Meet Anshuo (Ash) Liu, Cofounder & CTO of Radii Robotics, helping turn the concept of autonomous inspection through aerial robotics into reality.
Pilot, Engineer, Historian, Soccer star.
What did you study in college and what was your first job?
I worked at the local movie theater, pouring fake butter over popcorn and receiving cash at the same time. No I did not wash my hands in between.
What did you do in your previous life, prior to founding Radii Robotics?
I was a project engineer/project lead/systems engineer on products ranging from automotive super chargers to (predominantly) safety-critical hydraulic and motion control equipment on the latest Dassault, Embraer and Boeing airplanes.
What inspired you to work on this idea?
I was fascinated by anything that flies since a young age. I believe drones will bring the next revolution in flying machines since the jet engine; they will change how we live and work. However, I saw drones as more than a flying sensor platform, but a robotics platform: they should be used interact with people and things. My partner and I invented a gimbal system to balance lopsided weight, allowing drones to put meaningful payloads up against a vertical service in order to carry out simple tasks. We believe we can monetize this robotics platform by automating the contact and Non-Destructive Testing/Inspection (NDT/NDI) market.
What has been your biggest challenge growing your company?
Turning a technology concept to reality involves many trials and errors. The biggest challenge for me is having to reality-check my systems solutions and architecture according to the feasibility of technologies. A lot of times, you find solutions taunted by papers and research, but fails to perform in the real world. As the CTO, it is crucial that I understand a variety of technology and find a way around an impasse using different solutions.
What has been your biggest win?
The biggest win must go to assembling this team of brilliant engineers with the help of my co-founder Minh. It has been a great pleasure going through the ups and downs of startup life with these team mates, because they give you the energy to keep moving in the face of adversity and the pressure to stay grounded after tasting success.
When you’re not working on your company, how do you spend your time?
Soccer, watching and playing.
Best place you’ve ever traveled to?
It’s a toss up between the ruins of Badami, India and the St. Charles Bridge in Prague, at 6AM on a summer morning. Honorable mention goes to the beautiful white sand beaches @ Silver Lake, Michigan.
How would your mother describe your personality?
Your favorite get sh*t done quote —
“Oh crap, I need to get it done” — me