Nicolaus Radford

Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Houston Mechatronics


Nicolaus Radford. Mr. Radford is co-founder, and CTO of Houston Mechatronics, Inc (HMI), a rapidly growing robotics and mechatronics startup, specializing in robotics, intelligent automation, and electric-based platforms with a strong focus in the subsea domain. Prior to HMI, he spent 14 years at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in the Dexterous Robotics Laboratory. At the conclusion of his service to the government, he was the Principal Investigator (PI) for the Valkyrie robot, a bipedal humanoid developed for both disaster response as outlined in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) and NASA’s Mars exploration vision. Former to that, he served as the Chief Engineer for Robonaut 2 (R2), a spaceflight humanoid robot, initially developed in partnership with General Motors as a prototype for advanced manufacturing processes requiring human level dexterity and coordination. He then led the efforts to redesign and qualify R2 for the International Space Station (ISS). He was also the PI for NASA in DARPA’s advanced electric machine research for robotics using Variable Flux Memory Motors (VFMMs). He also led NASA’s efforts in exoskeleton research for ISS crew exercise and mobility assistance and initially served as Co-PI for NASA on DARPA’s Warrior Web program, which focused on wearable robotics for military applications. He has extensive experience leading multidisciplinary teams in challenging development timeline environments. During Mr. Radford‘s tenure at NASA, he was the recipient of numerous patents, design awards, and commendations for his expertise and leadership that ultimately culminated in him receiving NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal. He has been published several times on a multitude of topics relating to spaceflight robotics and is Part Editor for Springer’s Humanoid Robotics Handbook.

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