A few people have recently asked me to explain exactly what Jeff does. I asked him to explain his work and here’s what he said. “As part of an engineering team, I design industrial video inspection robots for diverse applications. Some of these include municipal pipe inspection vehicles, search & rescue vehicles, others for inspecting natural gas mains, inspecting in dangerous industrial areas, under the ocean, and even bomb disposal and investigating smuggling tunnels.’

That’s a lot of robots. Here’s what some of them look like:

Photographer Sean Fenzl recently photographed a new robot (the Versatrax 450TTC Crawler) and has great commentary about his visit to the company and some stellar photos you can see here.  

You’ll see Jeff (and his arm) in this video with his new vertical crawler (a robot that can drive up or down a completely vertical pipe). 

Jeff has robots working all over the world. They are in the US Swim Team’s training pool and NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operations training pool, they are cleaning nuclear tanks, helping maintain healthy public water systems, monitoring smuggling tunnels, inspecting the underwater structure of off-shore drilling platforms and doing routine work in Venezuela, Turkey, JapanIraq and Afghanistan (among many other countries). Jeff has also seen robots be part of major search and rescue efforts:

Inuktun robot in use after Hurricane Katrina

Inuktun robot in use at Ground Zero

Inuktun robot used for search and rescue after the Crandall Canyon Mine collapse (Jeff was on site for this project- he’s on the far left in the final group photo at the end of the video).

There are also countless robots he can’t talk about or simply, doesn’t know about their true location or application. His robots go just about anywhere a human can’t go. Except the moon. The one thing Jeff CAN say is that he has no robots in space. Yet.

Now, in case this all sounds exciting and glamorous, Jeff wants everyone to know that engineering usually encompasses long hours of drudge work. That being said, I can affirm that Jeff  leaves for work most mornings with a spring in his step, and clearly loves what he does. As a former career counsellor, I know just how unusual that is. I think a lot of little boys dream about building robots, and Jeff is one of the few adult “kids” who actually lives this dream each day. Pretty cool, huh?!

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