We are a team of designers, engineers, researchers, and thinkers
square feet of office andprototyping space
members withadvanced degrees
members with PhDs
members on aschool car team
Meet Our Team
Chief Executive Officer
Jeffrey is co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the founder-director of metaLAB (at) Harvard, a knowledge and technology design studio and conceptual foundry dedicated to exploring and expanding the frontiers of networked culture. Professor in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences and at the Graduate School of Design, former holder of the Pierotti Chair at Stanford University and participant in several Bay Area startups, he is a leading international figure in the digital media field, has led a number of pioneering software development and design projects, and is the author of an influential corpus of publications that includes twenty-five books and hundreds of essays. In addition to widespread coverage in the international press, Schnapp's research has received support from leading foundations such as John Simon Guggenheim, the National Science Foundation, Getty, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Hewlett, and Knight. His work in the domains of design, digital arts, and curatorial practice includes collaborations with the Triennale di Milano, the Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Canadian Center for Architecture.
Chief Creative Officer
For the last 30 years Greg Lynn has been at the intersection of the digital and physical in architecture. He is the founder of Greg Lynn FORM where in addition to award winning buildings he has designed industrial objects in production with companies like Swarovski, Alessi and Vitra. As the Design Advisor of the Palo Alto retailer Curbside he is responsible for the company’s physical identity. He was awarded the Golden Lion at the 11th Venice Biennale of Architecture and returns to the American Pavilion for a second time in 2016 where he will represent the United States again. He has received the American Academy of Arts & Letters Architecture Award and is a Fellow of United States Artists. Time Magazine named him one of 100 of the most innovative people in the world for the 21st century. Forbes Magazine named him one of the world’s ten most influential architects. He is a Studio Professor at UCLA, o. Univ. Professor at Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien and Davenport Visiting Professor at Yale University. He is the author of eight books.
Chief Operating Officer
Top 3 favorite places: South Africa, Azores, Serengeti National ParkIf I could have any animal: Cheetah - I'd get everywhere a lot fasterFavorite childhood activity: Tie between the Slip n' slide and building tree housesSasha Hoffman (AKA Boss of getting things done) is the Chief Operating Officer of Piaggio Fast Forward where she is responsible for overseeing everything except for engineering. She is also the Co-Founder of Fuzzy Compass, a travel startup turning the world's top travel bloggers and influencers into modern-day travel consultants.
Prior to this, she was Head of Business Development for Plastiq, a venture-backed payments startup. As one of the first hires, she was responsible for many aspects of the business but primarily growing the company from 2-27 employees, setting the strategy for entering new industries and geographies, building and maintaining all partner relationships and growing the company to over $150mm in payments volume in under 2 years. Prior to that, she worked as an investment banker in the technology group at Goldman Sachs, Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers. She worked on transactions worth more than $100 billion including several high-profile IPOs and M&A deals for such clients as Facebook, Yelp, and SanDisk. Before her career in finance she worked at Gucci Group (now PPR Luxury Group) and designed luxury business bags for women. Outside of finance and fashion, she has a love for food and has spent time consulting and investing in new restaurant concepts.
Having traveled to over 90 countries she was the 2016 Global Ambassador for Women in Travel and part of Phocuswright’s 2015 Class of 35 rising stars in the travel industry under 35. She is passionate about tech and social entrepreneurship and is an active member of the Boston entrepreneurship community. She created the Entrepreneur Games, sits on the board of BUILD Boston, is an instructor at General Assembly, Youth CITIES, and the Startup Institute, and was part of the Future Leaders Group of MITX. She frequently lectures at Northeastern University and gives speeches around the world. In the free time she wishes she had more of, you can find her touring with her dance company, attempting to cook, sailing, planning future travel or exploring the great outdoors.
Chief of Design Research
Top 3 favorite places: Chile, Kenya, JapanIf I could have any animal: Dwarf mongooseFavorite childhood activity: Imagining a personal, infinitely refillable, ice cream conveyor belt under the houseBeth Altringer is the Chief of Design Research of Piaggio Fast Forward. She is also faculty at both Harvard's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Graduate School of Design, and affiliated with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.
Dr. Altringer was recognized in 2016 as one of Harvard's top 15 professors. She teaches popular hands-on courses combining design and behavioral science and runs an applied lab studying desirability in product and service design (including multi-sensory, emotional, cognitive and social elements). She has helped a number of organizations with design strategy and related areas, including Uber, Kering, Gucci Group, IDEO, One Leap, GE, Tesco, Diageo, and others. Altringer has a PhD in Organizational Behavior (specifically of R&D units) from Cambridge University, where she developed a model explaining innovation performance differences based on fieldwork inside 11 country offices of organizations like IDEO and J. Walter Thompson and their clients. Previously, Altringer earned a Masters in Architecture from the University of Cape Town, a diploma in Cultural Business Administration from Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, a Fulbright Scholarship in sustainable design at Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona, a Visiting Scholarship in Human Computer Interaction at Stanford University, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Design at MIT.
Beth is nerdy about a lot of things, but her nerdiest outside interest is flavor. Outside of work, she makes flavor optimization software that considers beverages as ingredients. She dorks out about deconstructing different beer flavors in new ways to make them easier to pair with food. She also enjoys traveling, the great outdoors, snowboarding, and getting her hands dirty with creative projects. She especially loves to paint after dinner with friends and family.
Howie is the Office Dog of Piaggio Fast Forward where he is responsible for maintaining morale, encouraging group lunches, and posing for cute Snapchats. He’s a 12 year old long-haired chihuahua who loves to snooze in his bed, let his tongue hang out, and keep an eye on the front door and the kitchen simultaneously. Howie loves to come to the office every day, but on the weekends he loves to go for car rides, roll in the grass, and watch Netflix on the couch.
If I could have any animal: GiraffeTop 3 favorite places: Cross country road trip, simulated zero gravity, ItalyFavorite quote: If you’re ain’t first you’re lastAmos Ambler is a mechanical engineer at PFF where he is responsible for designing and constructing prototype vehicles.
Prior to this, he graduated Lehigh University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Aerospace Engineering. After school he started a business refurbishing and modifying a wide range of cars in conjunction with developing a website to sell home built car parts. In his spare time he enjoys working on anything with a motor, skiing, and flying.
Favorite 90s jam: Smucker's Concord Grape has been my favorite jam since the 90’s and still is to this day.Hidden talent: Won a gold medal in a taekwondo tournament when I was 7 after I was "intentionally tripped" to score the leading points. She was a vicious 5 year old.Favorite quote: "You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take" – Wayne GretzkyAndrew Murray is a mechanical engineer at Piaggio Fast Forward. During the day, Andrew can be found machining and designing components for mechanical assemblies all whilst chugging red bulls. At night, Andrew likes to turn up the music and listen to classics like Rick Ross while he works, dubbing the workspace "Club PFF."
Andrew is finishing up his senior year at Tufts University where he will graduate in May 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Before working at PFF Andrew worked as an intern at Amphenol PCD, one of the world's leading suppliers of interconnect products for Military and Commercial Aerospace. Outside of internships, Andrew enjoys working on personal projects and owns a provisional patent on a wearable technology that he has developed throughout college.
Outside the strenuous class schedule of golf and physical fitness, Andrew keeps himself busy with many extracurricular activities. Once a member of the varsity football team, Andrew balanced work, school, and practice and still managed to make dean’s list. Andrew also has many talents and has been called the second coming of Slash for his skills on Guitar... Hero.
Top 3 favorite places: Netherlands, Spain, and FranceFavorite quote: "Limitations are in the mind." - UnknownFavorite skatepark: Rotterdam, the NetherlandsAnthony Green is a software engineering intern at Piaggio Fast Forward, where he works on firmware for all PFF vehicles.
He is currently in his 4th year in a 5-year Computer Engineering program at Northeastern University. He previously interned at Rockwell Automation where he designed and built the software and hardware for an automated testing system dedicated to prototype validation for the hardware team. He also interned at Starry where he initially worked as a QA engineer and transitioned to firmware development on the Starry Station Wi-Fi router.
Outside of work, Anthony can usually be found on a board of some sort (surfboard, skateboard, snowboard - you name it!). On the off-chance he has his feet firmly planted on the ground, he's probably playing guitar.
Top 3 favorite places: Sri Lanka, South Africa, EnglandHidden Talent: I am a parallel parking geniusIf you could have any animal: Wolverine - you don’t need to be tough if you have a wolverine by your sideBen is a software engineer at Piaggio Fast Forward where he is responsible for firmware and embedded systems.
Ben recently completed his degree in Computer Engineering at Northeastern University. Prior to PFF, he interned with American Science and Engineering, where he tested, diagnosed and repaired x-ray scanning software. He also interned at Bluefin Robotics, where he worked on electrical systems integration and firmware development for autonomous undersea robots. Prior to his time at school, he was a sonar technician in the US Navy. Stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, he deployed 3 times with the USS Nicholas. The first was to Europe to train alongside the NATO fleet. The second to East Africa to assist in deterring pirate operations, both directly and through joint training with East African militaries. The third, was to Central America to interdict in the drug trade, in cooperation with the US Coast Guard.
Outside of work he has a passion for nature and enjoying the outdoors, especially on the water. Most weekends he travels to New Hampshire to camp in the White Mountains. While in Boston he enjoys rock climbing, playing ultimate frisbee, and working with his hands.
Favorite Disney or Pixar character: The Toy Story AliensFavorite childhood activity: Going up to our ski house in North Conway, NH to shred the gnarFavorite quote: "It's bad to kill. Guns kill. And you don't have to be a gun. You are what you choose to be. You choose. Choose." – Hogarth HughesBen is a mechanical engineering co-op at PFF where when he’s not assembling Gitas or working in the machine shop, he can be found overseeing organization of the utensil drawers.
He is currently in his 3rd year at Northeastern University pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. Prior to PFF, Ben had a co-op at Abiomed, the manufacturer of the world’s smallest heart pump for cardiac support. There, he worked on the Systems Team, functioning to improve delivery of the Impella device into patients. Prior to that, Ben had an internship at The Simulation Group at MGH, which develops medical simulation systems for clinicians. Here he developed a custom open-source gelatin 3D printer for rapid simulation prototyping. Before that, he worked at Carbone Metal Fabricators drafting custom industrial foodservice equipment.
In his spare time, Ben can be seen slaving away in a secluded basement at Northeastern University’s Baja SAE team to build a one-seater off-road race car. As a part of the drivetrain team, Ben loves making things move.
Hidden talent: has an icebreaker for any situationFavorite character: Lego BatmanIf I could have any animal: hedgehogBryce is an Electrical Engineering co-op at PFF whose primary responsibilities include PCB layout, circuit design and testing. He is getting his degree in electrical engineering from Northeastern University where he’s a Senior Resident Assistant working to improve the experience of first year students on the campus.
Before PFF, he worked on the electrical engineering team at SharkNinja. There he worked with the quality control and advanced development teams to ensure the continued reliability of the Shark and Ninja brand small appliances. He has also worked for Sanofi's manufacturing support team.
Outside of his main jobs, Bryce can always be seen expressing his northeastern pride. Over his four years at the school he has worked as a tour guide, orientation leader, and resident assistant and has his Northeastern sales pitch down to the letter.
Favorite 90s jam: Don't Speak - No DoubtSpirit Animal: Flightless birdHidden Talent: IntrospectionCameron is a Software Intern at Piaggio Fast Forward. He is currently at Northeastern University where he is completing his degree in computer science. Prior to PFF, he was a Software Engineering Intern at Google, where he built test infrastructure and internal tools. Over the past ten years, he has worked on various projects, with topics ranging from web development, to NLP research, to iOS app development. Currently, he is experimenting more with the hardware side of things.
Outside of work, Cameron spends most of his time rock climbing (or thinking about rock climbing). He is a captain of the Northeastern University Climbing Team, and has enjoyed falling off of rocks in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and his home state of California.
Lead Software Engineer
Top 3 favorite places: Ecuador, Germany, MexicoHidden talent: All my talents are fully displayedFavorite quote: People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.Carlos is the lead Software Engineer at PFF where he is responsible for Gita’s electrical and software systems. He is a resourceful and passionate Robotics Engineer specialized in creating interactive robot behaviors and automated control systems. Throughout his studies in Electrical Engineering at McGill University and his work experience in robotics, he developed a unique skillset combining hardware design and integration with user-centric software development.
Carlos worked on creating the hardware and software for MyRobots.com, the first robot social network implementation. This IoT initiative aimed to help robots and smart-devices to collaborate and become increasingly functional. Later, his desire to improve the collaboration between machines and people, brought him to work at Aldebaran, the creator of the leading social humanoid robots Nao and Pepper. There, he had the chance to focus on creating charming and intuitive interactions, and performances.
Being a tinkerer and a maker, Carlos is an avid problem-solver and pragmatic thinker with skills ranging from woodworking to digital-system design. He was born in Argentina but spent half of his life in Montreal before moving to Boston, and speaks fluent English, French and Spanish.
Favorite 90s Jam: Foo Fighters: EverlongFavorite character: Squirt from Finding NemoMost amusing habit: Has an extensive mineral collectionCody Chen is a Software Engineer at Piaggio Fast Forward where he is responsible for making floofy coffee drinks, animating LEDs and loading the dishwasher with extreme prejudice.
Cody graduated from Tufts University with a B.S. in Computer Engineering. As an undergrad he was very involved in robotics, working as a researcher in several robotics research labs as well as interning at Amazon Robotics.
In his free time he can be found hunting down conveyor belt sushi restaurants, mapping out new routes across Somerville / Cambridge, or daydreaming about weather patterns. If you ever find yourself engaged in conversation with him, be wary of bringing up bad sci-fi movies, good puzzle games or awesome replica props: he is capable of talking about these subjects for extended periods of time.
If I could have any animal: Peregrine FalconFavorite 90s Jam: You Know My Steez - Gang StarrFavorite Character: Merry/PippinDevin Walker is an Electrical Engineer at Piaggio Fast Forward where he is responsible for electrical design. He enjoys building ham radios, mechanical keyboards, and robots. Devin received a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont.
Prior to his position at PFF, he worked at 908 Devices designing and troubleshooting handheld mass spectrometers. Devin also worked at multiple other startups including a medical wearables startup and a solar powered charging station startup. Through these startup experiences he has acquired a multi-disciplinary skillset.
Devin has a passion for woodworking and when he's not building electronics, you can find him making sawdust by milling lumber and woodturning.
Top 3 favorite places: Suzhou, Tanzania, Mexico CityFavorite character: Slinky DogIf I could have any animal: Baby PandaEddie (AKA Chief Salsa Maker) is a Mechanical Engineer at Piaggio Fast Forward where he is responsible for assembly and future manufacturing of products. When not at work, he is usually found at the closest pool table or making tomatillo salsa by the liter.
Prior to PFF, Eddie worked to develop sustainable technology in Tanzania for farmers. He was one of two engineers to design, test, and fabricate a crop thresher with the help from local machine shops. While living in East Africa he summited Mount Kilimanjaro, and had several close encounters with the wildlife. Prior to that, he worked at Apple on the manufacturing team responsible for the iPad where he managed suppliers and being overall responsible for part quality across the iPad line up.
During his time abroad, he experienced what life without reliable electricity was like, and, as a result, in this time developed "blackout hobbies." These include wood whittling, billiards, and masonry, with the plan to learn blacksmithing. He has a strong artisanal spirit, and enjoys making something from the ground up, with as little electricity as possible.
Favorite Disney character: wall-eFavorite childhood activity: Jumping on the trampolineFavorite 90’s jam: Save Tonight -- Eagle Eye CherryJamar Bromley is a designer at Piaggio Fast Forward, specializing in graphic and industrial design. His responsibilities include creating the visual branding for PFF, from all things website to stationery, designing user interfaces, both digital and experiential, as well as devices and wearables for the robots, in addition to all the miscellaneous materials that come with being a startup.
Jamar Bromley received an undergraduate degree from Yale University and an MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. Prior to working at Piaggio Fast Forward, Jamar worked with NBC Golf Channel, as a News Coordinator and Program Translator for the Japanese division of the Golf Channel. Afterwards, he designed the brand identities for two startups in San Francisco: Lit Motors, a startup developing a gyroscopically stable, 2-wheeled vehicle; and Aemass, a VR company working on developing a new media format.
Favorite childhood activity: Taking stuff apartHidden talent: Finding stuff in the trashTop 3 favorite places: Denver, Seattle, the friendly skiesJames Wang (AKA Chief of the Laser Cutter) is a mechanical engineering who spends his days working in the shop assembling and testing Gitas.
A love of tinkering, a childhood obsession with trains and planes, and a love of building things led James into mechanical engineering, which he studies at Boston University. He is currently a senior, and will be joining PFF full-time in June upon graduating. He was one of the founding members of Boston University’s Formula Hybrid team, and designed the battery packs for the team’s first car. James previously worked for oneTesla, which makes DIY tesla coil kits that can shoot 100,000V sparks several feet long, and at Boston University’s IT department and student makerspace.
In his spare time James is an avid bicyclist and volunteers with bike-related organizations around Boston.
Hidden talent: Drinking beer while doing one handed push-upsSuperpower: Excessive energy drink consumptionFavorite past time: Starting fight clubsJarrod Smith is a Mechanical Engineer at Piaggio Fast Forward where he works on vehicle assembly and provides comic relief.
Jarrod received a BS in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at MIT where he spent much of his time working on the Electric Vehicle Team. Jarrod enjoys designing and fabricating electric vehicles, including bikes, ATVs, and classic car conversions. When not in the office, he's hard at work planning elaborate pranks for his coworkers.
Top 3 favorite places: Shanghai, Kyoto, OrlandoHidden Talent: I am a human smoke detectorIf I could have any animal: CatJingjing is a Robot Software Developer at Piaggio Fast Forward where she is responsible for developing ROS software for robot simulation, navigation and formation control. She was first involved in robots in primary school and kept this passion for years. She's now a big fan of Gita and enjoy spending time and effort on Gitas and their friends.
Jingjing finished her Masters in Computer Engineering at Boston University where she spent most of her time with embedded system and RC crawler navigation. Prior to PFF, Jingjing worked as Software Engineer Intern in Lenovo, where she built backend and user interface for cloud platform.
She loves all kinds of fluffy animals and will never tire of being around them. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and taking photos in auto mode with her camera.
Top 3 favorite places: Isle of Skye (Scotland), Tanzania, VanuatuHidden talent: Drove a city bus for beer money in collegeMost amusing habit: Eating Cheetos with chopsticks to avoid sticky orange fingersJosh Elvander is a Senior Engineer at Piaggio Fast Forward. He is responsible for mechanical and systems design elements on all PFF systems, a smattering of project management, and intern rustling. He is also the company supplier of Girl Scout Cookies (he’s got a source).
Prior to PFF, Josh was a technical program manager at Bluefin Robotics, a provider of autonomous underwater vehicles. While at Bluefin, he led efforts for military, commercial and academic clients. He worked on the undersea search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 777 airliner, and supported an expedition to locate Amelia Earhart’s aircraft in the waters offshore Kiribati. Prior to Bluefin, Josh spent ten years in aerospace, first at Rocketdyne Propulsion and Power and then AeroAstro, Inc. and Aurora Flight Sciences. He specialized in testing new propulsion concepts, particularly hypersonic (Mach 5+) engines. Josh has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland and an M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Washington.
Outside of work, Josh enjoys biking, hiking, sailing, scuba diving, and visiting National Parks with his family. His recent activities include watching his young daughters’ increasingly-successful attempts to outsmart him, and teaching them math via the rules of craps. He is an avid fan of the Washington Capitals hockey team, and has absolutely no respect for Flyers fans.
Katy Powers is a software engineer at Piaggio Fast Forward. Prior to PFF, Katy has written software for robots that drive, fly, or pick things up, most recently at Rethink Robotics. She has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University and an MS from the University of Pennsylvania.
In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, climbing, and eating at union sqaure donuts.
Kevin Shadle is a Software Engineer at Piaggio Fast Forward where he is responsible for building a modular and scalable software framework for Linux-based robots, involving the integration of existing and creation of new, extendable software packages related to mobility and auxiliary robot functions: lighting, audio, and user-interface.
His educational background is in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Mechatronics and Digital Controls.
Prior to PFF, he worked on telepresence, humanoid, and haptic robots.
Favorite character: Max, the horse from TangledTop 3 favorite places: Armenia, Rome, IsraelFavorite childhood activity: Building igloosMatt is a Software Co-op at Piaggio Fast Forward. He supports the software team in tackling the multi-faceted challenge of programming a robot.
Matt is studying computer science at Northeastern University. Last semester, he mentored a FIRST robotics team and was a tutor for the course Fundamentals of Computer Science 1.
He enjoys pickup soccer and rowing whenever he gets the chance, and spends most of his free time playing classical guitar.
Favorite Disney Character: Vinny Santorini from AtlantisIf I could have any animal: Wolf, like dogs but bigger!Favorite childhood activity: Building things with K'NEXMax is in his 3rd year at Northeastern University pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to PFF, he worked at BD Medical in the Advanced Diabetes Care division where he led several development and testing projects on drug delivery systems. Prior to this, Max was a pool boy where he had many strenuous tasks like laying in hammocks, reading, and sleeping on the beach.
At Northeastern, Max is a member of the Northeastern Baja SAE team, where he spends countless hours in a hot, damp, and dark basement building race cars. He also leads the Ergonomics & Driver Interface team, where he focuses on making the car as uncomfortable as possible for the sake of minor weight savings.
Mobility Prototyping Designer
Most amusing habit: Guessing the weight and dimensions of objects. Also, knolling.Favorite 90’s jam: Ace of Base, “The Sign” (Also the first album I ever owned.)You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?: He shall be named Walter. We’d travel across the US then to Mexico, eventually ending up in Tulum. I’d fund this by offering short distance elephant rides to citizens for a small fee and of course my blockbuster film "America by Elephant; The journey of Walter and Naz"Nazareth Ekmekjian is Mobility Prototyping Designer at Piaggio Fast Forward. As one of the first to join the PFF team, Nazareth leads in-house prototyping by overseeing all fabrication capabilities, including a multi-axis KUKA robotic arm, 3D printing, and composite material applications. In addition, he operates as a designer, involved in all stages of vehicle development, from concept to completion.
Nazareth received his Bachelor of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in 2008 and his Master of Science in Architecture Studies from MIT in 2015.
While at Machineous from 2008 – 2010, he worked on a wide range of design projects utilizing robotic fabrication for the likes of Zaha Hadid, Greg Lynn, and Aranda/Lasch among several others. He then went on to manage the Robot House at SCI-Arc from 2011 – 2013 where he supported various design studios and seminars utilizing the newly constructed multi-robot lab. Throughout his time at MIT, Nazareth further developed his research interests in the areas of composite material applications in architecture toward the completion of his master’s thesis titled, “Architecture Sandwiched; Tuning anisotropy through variable thickness and heterogeneous laminar assemblies.” Nazareth has also spent time as a teaching assistant at MIT and as a research assistant in Boston-based architecture office NADAAA.
Growing up, Nazareth was an avid table tennis player and skateboarder. His small collection of table tennis trophies acquired throughout the years can be found in the childhood room of his parents’ house. As a Cambridge transplant, he enjoys the freedom of the bicycle over the strain of the automobile, in addition to the existence of seasons throughout the year. He does however, long for the taco stands of LA. During his limited free time he enjoys rock climbing and dabbles in film photography.
Favorite 80's jam: Urgent - ForeignerHidden Talent: Pool sharkFavorite Quote: "Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof." - VNick Balboni is a Full Stack Developer Co-op at Piaggio Fast Forward. There he works tirelessly developing the Gita's own personal app and its supporting software. He is also responsible for keeping this website shipshape. Nick is currently a student at Northeastern University where he is completing his degree in computer engineering.
Prior to PFF, Nick worked at Tablelist coding everything from MongoDB to Flexbox, and working wizardry in Python. He enjoys pedantically pruning his code, and consuming shocking quantities of energy drinks. On the rare occasions that he is not surrounded by computers and/or computer parts, he is probably skiing the slopes or shredding on his stratocaster.
Top 3 favorite places: Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, Machu Picchu, Peru, Banff, CanadaHidden talent: Drawing realistic portraits of human faces with graphite.Favorite quote: "I don’t do drugs, I am drugs." - Salvador DaliRossitza Kotelova is a designer at Piaggio Fast Forward where she is responsible for designing exterior components of Gita, making models and prototypes, design related IP, office space planning, and managing the 3D printing micro-factory.
Rossitza earned her Masters in Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. She was selected to participate in the ETH Zurich exchange program, where she worked with pioneering robotic fabrication architects Gramazio & Kohler on complex timber structures. After returning to Harvard, she continued to investigate design through robotics, working with a team to develop the Robotic Roller which strives to eliminate the mold necessary in manufacturing variable surface ceramic tiles. She was an architectural design intern at SHoP Architects in NYC, SCB Architects in Chicago, and E2A Architekten in Zurich and has worked as a digital media instructor, a teaching assistant, and fabrication lab tech at Harvard.
Born in the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains, Rossitza finds excitement in hiking up the Great Wall of China, the magical basins at Yellowstone, and the glaciers all around Banff and Jasper. In her free time, Rossitza advises a consortium for rural development in Bulgaria and makes her own furniture, including milling a dining table with the PFF Kuka robot.
Favorite 80's jam: I Wanna Dance with Somebody - Whitney HoustonSuperpower: Finding the most relevant Gifs for any situationFavorite childhood activity: Building fortsRyanne Harms is the Office Manager of Piaggio Fast Forward where she is responsible for office operations, facilities, HR, events, and in true start up fashion, anything else that comes up.
Prior to this, she was the Office Operations Manager for DataXu, a venture backed advertising technology company in Boston's Innovation district. Ryanne attended the University of New Hampshire where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with studies in pre-med and psychology. She also competed in and won the Miss New Hampshire USA 2012 competition and represented her state in the Miss USA pageant that same year. Outside of the office, Ryanne enjoys skiing, snowmobiling, spending time at the beach or lake, and bingeing the latest Netflix sensation.
Favorite Character: StitchIf I could have any animal: River otterFavorite 90's jam: Yaanom by ObrafourTerence moved to Boston from Ghana, West Africa where he was born and raised, to attend college at Tufts University. He is an Electrical Engineering who spends his time designing, building, testing and integrating electrical subsystems, hardware interfaces and circuit boards. His interest in electronics began early on in his life when as a youngster, he would take apart many of the electrical appliances at home so he could see how they worked.
He is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at Tufts University where he is an active member of the schools Formula Hybrid Racing team. Before working at PFF, Terence was doing on-campus research into GPS-free navigation and control for UAV’s in the CRISP (Controls Robotics Identification & Signal Processing) Lab.
He is a very big sports fan and follows most of the major leagues. He also loves to read Sherlock Holmes stories.
If I could have any animal: KoalaTop 3 favorite places: South Africa, the Sahara Desert, and IsraelFavorite dessert: TiramisuShuai Han is a Full Stack Developer Intern at Piaggio Fast Forward where she is responsible for working on robot User Interface display and running interference between Howie, the office dog, and delivery guys.
Shuai graduated from Boston University with a M.S. in Systems Engineering. As a student there, she was very involved in web development, data analysis and machine learning.
In her free time, Shuai likes to read books and play Chinese folk songs using her old guitar from middle school. She also plays ukulele. She loves to daydream about experiencing new things such as skateboarding, drumming, traditional tea tasting, photography, and traveling to the Sahara Desert and South Africa.
Favorite childhood activity: Spending time in slides and mostly bullying my sisterFavorite character: Spiderman, he's got amazing reflexesThing you would die for: Paneer Makhani and Aloo ParathaVignesh is currently completing his Masters in Computer Science at Northeastern University. Prior to PFF, he interned with Barrett Technology where he worked on making Unity games to play with a Haptic Robotic device. He received his Bachelors in Electrical and Electronics from Amrita University in Coimbatore, India.
Vignesh is passionate about work involving Software and Hardware. He was part of the Northeastern ReGameVR lab building games using Kinect for motor learning. He worked for a year as a Backend Software Developer developing web applications.
Having been born and brought up in India, he enjoys Badminton, watching cricket and then some more cricket.
Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Michele holds a degree in Business & Economics from the Università Cattolica of Milan. He is Chief Executive Officer of Immsi S.p.A., a listed company with diversified business interests in finance, real estate (Is Molas Golf Resort), naval (Intermarine) and mobilty industry. Immsi is the controlling holding company of Piaggio.
Chief Marketing Officer
Davide joined the Piaggio group in November 2013, where he currently serves as Executive Vice-President of Marketing and Communication and directs strategic marketing operations for all of the company’s brands on the worldwide stage. A graduate of the Università Bocconi in Business Economics, his marketing experience includes work with the Pernod Ricard group, the Walt Disney Company, and the Perfetti Van Melle group, where his responsibilities included serving as Director of Marketing for Brazil and, subsequently, International Director of Marketing at Perfetti’s headquarters in Switzerland. Between 2012 and 2013 he served as Global Marketing Vice President at Pirelli Tyre. A perennial globetrotter and motorcyclist with an abiding interest in mobility and the world of motor sports, he is passionate about design, golf, soccer, and everything and anything that stimulates the curiosity of someone deeply fascinated by change and innovation.
Chief Innovation Officer
Luca is senior Vice President and Head of Strategic Innovation at the Piaggio Group. With a background in design and philosophy of science, Sacchi founded and became CEO of Kaptus, an AI software development company that provided its services to companies like ENI and DHL. Kaptus was then acquired and he moved to design innovation consultancy working for European and US companies like Continuum Innovation. Within Continuum, after working in the Boston Headquarters, he moved to Shanghai for the office start-up and to Milan as VP and director of the EMEA region where he followed projects for clients like Samsung, Keurig, iRobot, Haier, Nestlé, BBVA, Procter & Gamble, Henkel. As SVP in the Piaggio Group he is in charge of the Strategic Innovation department with a team working of mid and long term research regarding social and technological trends, consumer analysis and concept development. He is also in charge of special projects like Vehicle Sharing Services, Light Urban Mobility and Electric Bikes Projects.
Designer in Chief
Miguel currently heads Piaggio's Advanced Design Center (PADC) in Pasadena, California, where he manages the design of the Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Derbi and Gilera motorcycle brands, working closely with the company's styling headquarters (Piaggio Group Style Center) in Italy as well as its research and development centers in China, India and Vietnam. Widely known for having designed the Ducati Monster, Galluzzi has also designed the Aprilia Dorsoduro, RSV4, and Tuono — as well as the Moto Guzzi V7 Racer and California 1400. Under Galluzzi's direction, Moto Guzzi received the Motorcycle Design Association Award in 2012, and in 2013, Visor Down named Galuzzi one of its Top Ten motorcycle designers.
Board of Advisors
Founder of MIT Media Lab
Nicholas Negroponte is the co-founder (with Jerome B. Wiesner) of the MIT Media Lab (1985), which he directed for its first 20 years. A graduate of MIT, Negroponte was a pioneer in the field of computer-aided design and has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1966. He gave the first TED talk in 1984, as well as 13 since. He is author of the 1995 best seller, Being Digital, which has been translated into more than 40 languages. In 2005 he founded the non-profit One Laptop per Child, which deployed $1 billion of laptops for primary education in the developing world. In the private sector, Negroponte served on the board of directors of Motorola (for 15 years) and was general partner in a venture capital firm specializing in digital technologies for information and entertainment. He has personally provided start-up funds for more than 40 companies, including Zagats and Wired magazine.
VP, Global Design, Nike
John Hoke currently serves as the Vice President, Global Design, Nike, Inc. In this role, he spearheads all creative design for the Nike brand, including Converse and Hurley. John leads a global team of diverse and fiercely talented designers of every discipline. Nike Design is recognized as one of the most powerful design houses within and leading a multi-national corporation. Some prior roles at Nike, Inc. include Vice President of Global Footwear, Converse; Vice President, Global Footwear Design; Global Creative Director, Footwear Design; Global Creative Director, Brand Design.
John completed the Stanford Executive Program, SEP MBA, Stanford Graduate School of Business and completed the Masters program of Architectural Design at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2008, John was awarded the permanent title of “Fellow” for the distinguished merit within Design from the Pennsylvania State University.
In September 2005, Herman Miller, Inc. elected John to its Board of Directors. In 2007, John joined the Oregon College of Art and Craft as a Trustee and in 2008, John joined the Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum as a Trustee.
Outside Nike, John dabbles in his sketchbook and computer, snowboarding, mountain biking, running and enjoys time spent with his wife and three sons.
VP of Technology Innovation, Trimble
Doug Brent joined Trimble as vice president of Technology Innovation in July 2011. Mr. Brent has a twenty-five year record of management and leadership in high technology companies in Silicon Valley. Prior to Trimble, Mr. Brent served as Chief Operating Officer at ICANN from 2006 to 2010. Prior to his role at ICANN, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Packet Design Inc. from 2002 to 2005. Before Packet Design, Mr. Brent was vice president of engineering at Andes Networks, and vice president of engineering at Whistle Communications. When IBM acquired Whistle, he joined IBM as general manager for small business services, Global Small Business Division. Mr. Brent has also held executive and engineering management positions at Taligent (an Apple/IBM/HP joint venture) and Apple Computer. He has a B.A. from University of California at Santa Cruz and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California.
Former Director of Robotics, Google X
Jeff Linnell brings an unorthodox approach to robotics. Part cinematographer, part Creative Director and part self-taught engineer, Linnell, founded Ultraviolet (now UV Phactory), A digital design and production studio, and began a multi-discinplinary career merging the three. His work led him to San Francisco where he founded both Autofuss & Bot & Dolly, a design/production company and an engineering studio specializing in automation, robotics and film. Bot & Dolly developed proprietary software with the goal of making robotics accessible to humans, enabling artists in all forms to use them as a comfortable extension of their workflows. This culminated in filming the 2013 blockbuster Gravity, as well as the short film Box, both of which garnered Bot & Dolly many awards and accolades. In addition to exploring the nexus of entertainment and technology, Bot and Dolly is well regarded as an automation leader in the emergent field of Digital Fabrication. Most recently, Jeff has continued focusing on the human/machine interaction and currently works as Head of Product at Google robotics.
Chairman and CEO of Piaggio, Chairman of IMMSI
Roberto Colaninno is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Piaggio & C. S.p.A. and Chairman of IMMSI S.p.A., the company that controls the Piaggio Group. He is Honorary Chairman of Alitalia-Società Aerea Italiana and a member of the company’s Board of Directors.
After his early experience in Italian auto components maker Fiaam, of which he became Chief Executive Officer, in 1981 Mr Colaninno founded the Sogefi company in Mantua. Under his leadership, Sogefi expanded to become one of Italy’s primary auto components players and a stock-listed company. During this period, he held senior positions in a number of leading US and British automotive multinationals. In September 1996, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Olivetti, at a time when the Ivrea-based company was experiencing a serious crisis. Thanks in part to international agreements, he rapidly restored Olivetti to health and transformed it into a telecommunications holding, with controlling shares in Omnitel and Infostrada and minority interests in the information technology business.
In February 1999, Mr Colaninno led Olivetti in a public tender offer for Telecom Italia worth more than €60 billion, the largest takeover bid ever made in Italy up to that time. Olivetti acquired approximately 51% of Telecom Italia and Mr Colaninno was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company, as well as Chairman of TIM, holding these posts until July 31, 2001.
In September 1998, he established Omniaholding S.p.A., the family-owned financial company of which he is Chairman. In September 2002, Mr Colaninno joined other partners to form Omniainvest S.p.A., a holding in which Omniaholding currently owns the majority. In November 2002, through Omniaholding and Omniainvest, he acquired IMMSI S.p.A., a stock-listed real estate holding company.
Beginning in February 2003, IMMSI also acquired shareholdings in industrial and services companies, notably control of the Piaggio Group and of the Intermarine Group. In 2008 IMMSI S.p.A. was one of the founders of CAI (Compagnia Aerea Italiana), the company that acquired the Alitalia and Airone airlines. Mr Colaninno has served as a director of Mediobanca, Capitalia and other financial organisations.
Mr Colaninno has been a member of the Confindustria Management Committee and the Confindustria Board since 2005. In 2001, he was awarded an honorary degree in Business & Economics from the University of Lecce. In 2013, he was awarded an honorary master’s diploma in Management, Innovation & Services Engineering from the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, a special-statute university in Pisa.
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