I’m of Chinese/Indonesian descent. To my great surprise I was born in The Netherlands. When I was fifteen I moved to Japan and finished up high school. I then spent about a decade in Philadelphia. Now I work and play in Silicon Valley — a Disneyland for nerds and surfers.
—I believe the discovery of DNA is as fundamental as that of the discovery electricity. I believe robotics is a natural extension for computers. Harnessing our understanding of DNA or improving robotics technology both have the potential to profoundly change the world in the same way electricity and computers have.
—As an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania I worked at Dr. David Meaney’s Traumatic Brain Injury lab. I learned that wet lab biology science was a field that requires lots of tedious human labor and could greatly benefit if parts of it was performed by robots. So I set out to learn how to build robots by getting my Ph.D at Dr. Mark Yim‘s Modlab. I learned mechanical, electrical, and firmware engineering by prototyping Modular Robots. I even taught them how to run. I learned the joys of math and software by programming gaits and analyzing their dynamics with Dr. Shai Revzen. I then worked at Willow Garage, alongside Function, where I got to design different body parts of a humanoid robot. I refined my mechanical engineering skills from prototyping to production level design using sheet metal and machined parts. I am grateful for all the teachers and mentors along the way.
—I currently work at Transcriptic where I’m building a robot to manipulate DNA. Best way to get in touch with me is email: jimmy[dot]sastra[at]gmail.com