Bill has positioned Empire Robotics as a disruptive robotic gripping and work holding tool provider in the industrial automation industry. Prior to Empire Robotics, Bill served as COO at StormBlok Systems, shaping the operations and go to market strategy for this high tech building materials company. Before StormBlok, Bill spent two years as a partner in Finlo LLC designing and building solar electric systems for commercial and residential properties. Bill began his career at Oliver Wyman, where he served internationally as a management consultant to Fortune 500 companies. Bill holds an BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Hod Lipson's Creative Machines Lab at Cornell University, and a MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell.
John leads Empire's technical team. He is lead inventor on the company's core patents and serves as Principal Investigator on a number of the company's research grants. John earned his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from Hod Lipson's Creative Machines Lab (one of PopSci's 25 most awesome college labs of 2011) at Cornell University, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. John's graduate research advanced robotic jamming grippers from initial concept to publication in top robotics journals, receiving coverage in over 200 popular news sources including: TIME, Scientific American, MSNBC,The Washington Post, Wired, NewScientist, MIT Technology Review, and IEEE Spectrum. John holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University at Buffalo and has publications in robotic manipulation, granular packing, learning algorithms, and machine design.