The second post in our new series “RR Uncovered” is to meet Rivelin’s chief robotics expert David Alatorre.
I am Chief Technology Officer at Rivelin Robotics. Raised and educated in Mexico, the USA and the UK, I am a mechanical engineer with a PhD in control systems for low-stiffness grinding robots. I have over seven years of experience in the field of robotics and a lifetime of obsession with all things engineering.
For my 9th birthday I got a Lego Mindstorms robotics kit and discovered the beauty of mechanisms and the magic of control. I found where I belonged, and never again questioned what classes to take in school, or what degrees to choose for university or what PhD to apply for. I have known I would dedicate my life to robotics from the day my dad showed me how a big gear makes a small gear turn faster.
I always enjoyed nature and outdoor sports like mountain biking, climbing and mountaineering. At the University of Nottingham I joined the skydiving club and discovered a beautiful and obscure sport that catered to my geeky appreciation of aviation as well as to my craving for good views and fresh air. When it was time to choose a third year design and make project, I was fortunate enough to find a team of engineering parachutists and a willing supervisor to make the world’s first skydiving robot.
I then completed my PhD at the Rolls-Royce UTC for On-Wing Technology, a research group dedicated to advancing the use of robotics for in-situ repair in challenging environments. During my studies and for a further 3 years as Research Associate, I developed a number of continuum robots equipped with grinding tools, inspection cameras and ablation lasers, and had my first experience of taking a product from concept to industry tests.
I first joined Rivelin Robotics to advise the team in the area of force control for grinding robots and to deploy a bespoke control algorithm. I quickly realised that the team and the company’s values were a perfect fit for me, and found myself as excited about the company’s mission as I have been for any project before. When I was offered to stay full-time and join the executive team I jumped at the opportunity. In the time since then, I have seen our product develop in incredibly exciting ways and I have seen our tech team grow and adapt to the barrage of challenges that come with new technology. I am immensely proud to be part of the team here at Rivelin Robotics.