About Us

We build machines that empower humans to live to our fullest potential. We believe that it is not Man vs. Machine, but Man + Machine that will take humanity into the next stage of evolution. We are passionate about the role that technology can play in our society, and are uncompromising in our commitment to excellence in our engineering and products. We aim to blur the lines between art and technology, and build a company culture around pushing the limits of what is possible.

Our History

Apptronik is a spin out from the Human Centered Robotics Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. We were founded in Early 2016 with the goal of bringing forth the next generation of robots that will change the way we live and work. Our team is made up of a diverse group with multi-disciplinary expertise and we all share a passion for using technology to change the world for the better.

Our Team

The Leadership Team
Dr. Nicholas Paine
Co-Founder, CEO
Dr. Nicholas Paine
Co-Founder, CEO

Nick Paine received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering all from University of Texas at Austin. His Ph.D. studies focused on the development of the UT Series Elastic Actuator, a compact high performance actuator for robotics. This technology was adopted by numerous organizations worldwide including NASA-JSC, IHMC, Changwon National University, Stone Age Robotics, and Daegu Institute of Science and Technology.

From 2012-2013 he was a member of the NASA-JSC DARPA Robotics Challenge team where he helped develop high-performance hardware and software for compliant control of the Valkyrie humanoid robot’s legs and arms. From 2014-2015 he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Human Centered Robotics Lab at UT working on forced convective cooling of electric motors and embedded system design.

Jeff Cardenas
Co-Founder, VP of Strategy and Corp Dev
Jeff Cardenas
Co-Founder, VP of Strategy and Corp Dev

Jeff specializes in new product development and go-to-market strategy. He received his Master’s of Science in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas at Austin. He previously worked in the Global Commercialization Group at the IC2 Institute at UT Austin, working with innovators from around the globe to take innovations out of the research lab and to the market. He holds an undergraduate Business degree from UT Austin, and worked in the Technology practice of Deloitte Consulting. He previously founded several start-ups and a non-profit, and has a passion for using technology to solve difficult social problems.

Bill Helmsing
Co-Founder, VP of Operations
Bill Helmsing
Co-Founder, VP of Operations

Bill graduated from West Point in 2007 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering studying the applications and feasibility of alternative energy sources for deployed Army units.  After graduation, he spent the next 8 years as an Army infantry officer spending time in Georgia, Alaska, New York and overseas.  Upon exiting the service in 2015, Bill attended the University of Texas, Austin, earning his Masters in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis on dynamic systems and control.  Following his time at UT, he went on to earn his MBA from the University of Washington.  Bill has been with Apptronik since 2016 starting as an intern, progressing to project manager and eventually the VP of Operations.

Steven Riddle
VP of Engineering
Steven Riddle
VP of Engineering

Mr. Riddle serves as the is Vice President of Engineering for Apptronik. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the execution and development of Apptronik’s technical staff to achieve company strategic milestones, as well as, serving as the technical lead for the design, development, and testing of a number of advanced robotic systems.

Mr. Riddle holds both a Bachelor’s and Masters of Science degree in mechanical engineering, specializing his education in mechatronic and robotic systems. Professionally, Mr. Riddle has worked as a system engineer and technical project manager for 10+ years, primarily within the DoD on advanced robotic R&D systems. Previously, Mr. Riddle was the Chief Engineer for USSOCOM Joint Acquisition Task Force (JATF) Hyper-Enabled Operator (HEO) and Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS), where he led the design of several state-of-the-art tactical exoskeleton systems and the design for advanced AI enabled operator worn sensors for information processing on the edge, respectively.

Jonas Fox
Director of Mechanical Engineering
Jonas Fox
Director of Mechanical Engineering

After receiving a BA in Political Science from Reed College, Jonas pursued hands-on experience as a carpenter and welder. He then started his own design / build company in 2008 and continued to hone his skills as a builder and designer for the next 3 years. In 2011, Jonas returned to school at the University of Texas to pursue his BS in Mechanical Engineering, graduating with “highest honors”. At UT, Jonas spent 5 years doing R&D in robotic and exoskeleton systems before joining Apptronik.

Orion Campbell
Director of Software and Controls
Orion Campbell
Director of Software and Controls

Orion Campbell received his BS in Mechanical Engineering with High Honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013. After graduating, he worked as a Drilling Engineer in the Gulf of Mexico for three years, specializing in new technology deployment and system modeling for deepwater drilling operations before returning to UT to pursue his PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 2016. As a Graduate Research Assistant in the Human Centered Robotics Lab, his research focused on whole-body control and trajectory planning for humanoid robots, and he worked on several projects designing and implementing real-time networked control systems for multi-DOF robotic systems. He joined the Apptronik team in 2018 and continues to work towards his PhD at the University of Texas.

Advisory Board
Dr. Luis Sentis
Co-Founder, Scientific Advisor
Dr. Luis Sentis
Co-Founder, Scientific Advisor

Luis Sentis is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin and a contractor for NASA Johnson Space Center. He received his Ph.D.and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He went on to become a postdoctoral fellow in the Computer Science Department at Stanford. He holds a B.S. (Honors Thesis) degree in Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. He started his career in Silicon Valley as R&D Engineer.

In Austin, he also leads the Human Centered Robotics Laboratory, and experimental facility with many PhD students and humanoid robots. He was the UT Austin’s Lead for DARPA’s Robotics Challenge with NASA Johnson Space Center. His research focuses on designing human-centered robots, whole-body control software architectures, high performance series elastic actuators and embedded control systems, and motion planning for dynamic locomotion. He has received various awards such as the NASA Elite Team Award for his contributions on designing the Valkyrie humanoid robot, the 3rd Prize at the [email protected] Domestic Standard Platform League, and the Best ICRA 2017 Paper Manipulation Award. He has over 100 scientific publications.

Gordon Daugherty
President of Capital Factory
Gordon Daugherty
President of Capital Factory
Bob Metcalfe
Founder of EtherNet, 3Com
Bob Metcalfe
Founder of EtherNet, 3Com

Coming Soon

We are working on our next big project. Stay Tuned for exciting updates
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