Quantcast

Meet The Team

Meet the Team: Richard Margolin, Chief Technology Officer, Founder

Richard Margolin is the Chief Technology Officer and Founder of RoboKind. He attended Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, and the University of Texas at Arlington. He is no stranger to startups, having started many different companies before RoboKind. “Everything I’ve ever been interested in as a hobby or a little artistic venture became a company.” Richard was involved with several different projects over the years. Just to name a few, he helped develop purification methods for carbon nanotubes, worked in genetics on the Human Genome Project at the UT Southwestern Bioinformatics Lab, and has worked as the Engineering Director at Hanson Robotics. Why did he start RoboKind? “I saw a lot of research at the university level that showed that robots could be really good in autism and education generally.” During his tour with Hanson Robotics, Richard came across studies that suggested…

Meet the Team: Fred Margolin, Chief Executive Officer

Fred Margolin is a serial entrepreneur who has created several companies in the insurance and finance field. With his experience, he helped develop RoboKind’s business plan, and financed the company’s first venture. He also contributed to bringing the cost of building Milo down from $20,000 to close to $5,000. Now, he helps RoboKind develop marketing strategies and provides the right information to the public about the benefits their products offers. Instead of pushing the technological advances that Milo and RoboKind bring, they focus on the benefits Milo offers and the impact he has on children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). “I saw these robots had phenomenal potential to be a product worthy for schools as a platform to create a connection with human beings, if they were used right.” Why did he start RoboKind? Fred saw several robotic products on the consumer market that he…

Meet the Team: Greg Firn, Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Gregory Firn serves as the Chief Operating Officer for RoboKind. With over 33 years of experience in education, Greg has done everything from teaching to running entire school districts. Dr. Firn has published several hundred research abstracts and articles on how to improve school systems, how to be a thought leader for emerging trends, and how to implement and manage project-based learning. Greg’s deep experience and passion for helping under-served children has been instrumental in helping RoboKind develop the products and strategies that will successfully serve the K-12 education market. “It was probably while I was working with Effective Schools and their research that I discovered my passion for underrepresented or historically marginalized kids. While serving as the district superintendent in North Carolina and working with a minority/majority school system with high…

Meet the team: Major Jacquote II, Senior System Architect

Major Jacquote II is RoboKind’s Senior System Architect who has helped RoboKind develop and design many of Milo’s, systems and user interfaces. Pursuing his interest in programming, he graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in computer science. Throughout his life and education, Major has worked with people with various disabilities like blindness and development disorders such as autism. “I have always been interested in technology, and I was sort of looking for projects and a friend who worked here told me about RoboKind, and I got introduced to the team and their work with people who have autism.” Creating a product for people with autism Robots4Autism (R4A) and Milo isn’t just another 15-second toy that can be picked off the shelf in the toy aisle. It’s a series of complex systems working together deliver a specialized program developed to help…

Meet the team: Jack Morrison, Senior Developer

Jack Morrison is a Senior Developer on RoboKind’s team. Job listings for RoboKind are frequently floating around the internet since the company continues to grow and seeks to keep ahead of its expanding client-base. An open developer position popped up on Jack’s social media feed, who was coincidentally searching for new employment, and fell in line with several of his interest such as robotics. After researching the company, he realized that RoboKind was more than just another robotic venture, it’s a business dedicated to improving the lives of children who struggle with autism related symptoms, which not only him, but two of his children were recently diagnosed with. “Two of my kids are autistic. Being a developer there isn’t a lot of opportunity to be able to do things that will ultimately benefit, especially my family, and kids on the spectrum.” Joining the team RoboKind’s…

Meet the Team: Dwayne Koonce, Senior System Developer

Dwayne Koonce is the Senior System Developer at RoboKind. Before working with RoboKind, he worked as system administrator for an internet provider in College Station, Texas. While it met most of his living needs, Dwayne wanted to find a job that was not just challenging, but working on something exciting. Through a recruitment service, his search led him to RoboKind, a fledgling Startup company making waves in the education market. In the two years since joining, he has helped develop and improve the systems between Milo’s OS and hardware, and refined the data reporting process of Robots4Autism for schools utilizing Milo. “The [recruiter] said, ‘well we have this one weird place that has robots and dogs wandering about all the time.’ And that sounded like a cool place to work.” The difficulties of working with a school’s internet One of Robots4Autism’s key features is data reporting….

Meet the team: Perry Cavender, Manager: Shipping and Logistics

Perry Cavender is the Manager of Shipping and Logistics at RoboKind. He spent several years in geospatial analysis and visual mapping for municipalities, and oil and gas companies before Richard brought him onto the RoboKind team.  Now, Perry works to keep Milo in shape, provide the team with feedback on new features, and takes care of shipping issues for customers. On occasion, he will even play as a life coach and offer the team moral support. “Working here I’m like, ‘okay we’re essentially doing intrinsic good for an under-serviced population.’ So I don’t feel bad about that when I go home.” Growing pains of a small Startup RoboKind might be a small company on the rise, but it has definitely gone through, and still is, some growing pains. Coordinating different departments to work together is certainly not an easy task, especially when problems arise. It is easy…

Meet the team: Pat Nicklen, Chief Product Officer

Pat Nicklen is the Chief Product Officer at RoboKind. Nicklen has years of project and service management under his belt. He joined because of the company’s mission to help families reconnect with their children who have autism.  Since joining, he has helped RoboKind develop their customer service platform and achieve product deadlines. “Helping special needs has always been a passion of mine. This company and the purpose behind this company fulfills me fulfilling that passion. So the more that I can put into this company, the more I can help the people that I care about.” The challenges of joining a one of a kind company Everyone at RoboKind has big ideas and lots of projects. It’s easy to get distracted or off track. Someone needs to make sure there is a clear schedule and deadlines, that’s where Pat comes in. He helps the team outline plans, sets deadlines, and assists with finding…

Meet the team: Jeff Goodman, Manager: Sales Operations

Jeff Goodman is the Manager of Sales Operations at RoboKind, who handles many of the internal projects. Jeff has known Richard, the co-founder of RoboKind, since high school, and joined RoboKind after seeing the remarkable success Robots4Autism has had in autism therapy. He graduated from Rollins College with a Bachelor of Arts and Economics and then went for his MBA in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from Southern Methodist University. Jeff brought his experience as a finance, sales, and operations manager to RoboKind to help set up internal and external support for customers. “This is a new industry in a way. We don’t really have a model of where this is going to go, things are always changing.” The challenge of joining a one of a kind startup RoboKind has created two products, Robots4Autism and Robots4STEM, which are designed to give the next generation a step up in educational…

Meet the team: Souphia Ieng, Creative Director

Souphia Ieng is the Creative Director for RoboKind. She handles all things related to art from logo design, to 3D animations. She majored in Art and Technology at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she learned motion capture and how to rig a 3D model, which is building a skeletal structure to move a character for 3D animation. She began working part-time at RoboKind during the prototyping phase, and then transitioned to full-time when RoboKind released Milo. Before joining RoboKind, Souphia worked on a research project funded by the U.S. military where she helped design a simulation program that trained soldiers in cultural sensitivity. The 3D space and characters designed for the simulation have complex facial movements that help a soldier recognize universal cues. Souphia’s expertise is seen within Milo’s lifelike expressions and movements. “When designing the chest…

Page 1 of 212