WiBotic co-founders, CEO Ben Waters and Professor Joshua Smith, developed the patent-pending WiBotic wireless power solutions over the past five years in the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Washington in Seattle, where the company is currently headquartered. WiBotic esteemed advisors include robotics guru Travis Deyle (Google [x], a 2015 MIT Innovators Under 35 winner), industrial robotics expert Pete Mansfield (MIT, Kiva Systems/Amazon) and successful sales executive Larry Stapleton (more than 20 years of technical sales and marketing experience).
WiBotic is already working with companies in agriculture, security/surveillance, delivery, professional videography/cinematography, factory automation, rugged industrial vehicles, medical, oil and gas, marine biology, transportation/port monitoring and autonomous underwater vehicles.
Ben Waters, Ph.D.
CEO and Co-Founder
Ben Waters has been the CEO of WiBotic since 2015, when he and Co-Founder Joshua Smith commercialized the wireless charging solutions they developed at the University of Washington. Ben is responsible for company vision, strategy and company operations. He is a Puget Sound Business Journal 2016 “40 Under 40” honoree.
As a graduate student, Ben developed the FREE-D System – a wireless power system for left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). LVADs are implanted artificial heart pumps for end-stage heart failure patients who are waiting or ineligible for a heart transplant. His research focused on the field of wireless power, including near-field antenna design, RF amplifiers, embedded systems, and adaptive maximum power point tracking systems as well as applications for these systems. He has worked with Network Appliance, Arup, Intel Labs Seattle and, most recently, with Bosch in 2013, where he continued his work in wireless power transfer. Ben holds a B.A. in physics from Occidental College, a B.S. in electrical engineering from Columbia University, M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Washington.
Prof. Joshua R. Smith, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Advisor
Josh Smith helps form strategy for WiBotic in engineering, business development and fundraising. He is an Associate Professor in the departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he leads the Sensor Systems research group. His group develops techniques for wirelessly powering and communicating with embedded sensor-actuator systems. The research has application in areas such as biomedical electronics, robotics and ubiquitous computing. In 2013 Josh was named an “Allen Distinguished Investigator” by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. He is the thrust leader for Communications and Interface in the NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.
As a graduate student, he co-invented an electric field sensing system that is now included in every Honda car. Before returning to academia as a professor, he worked in industry for 10 years: five years at Intel, and five years at a startup. He received B.A. degrees in computer science and philosophy from Williams College, M.A. degree in physics from Cambridge University, and the Ph.D. and S.M. degrees from the MIT Media Lab’s Physics and Media group.
Travis Deyle, Ph.D.
Travis Deyle is an expert in passive UHF RFID systems and their applications in healthcare and robotics. He earned a Ph.D. from Professor Charlie Kemp’s Healthcare Robotics Lab at Georgia Tech; he worked on “cyborg dragonflies” as a Postdoc at Duke University under Professor Matt Reynolds; and he worked on new, non-public projects within Google[x] Life Sciences (now Verily Life Sciences) alongside the team that developed the glucose-sensing “smart contact lens.” He is now the co-founder and CEO of a robotics startup named Cobalt Robotics.
Pete Mansfield, Ph.D.
Peter K. (Pete) Mansfield has over 30 years of academic, consulting and startup experience developing sensor-based automated solutions and designing mechanical systems across a range of applications. In 2003, Pete joined a startup, Kiva Systems (now Amazon Robotics) and was initially tasked with conceptualizing and developing a novel navigation sensor to keep what would become thousands of autonomous robots on course across million-square-foot warehouse floors. During the ensuing 12 years at Kiva/Amazon, he led efforts on a wide range of technical and business challenges. Pete is named on several patents and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from St. Lawrence University, a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University and Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Larry Stapleton is the Vice President, Sales and Marketing, of Optimum Energy. He has over 25 years of experience in sales, engineering, marketing, and product development. Most recently, Larry has served as President of Ballard Fuel Cell Systems where he led the U.S. based subsidiary, Ballard Power. Prior to Ballard Power Systems, Larry led worldwide sales and marketing for the software firm, BSQUARE, where he increased sales from below $30M to over $100M in five years. Larry has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from San Jose State University and MBA from University of Washington Foster School of Business.