Meet the Team! Summer 2020

For our first blog post, let's meet the team for summer 2020!

Chloë Ryan is one of Acrylic’s co-founders. She is studying mechanical engineering at McGill University and has side-hustled as a freelance visual artist for the past 6 years, specializing in contemporary abstract artwork. She’s passionate about leading cross-functional teams at the intersection of technology, design and business to solve complex challenges. Chloë has founded several small-scale creative enterprises and has a keen eye for opportunities and the drive to make them happen.

Chloë is working to develop Acrylic’s signature art style by exploring the interface between our hardware, software and painting systems. Her goal is not to try and have the robot artificially mimic human painting techniques -- but rather to leverage the things that robots are best at (patterns, repetition, speed) and turn those into a signature style that is beautiful in and of itself.

She is also working on crafting Acrylic’s initial model for the automation of paint distribution, and designing how our product experience will look and feel. Chloë is looking forward to further developing Acrylic’s branding, marketing and growth strategies.

Celeste Nantel is one of Acrylic’s co-founders. She became passionate about engineering while heavily involved in competitive robotics in high school. She launched several outreach events with these organizations to foster enthusiasm for hands-on STEM education in her community. Now entering her third year of mechanical engineering at McGill, she is pivoting towards entrepreneurship to learn and grow in a fast-paced, creative environment. She has previously held internships in biomedical research, embedded systems development and mechatronics.

Celeste is developing the software required to bring the painting robot to life. An important part of this process is developing painting algorithms that mimic different brush-stroke patterns and structures. Aside from the software for making the paintings themselves, she’s also working on programs that will automate the purchasing and distribution of the finished pieces. This includes crafting Acrylic’s website to provide a seamless experience for visitors.

Outside of software development, Celeste is building our social media presence and developing a marketing strategy that resonates with art and tech lovers alike.

Ben is Acrylic’s lead Roboticist. Fifteen years ago, he fell in love with Battlebots and has been passionate about robots ever since. He’s now a mechanical engineering student at McGill and the mechanical team leader of the McGill Mars Rover design team. With nearly 9 years of experience in robotic design and manufacturing, Ben is eager to leverage his knowledge base to design cool new things and explore how robotics can be used to enhance human creativity and ability.

Ben has been working over the past few months to design a painting robot that can be entirely assembled without the need for any specialized tools or a machine shop — nothing more than a 3D printer and some creativity. Most mechanical systems rely on rivets, bolts, welds and other fasteners to hold parts together. Ben’s innovative approach involves parts that are designed to be completely plug-and-play, using a combination of 3D printed mechanisms and off-the-shelf materials, without any modifications. This keeps prototyping costs low and means that our painting robot will be completely modular — ideal for a project involving rapid changes to the design. If a part doesn’t work, we pop it off and try a different iteration.