The Beginning Of UplinkRobotics – Home Inspection Crawlers & Wyoming Opportunities.
UplinkRobotics started as a joke honestly. Two of the co-founders, Ore and Christian, were working internships the summer of 2021 and quickly realized that a typical 9 to 5 job wasn’t really what they would like to do with their professional careers. So, one afternoon, they started playing around with a few tech business ideas that they could potentially go into, and robotics was one of them! Somewhere along this discussion, Brady Wagstaff, also a co-founder and a highly intelligent cocky kid walked into the room and joined the conversation. Brady was also working a 9 to 5 that summer as an undergraduate researcher for one of the professors at the University of Wyoming. A few weeks had gone by since the three friends started talking about inventing something and boom! Christian got the idea from his dad to create a home inspection rover!
As we all know, big tech ideas don’t pay for themselves, and three broke college students don’t pay for them either. So, Christian came up with the idea of the three friends signing up for the Ellbogen Entrepreneurship $50K competition (spoiler… can you see why Christian is the CEO?) And so they did! Luckily for UplinkRobotics, during the competition, Zoe who was an undergraduate business major at the time joined their team! This was a huge help to the team as Zoe was able to take three engineers who were only concerned with voltage, current amperes, data transmission, etc. and turn them into business minded thinkers who knew how to think about market value, demand, target audience, and marketing strategies.
Long story short, the UplinkRobotics team went all the way to the final stages of the Ellbogen competition and won 1st place which came with a $30K reward! It goes without saying that this transformation of an engineering project to a valuable business idea wouldn’t have been possible without the mentoring and contributions of Don Small, Corey A. Billington, and other tutors that are part of the Ellbogen competition.
And so UplinkRobotics began!
Image: Left to Right – Ore, Brady, Christian, and Zoe after winning the Ellbogen competition in May 2022.
Who are the minds behind UplinkRobotics?
Christian Bitzas is a highly decorated engineer with various field experience who graduated cum-laude of his class in May 2022. Christian has experience working as an undergraduate researcher and also as an intern at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Raytheon technologies (An American multinational and aerospace and defense conglomerate). Christian is not only an engineer but he is also a talented startup business advisor who, through freelancing, helps various businesses set up different tools needed for day to day activities. Some of the tools he helps businesses set up are websites, product photography (DSLR & drone aerials), photoshop, PPC/SEM marketing, and social media/SEO work. All these versatile skills have come in very handy with setting up UplinkRobotics and keeping it running. Christian is currently the CEO of UplinkRobotics and is also pursuing a Masters in Electrical Engineering at the University of Wyoming.
Zoe Worthen is the business mind of UplinkRobotics right after Christian. She attended the University of Wyoming along with the other co-founders of UplinkRobotics. As an undergraduate, she served as a member of the marching band and graduated as summa-cum-laude of her class with her Bachelor of Science in Business Management Entrepreneurship and a minor in Chinese, in just three years!!!! Now she is working on her Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Wyoming to master her business skills, build new relationships, and apply everything she has learned to her position as the head of marketing for UplinkRobotics.
Oreoluwa Babatunde (or as everyone calls him, Ore) is the coolest of them all, I can say that because I am the one writing this piece 🙂. Ore is also an engineer who has various field experience as an engineer. Some of his experience has come from top tech companies such as Qualcomm Technologies, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and being an undergraduate researcher at the University of Wyoming. Ore also graduated in May 2022 as magna-cum-laude of his graduating class along with various honorary awards such as the Wyoming Engineering Society Student Engineer of the year 2022 and the Joint Engineering Council (JEC) outstanding graduating senior. He is currently living out in San Diego California working full time as a software engineer for Qualcomm and also working as the head of software development for UplinkRobotics.
Brady Wagstaff is the smart brainy one, hence the reason for him being the head of Engineering for UplinkRobotics. Brady is an engineer who has dedicated most of his career to research and development of automated indoor drones which is a field very few around the world have even attempted. Along with being a researcher, Brady has also served as a STEM tutor for highschool and k-12 teachers, teaching them basic skills in coding and electrical circuits so that they can take it back to their schools and teach the next generation of Engineers more about technology and make their teaching curriculum more effective. Brady also graduated magna-cum-laude of his class in May 2022 and is currently pursuing a masters degree in electrical engineering at the University of Wyoming.
What is our mission?
From the inception of UplinkRobotics, the goal has been to create something that is unusually fun and appealing, breaking down the barriers of regular engineering as we know it, while at the same time giving back to our local community here in Wyoming. Whether that is by making inspection rovers or inspection drones, UplinkRobotics is centered on bringing more tech jobs to Wyoming, supporting the education of tech in Wyoming from the highschool level to the University level, and becoming a force to reckon with in the inspection tech industry. In all this, we can say in summary that UplinkRobotics is forward thinking, raising the barrier of tech in Wyoming while also educating and motivating the next generation of young potential engineers.