Robert Davidson

Robert Davidson

embedded systems, MEMS sensors, wireless sensor networks, Bluetooth Low Energy devices, magnetics, materials, startups

Boise, Idaho Area

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Robert Davidson's Overview

  • Sensors, Wireless Sensor Networks, Product Development at Ambient Sensors, Inc.
  • Adjunct Professor Math/Research Professor in ECE at Boise State University
  • President at SAVICON, INC
  • Senior Scientist/Engineer and Physicist at HEWLETT PACKARD COMPANY
  • Research Assistant at Naval Research Laboratories

500+ connections


Robert Davidson's Summary

Robert Davidson’s passion in life is to apply what he knows about technology to solve real problems for people. He especially enjoys applications that use sensors to connect the physical world to computers and the Internet. He runs Ambient Sensors, a company focused on sensors and wireless sensor networks, and has a strong interest in the development start-up companies (and the scars to prove it). He especially enjoys sharing his interests and expertise with others.

Scientific Expertise

Sensors/Sensor Networks: co-author of "Getting Started with Bluetooth Low Energy" published by O'Reilly, football player concussion prediction/alerts and member of Hit Count Technical Standards Committee at Sports Legacy Institute, sensor solution development for magnetic recording, inertial measurement, and agriculture (wine grapes)

Statistical Analysis and Process Control: statistical process control, design of experiments, and defect analysis in micro fabrication processes

Electromagnetic and Mechanical CAD: have written code for and successfully applied FEM and other numerical techniques (Monte Carlo, finite difference) to solve various boundary value problems that arise in electromagnetic, thermal, and mechanical problems. Extensive use of commercial codes, in particular Infolytica’s MagNet and familiarity with ANSYS, NEC, HFSS.

Magnetism and Materials: magnetic design, advanced storage materials (magnetic and non-magnetic) , advanced linear tape storage, physics of disk drive recording systems, physics of materials.

Optical Systems: heterodyne optical interferometry, laser based test system, opto-mechanical systems


Sensors, MEMS, Wireless Sensor Networks, Embedded Systems, Magnetic Recording, Magnetics, Electromagnetics, Materials, Startups,

Robert Davidson's Experience

Sensors, Wireless Sensor Networks, Product Development

Ambient Sensors, Inc.

January 2010Present (4 years 9 months) Boise, Idaho

Ambient Sensors, Inc. is a custom electronics design house focused on sensors connected to embedded systems, wireless sensor networks, motion and inertial measurement systems, and application software. We provide product development for our customers in these areas from early prototype to mass manufacturing through our in-house capabilities and relationships with various contract manufacturing firms. We work at the interface between the real world and the interweb!

Adjunct Professor Math/Research Professor in ECE

Boise State University

Educational Institution; 1001-5000 employees; Higher Education industry

May 2008Present (6 years 5 months)

Currently teaching: Math 360 Engineering Statistics

NASA Micro-Gravity Project: Advisor to student microgravity project flown on NASA Zero-G aircraft. Also advised a student team receiving 2nd place in paper competition (tied with MIT) for a lunar analog project investigating how to manage a permanent-base agricultural repository on the moon.



November 2003February 2008 (4 years 4 months)

Founded a privately owned provider of comprehensive IP surveillance solutions that was acquired by Meridex, Inc. in November, 2007. Built and managed all aspects of a startup company, including project management, team development, strategy, business planning, sales and marketing and customer relations.

Senior Scientist/Engineer and Physicist


Public Company; 10,001+ employees; HPQ; Information Technology and Services industry

June 1979November 2003 (24 years 6 months)

Designed and conducted laboratory research to better understand phase change behavior of calcogenide materials for HP's atomic resolution storage project - a concentrated effort to identify methods for increasing storage density. Extensive research resulted in creating density increases of 10,000X previous capacities.

Technology Innovation and Leadership: Contributed to research that established HP as the standing technology leader in storage, for more than 20 years.

Multi-year research: Responsible for a four year study involving 50 scientists and business executives. Investigated thermal, carrier transport and device modeling together with experimental work using a specially- built laser system to cycle material between phases. Scientific American covered the project in a 2003 issue.

Thin Film Head Innovation: Designed heads/media for HP's first thin film head disk drive. Research led directly to the company's entry into the PC disk drive marketplace.

MR Head Development: Designed simulation and mask layout of dual-stripe MR Head for HP Laboratories. Research led to a storage capacity improvement still used in today's disk drives.

Modeling Tools: Developed recording physics and disk drive channel models over span of 20 years. Models included disk drive channel models including optimization of ISI in non-linear channels through application of various encoding and decoding schemes as well as conventional and adaptive digital (FIR) channel equalization schemes.

Measurement Tools: Created a heterodyne interferometer system with 0.1 nm resolution and 200 Khz frequency response capable of simultaneous roll, pitch, and flying height. Designed and implemented optical, mechanical and electronic components. System continues to be used by recording industry and others.

Research Assistant

Naval Research Laboratories

December 1977June 1979 (1 year 7 months)

Wrote simulation of X-ray detectors and satellite kinematics for X-ray burst detection astronomy program. Granted secret level clearance for a portion of the work.

Graduate Assistant

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Government Agency; 5001-10,000 employees; Research industry

June 1977August 1977 (3 months)

in Controlled Thermonuclear Reactor Group, performing measurements of high voltage power supplies for a high intensity magnetic field generation experiment.

Robert Davidson's Publications

  • Getting Started with Bluetooth Low Energy

    • O'Reilly
    • May 2, 2014

    With Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), smart devices are about to become even smarter. This practical guide demonstrates how this exciting wireless technology helps developers build mobile apps that share data with external hardware, and how hardware engineers can gain easy and reliable access to mobile operating systems.

    This book provides a solid, high-level overview of how devices use BLE to communicate with each other. You’ll learn useful low-cost tools for developing and testing BLE-enabled mobile apps and embedded firmware and get examples using various development platforms—including iOS and Android for app developers and embedded platforms for product designers and hardware engineers.

    Understand how data is organized and transferred by BLE devices
    Explore BLE’s concepts, key limitations, and network topology
    Dig into the protocol stack to grasp how and why BLE operates
    Learn how BLE devices discover each other and establish secure connections
    Set up the tools and infrastructure for BLE application development
    Get examples for connecting BLE to iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and sensors
    Develop code for a simple device that transmits heart rate data to a mobile device

Robert Davidson's Skills & Expertise

  1. Embedded Systems
  2. Electronics
  3. Programming
  4. Statistics
  5. Systems Engineering
  6. Testing
  7. Start-ups
  8. Magnetic Recording
  9. Program Management
  10. High Performance Computing
  11. Image Processing

Robert Davidson's Languages

  • German

Robert Davidson's Education

Carnegie Mellon University

Ph.D; Department, Electrical and Computer Engineer


Dissertation: Vector Preisach Hysteresis Models for Simulation of Recording Media. Research Advisor: Prof. Stanley Charap, Chairman of PhD Committee: Prof. Mark Kryder

The Johns Hopkins University

M.A, Physics


Washington State University

B.S, Physics


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