As the primary author of this and all our other publications I will skip the third person biography approach to this article. I started this company in January of 2011 because I could no longer justify the cost of my hobbies moving forward without a way to share my work with the world.
I wrote my first computer game in 1996 in HyperCard, it was a simple game I called “Squish it” that has since been lost to time, but from those humble beginnings my Software and Hardware Engineering career began.
At the same time I had a profound interest in 3D modeling and design, which led me to believe that I would make an ideal candidate for a video game designer.
So what followed were countless sleepless nights of debugging, research, and design. For a good Seven years I continued my efforts to become a worthy game designer. Designs spanned from simple Packman like games, to more complex 3D worlds, but game programming never gave me the satisfaction I was looking for. I always found myself dedicating much more time to the data processing, and automation end of my game engines.
It was pretty frustrating to believe that I was going to make games for a living, but to find little satisfaction in the practice. Computer and Web Software Engineering continued to be my focus for until in 2003 I did some of my earliest work with electronics. The hobby did not develop much further until after joining the Air Force in 2005.
In 2006 not only did I marry my beautiful wife Katherine Dattilo, but I built my first robot. From the moment I first compiled code on a computer and watched it come to life on my lab table I have been in love with Systems Engineering (and my wife too 😉 ). At that moment my future was decided. I was to be an Electrical Engineer.
In the years that followed I pursued a degree in Electrical Engineering, my wife gave birth to my son Vincent Dattilo, and I completed my Enlistment in the Air Force. During all that time it never ceased to surprise me how difficult and expensive it could be to do what you wanted to with electronics. I remember trying to save money on Microchip programming by purchasing a programmer. Well then I had to buy the IDE, and before long I had spent thousands of dollars just scratching the surface.
And though I never expected to be in a position to change the things that I struggled with, I did know there was a whole lot more to learn, and so I spent, as I do now, most of my time doing just that. Learning everything I could about microelectronics, about the design process, and countless other things.
I had the pleasure of experiencing all of the pains of the Hobby Electronics field. The gaps that frustrated, the products that only solved half my problem, but I consider one of my greatest strengths the stubbornness that has brought me to this point.
Just after the announcement of the Thing’O’Matic in 2010, I found myself at a crossroads. I simply could not justify the expenditure unless I intended on turning my hobby into a business. The fact is that with my desire to save costs at every turn, and my need to continue to expand my knowledge and experience the cost of being a Systems Engineer had grown too great for enlisted pay.
And, so it was that Virtuabotix LLC was born. Originally I started the business thinking that its purpose would be dedicated to the design and printing of 3D objects, but one thing led to another and I soon discovered that I had much more to provide the world with my expertise in Electrical Engineering and Systems Design.
Late in 2011 we began to sell our first Electronic Sensors and Development boards. The Electronic sales were shortly followed by classes on how to use them, held here in Colorado Springs on a regular basis. My love for teaching and the feedback of my students continues to have a tremendously positive effect on my ability to communicate, and discover new ways of doing things.
As the leader of this company it is my strong belief that a teaching spirit, and the humility to know my own weaknesses so that I can rely on the strengths of our team, and the value of my customers feedback. As long you never stop learning, the sky is the limit, and I can’t wait to learn from helping you complete your next project.