Today's Developer is the genius behind the HK GCS, which you all know and love. We'd had ground stations before, but Paul Mather was the first to really do them right. I still remember the day he rolled out recording and replaying missions, which was mind-blowingly cool. And when he added voice synthesis, I felt a real surge of pride in how our hobby projects were growing up to rival pro tools.
What's particularly impressive about the HK GCS is that it's a universal ground station; it's compatible with all the leading amateur-grade autopilots, which took a huge amount of coordination and patience by Paul. Finally, a special credit to his ability to go without sleep. He's on the east side of the US, which means our Sunday dev calls start at midnight his time and sometimes go to 2:30 am. He not only stays up but he's smart and articulate at a time when most of us would barely be able to spell our name.
One last note: The name HappyKillmore dates back to his online multiplayer game days (CounterStrike, if memory serves), and is maybe not the one he'd choose today if he were picking one that wouldn't be misinterpreted in the drone world ;-). So do him a favor and call the ground station "HK GCS". HK stands for, er, "HK" now.
(And Paul, Settlers of Catan isn't an obscure Euro game anymore! We play it all the time with my kids. Love it.)
Over to The Man:
Name: Paul Mather
Home: Brunswick, OH, USA (About 20 miles south of Cleveland). I’ve lived in Ohio my whole life but have made it out of the country a few times for work and vacation.
Day Job: Freelance Software Developer, Phone System and IT work for small to mid-size companies. I purchased a phone company (voicemail, extensions, etc) last year. There seem to be peaks and valleys and some months I have lots of free time. Other months not so much.
DIY Drones role: HK’s Ground Control Station, Modifications to the ArduPilot ConfigTool (Added Google Maps), Remzibi’s OSD PC Config Tool, ArduIMU Test Application. Hoping to branch out into Android when I finally get some free time!
Background: I have a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from the University of Cincinnati. Never did anything with it. I’ve been writing software since my parents got me a Commodore 64 in the early 80’s. I got my first R/C car in the late 80’s. A Team Associated RC10. That turned into about 5 cars before I left for college. Then there was about a 10 year break in my R/C obsession. I got back into it in 2001 after a friend of mine got his dura-plane up and running (after spending 10 years on a shelf in his garage). I was hooked again. Trucks, planes and helis this time. . I’ll take credit for turning Alex Greve (IBCrazy on RCGroups) on to FPV. I don’t know much about antennas….but he seems to be taking the FPV world by storm! Our failed attempts at the ball diamonds in Sagamore Hills seem to have had quite an effect on him.
Other interests: I’ve got two kids. 3 ½ and 15 months and I’m a stay at home dad one day a week. They’re tons of fun and sometimes make me wish I had kids younger in life. Seems like I’m going to be a senior citizen before they’re in high school! I brew beer 4 times a year. I’m lucky to have a brewery very close that actually lets you go in and brew. Then come back in 2-4 weeks and bottle. No preservatives. Tasty stuff! Once a week I host a board game night where we play “euro” games (games nobody’s heard of). Dominion, Thunderstone, Settlers of Catan, Steam, Power Grid, Puerto Rico, Agricola. “A few acres of snow” is on it’s way…