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About Mission Robotics

Mission Robotics Inc. was founded by Brian Grau, Charles Cross, and Walt Holm, who all met while working together at OpenROV (now Sofar Ocean Technologies). We have a combined quarter-century of ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) design and operation experience, in addition to having worked in the aerospace and autonomous vehicle industries. We were major contributors to the design, production, and customer experience behind the OpenROV 2-Series open-source kits. We also led the design and development of the electronics and software systems for the OpenROV Trident ROV, and developed a manufacturing and production process that put thousands of these vehicles into the hands of users around the world.

We founded Mission Robotics Inc. with the goal of taking everything we’ve learned, and building the highest capability-to-cost ratio marine platforms, yet keeping them flexible enough for researchers and businesses to customize for their particular mission.

Brian Grau

Co-founder & CEO

Brian holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from SCU and has been building ROVs for more than a decade. He helped bring a number of products to market at OpenROV, most notably spearheading production for the OpenROV Trident, the first mass-produced underwater drone. He also worked as a Systems Engineer for an autonomous vehicle company, where he led the platform detail design for the company’s next-generation vehicle, ensuring the system would remain in a safe state under any single-point failure. He has a range of experience from designing parts and systems to running production lines, and everything in between.

Brian Grau

Co-founder & CEO

Charles Cross

Co-founder & CTO

Charles holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from VCU. He began his career as a software engineer at NASA working on scientific instruments for the ISS and went on to specialize in robotics and embedded development for land, air, and sea vehicles. Charles worked as the principal software engineer on the OpenROV Trident project and afterwards led the development of a safety-critical teleoperations system for Voyage, an autonomous vehicle company. Charles’ primary focus lies in the development of robust, reliable systems, as well as the development of frameworks that promote modularity, extensibility, and connectivity.

Charles Cross

Co-founder & CTO

Walt Holm

Co-founder & Director of Engineering

Walt holds BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT. His career started as a commissioned officer in the US Air Force, where he worked on research satellites. Since leaving the Air Force over twenty years ago, he has been a freelance engineering consultant, working on instrumentation problems in the aerospace, marine, and medical fields as well as designing consumer electronics. From 2013 to 2019 Walt was the principal electrical engineer at OpenROV.

Walt Holm

Co-founder & Director of Engineering