The Team

Richard Andres, CEO:

Richard Andres is CEO and Senior Electrical Engineer at Alpha Proto. He received Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering in 2003 and Psychology in 1997 from the University of Central Florida (UCF).

        From 2014 to 2015, Richard was employed as an Electrical Engineer at Tesseract Sensors. He worked on diverse projects such as an autonomous vehicle, various sensor systems for explosives, personnel and gunshot detection, wireless charging, micro-controllers, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and IR cameras.

From 2003 to 2014, he was employed at Engineering Acoustics, Inc. as Senior Engineer. Richard has experience in project leadership, systems engineering, quality assurance, product development and production.

        He has overseen diverse projects involving test and telemetry equipment, pressure compensation systems, biomedical devices, and undersea, haptic, and geophysical transducers. He has experience with electronics, mechatronics, PCB design and production, piezo ceramics, and advanced adhesives.

        Richard was an active member of the Robotics Lab at UCF and worked on autonomous vehicles for several competitions, as well as UCF’s entry to the DARPA Grand Challenge. In addition to being an Eagle Scout he is fluent in, and has done technical translations in German.

Gary Stein, PhD, CFO:

Gary Stein is CFO and Senior Software Engineer at Alpha Proto. He received a PhD in Computer Engineering in 2009 from the University of Central Florida (UCF) with a specialty in artificial intelligence. He did a Post-Doc under an NSF grant continuing his research. He received Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from UCF in 2004.

        From 2010 to 2015, Gary was employed as Chief Software Developer at Tesseract Sensors. He developed several robotic research platforms as well as many unattended sensors for military applications. He headed development of several remote systems for IED detection and border security using the fusion of many different intelligent sensors. Information from these sensors was relayed via satellite communications. He also lead development on long linear distributed EM sensors, gunshot detection systems, infrasound monitoring and long range detection systems, heavy-lift multi-rotor UAV, full scale hardened tracked UGV for base patrol, real-time airborne TDEM geographical survey for underground mapping, and FPGA-based camera cores for HD IR focal planes.

Gary was a founding member of the Robotics Lab at UCF that created autonomous vehicles for international competitions. During graduate school, he was part of Team Knightrider, UCF's entry into the DARPA Grand Challenge in 2005 and the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007.

Scott Stickler, CMO:

Scott Stickler is CMO and Senior Mechanical Engineer at Alpha Proto. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in 2006.

Scott has been involved in the plastics industry for 16 years, starting with his family’s thermoforming business. He has been in the engineering field for 11 years. He was employed as a Mechanical Engineer for Tesseract Sensors from 2013 to 2015. At Tesseract, Scott oversaw plastic injection molding, sheet metal design, and manufacturing. He was the lead for selection of the company's press brake, injection molding systems, and powder coating equipment. From 2005 to 2013 he worked at Engineering Acoustics, Inc. as a mechanical engineer on several SBIRs and R&D projects involving plastics design (thermoformed and injection molded parts), medical device design, and geophysical sensor production. Also, he was in charge of in house manual machining.

While at the University of Central Florida, Scott was involved with the UCF Robotics Lab in various robotics competitions and also mechanical engineering lead on UCF’s DARPA Grand Challenge entry in 2005. He has served as technical advisor to several UCF mechanical senior design groups.

Benjamin Downey, CTO:

Benjamin Downey is CTO and Mechanical Engineer at Alpha Proto. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in 2011. He received an Associates in Arts for General Studies and an Associates in Science in Computer Programming and Analysis from Brevard Community College in 2007.

From 2011 to 2015, Benjamin was employed as a Mechanical Engineer at Tesseract Sensors. He started work at Primal Innovations as temporary machinist and intern and was promoted several times and moved to Tesseract, a sister company. He has experience in manual and CNC machining, and worked on projects including a custom tethered aerial platform, fiber optic sensors, biomedical devices, custom connectors, and personnel, explosive and metal detectors. Benjamin has CAD expertise in developing complex models, taking into account tolerance stackup to ensure fit and performance of complicated mechanical assemblies. He has experience with FEA simulation to calculate stress, strain, vibration, and temperature distribution, including multibody models taking into account differing material properties and returning results for the entire system. Additionally, he has experience in manufacturing and verification of products. While attending UCF, he worked as Mechanical Design Engineer at Atlantis Cyberspace Inc. for a year, where he was involved in design and manufacturing of their combat training simulator.

Benjamin was part of the Robotics Club at UCF, working on an autonomous submarine for AUVSI competition. He has mentored a First Robotics Team for multiple seasons.