BLANKSPACES Pasadena member Richard Taylor, President and CTO of IIoTA Research, is working on innovations that make a difference in our world, from agriculture to water conservation, and beyond. Read this quick Q&A to learn more about him, and say hi if you see him around the office!
What does your company do?
IIoTA Research develops, designs, validates and services industrial and commercial IoT (Internet of Things) devices and processes. In simpler terms, we design machinery and process equipment for a variety of industries from Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology to Food and Beverage. That in and of itself isn’t unique. Where we set ourselves apart is that we treat those devices as incredibly valuable data sources. Any process or machine that we develop has the built in capability to create an encrypted and authenticated connection back to IIoTA servers, where a client’s process can then be visualized. Additionally, we create an array of data stores that essentially profile the entire process. With that data, we are able to implement various machine learning algorithms to provide a level of insight into a process that previously was not possible.
For clients who wish to keep control of their data, instead of using IIoTA’s infrastructure, IIoTA can also provide the engineering and programming services to deploy our applications and micro services onto their infrastructure.
What projects are you currently working on?
IIoTA recently developed a hardware/software platform for the wastewater industry (Neptune/Trident platform). We recently deployed two instances of this system on the East Coast in Granby, MA, and Long Island, NY. A third is in operation in Malibu, CA. On the strength of those projects, we have been awarded a new contract, and are bidding on several more.
IIoTA provides tech solutions for Local Urban Vegetables, an indoor vertical farm. LUV grows a variety of produce (lettuce, strawberries, micro greens, etc) hydroponically in stackable shipping containers. Picking, harvesting, etc. are handled by an army of robots.
IIoTA developed the software responsible for climate control in those containers. We are able to re-create virtually any environment in that chamber. Through research and development, we have develop several methods of influencing the growth rate, cosmetic properties and flavor of the produce. IIoTA also developed the SCADA/IIoT application that provides the farmers and growers with a mobile web based interface. This interface allows the growers to enter process parameters, visualize the process, analyze data and much more.
We have also designed and are currently testing phase II of an automated nutrient control system which will allow granular control of individual nutrients and micro nutrients. IIoTA is also developing an automation and control platform for the cannabis industry.
What advice do you have for someone just starting out in your field?
Never stop learning. I read somewhere that the average adult stops learning new things at age 34. Just from anecdotal experience, I agree. Just because you’re hot stuff today doesn’t mean you won’t end up a walking anachronism in ten years.
Which causes do you support?
I’m extremely passionate about: water conservation and quality, the continued advances and adoption of renewable energy strategies, and destroying income inequality through empowerment of the traditionally disenfranchised via technology engineering education and internships.
What brings you joy?
Music… From obscure House Music producers in Amsterdam, to Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, Cream, Bowie, ATCQ and Garth Brooks. My tastes run the gamut. You’ll usually find me at my desk with my headphones on – awkwardly bobbing my head.
Do you have an role models/mentors?
I’ve learned recently that role models are greatly over-valued, so no. I have too many mentors to name. And I appreciate each and every one of them. None of them had any reason to waste time on a cocky kid from the sticks of TN. But they did.
Best piece of advice someone has given you?
‘You can’t worry about what you can’t control. You’re born dying. It’s what you do with all that time in between that counts’ – David Hardin, an old mentor from TN
What’s something interesting about you that you’d like people to know?
I was born and raised on a working farm in Tennessee that has been in my family since the end of the civil war. It’s still in operation today. So – worst case scenario, if I turn out to be a complete failure I can always go back home and grow soybeans and cotton.
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Thanks to Liz Nowlin at BLANKSPACES Pasadena for facilitating this Q&A!