About

Hi! I’m Chris Osterwood and I build robots.

I grew up in the Washington DC area and moved to Pittsburgh to attend Carnegie Mellon University. I graduated in 2005 with a Bachelors of Science with Research Honors in Mechanical Engineering. While at CMU, I was active in robotics research at the Robotics Institute and helped grow the CMU Robotics Club from a dozen members to over 100. Since graduating, I’ve continued to work in the robotics industry here in Pittsburgh.

RoboPGH Logo I’m on the Steering Committee of the Pittsburgh Robotics Network. The best way to follow Pittsburgh robotics news is to follow our Twitter account @robopgh. The website now lists the more than 50 companies and organizations which make up RoboPGH.

I’ve recently given talks on testing and selection of 3D sensors at the Embedded Vision Summit and at ROSCON. I spoke about Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Robots at the 2016 Practicing Law Institute Get Fluent in Technology Event.

You can follow @osterwood on Micro.blog if you’d like.


Professional Experience


Chief Technical Officer
Carnegie Robotics
2015-07 to 2017-11

Senior Robotics Engineer
Carnegie Robotics
2011-03 to 2015-07

At Carnegie Robotics, I lead the development of many of Carnegie Robotics' products and systems including the MultiSense stereo camera, monocular cameras, purpose-built manipulators and off-road UGVs. I truly enjoy conceptualizing and bringing to fruition new ideas in robotics applications.

I guide many of Carnegie Robotics' industry partnerships, including our partnership with Swift Navigation to develop Duro and with Nilfisk on the Horizon Program. I have also developed customized versions of the MultiSense and downstream software for particularly demanding and high volume markets.

Several US patents covering new technology I developed at Carnegie Robotics are pending.

Senior Robotics Engineer
Bossa Nova Robotics
2010-06 to 2011-03

At Bossa Nova, I was the first engineer who worked to commercialize the Ballbot. This novel platform was initially developed at Carnegie Mellon University and is dynamically-stable. It is able to move instantaneously in any direction and can recover from externally applied disturbances. After my departure, Bossa Nova continued to develop and refine the prototype I developed and announced mObi in 2012. The platform and technology have gone through additional interactions and have morphed into shelf-scanning robots being tested in Walmarts across the country.

Product Manager
RedZone Robotics
2008-10 to 2010-01

After Solo was mature from an engineering perspective, I moved from being its' Principal Engineer to Product Manager. In this role my focus expanded from the physical robot to the ecosystem around it. This included supporting sales and marketing efforts, training of our field technicians & trainers, creating procedures for shop repair personnel, securing intellectual property via patents, meeting with customers, and working to integrate our deliverables to their existing systems.

Additionally, as Product Manager I designed and programmed an in-house work flow software system to manage and track data collected by fielded robots. The software took control of data upon arrival at RedZone, through PACP coding, through QA/QC, through engineering metric calculations, all the way to packaging and shipment to customers. The software reported metrics to engineering on robot failures, competition rates, data quality, and pipe conditions; and to reporting managers on queue sizes, job status, data quality, and data coding rates. The software was written in Ruby on Rails and included a Ruby Job Scheduler and out-of-band Ruby & C data analytic tools.

Three US patents have been issued covering my work at RedZone.

Robotics Engineer
RedZone Robotics
2005-06 to 2008-10

RedZone Robotics simplifies wastewater management by providing robotic inspection technologies and sophisticated data-analysis software.

While in a Mechanical Engineer role at RedZone I worked on both a large pipe inspection platform named Responder and led technical development of a revolutionary new autonomous small pipe inspection robot named Solo. Solo is the waste water industry’s only autonomous inspection platform and can inspection 8" through 12" pipe (80% of systems) at a rate 3x to 5x conventional human-operated equipment.

I was the principal engineer on Solo. In that role I coordinated a team of mechanical, electrical, embedded software engineers, and technician on the successful design, development, fabrication, and testing of all iterations of the robot. In addition, I was the lead mechanical engineer on the product — designing the tractor sled of Solo which houses an integrated tether storage reel with level-wind system, high-force emergency extraction winch, two drive modules which powered the two coverage tracks, integrated batteries, and motor drive electronics.

Lastly, I was the main point of contact with our manufacturing partner. In this role I was responsible for timely and accurate production drawing releases, ensured complete and accurate Bills of Materials, led testing and assembly procedure releases, performed on-site training and initial assembly checks, and responded to all technical issues which arose during the initial production build.