The following article is a “Q&A interview” conducted by Joanne Pransky of Industrial Robot Journal as a method to impart the combined technological, business, and personal experience of a prominent, robotic industry engineer-turned entrepreneur regarding the evolution, commercialization, and challenges of bringing a technological invention to market. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
The interviewee is Dr Mark W. Tilden, a Robotics Physicist and the inventor of BEAM Robotics. Having built his first 100 bots by the age of nine, Tilden goes on to study at the University of Waterloo and later works at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. There he develops a variety of biomorphic robots including interplanetary explorers and solar-powered bots. During this time, Tilden founds the first BEAM International Olympics. Solarbotics is also formed to disseminate BEAM technologies. At the turn of the millennium, after being approached by toy manufacturer WowWee, Tilden applies his BEAM technology to the consumer toy industry.
From Robobiologist to Chaos Engineer to Toy Consultant to Robotics Physicist, Tilden describes the several decade evolution of his Biomech technologies.
The Father of BEAM Robotics, who initially designs single, minimalist biomorphic robots for the space and military industries, transforms his research into the first commercially available affordable humanoid companion for the personal and entertainment robotics industries, culminating in a total of nearly 25 million robots sold worldwide. This experimental physicist continues his pioneering Biomech efforts with hybridization collaborations on life-sized humanoid robots for the home and office.
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