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Engineering Services

I'm an engineer. It's not what I do, it's who I am

I didn't choose my career, it chose me. I've been an engineer since I was old enough to pick up a tool

Along the way, I've worked in many different engineering disciplines, but they all share the same characteristics

All of engineering is the same. Start with a problem to be solved, then select from the tools available to solve it. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of each tool. The more tools you have, the better. Then construct a path from where you are to where you need to be, using the available tools and knowledge, like solving a puzzle

Some employers, particularly in the defense industry, believe in specialization..extreme specialization

I disagree. I'm a generalist...and proud of it!

I've built successful projects in all of the construction trades including carpentry, cabinet making, plumbing, electrical work, painting, drywalling, roofing, cement finishing..etc. I'm also a skilled machinist, both manual and CNC, working on gaining proficiency at welding and glasswork

But most of my work has been done in software and electronic design

I think the term "Jack of all trades, master of none" misses the point

I prefer to say... "I'm a master of one"

Mike Peterson Manufacturing and Engineering
Latest version, 2018

Currently inventing and manufacturing innovative new tools and machines for glassworking in collaboration with top glassworkers

Working on a potentially revolutionary software/DSP project. No details are being released at the moment


Designed next generation, configurable software architecture based on ARM processor

Designed circuit and PCB and wrote all software for an amplifier simulator. This allowed testing of the control software function without an amplifier and its associated test instruments

Designed digital circuits and PC boards for several microprocessor based control systems for high power solid state microwave amplifiers

Wrote all software for the microcontrollers and Windows based GUIs

FMI / BTC Power

Designed circuits and PC Boards and wrote all software for a smart, fast battery charger for large industrial batteries. System includes battery monitor device to measure and log battery parameters during charge and discharge. The battery monitor uses both wired and wireless communication

Designed circuits and PC Boards and wrote all software for an ATM anti-fraud system. This system detects the presence of a "skimmer", a device sometimes attached to the ATM by identity thieves

Reverse-engineered an undocumented point of sale system to add a high security PIN entry device. Designed Circuit and PCB and wrote all software

National Inventors Hall Of Fame

Designed and wrote all software for an audio/visual display system for the USPTO museum. This system consisted of 100 networked computers playing audio, full motion video( including hi-def), lighting, animation and effects

Applied Minds

Designed and wrote all software for a system to increase pilot safety during military helicopter landings in "dust-out" conditions

The multi-threaded realtime software acquired images and navigation data from a high resolution camera, laser rangefinder, GPS and 1553 data bus, then projected the images into a CGI 3D coordinate system. A graphic element representing the landing zone was overlaid onto the image. The crew could then visualize the realtime aircraft position relative to the projected photo and graphic overlay

Successfully demonstrated the system for the AFRL on a special forces helicopter

Designed and programmed the control system for a lane departure warning system for a major automobile manufacturer

Designed and programmed an automotive blind-spot warning system

These projects used the QNX operating system for high reliability

Designed and programmed a moving map system for automotive navigation. Unlike existing systems, this system was able to smoothly zoom and scroll the map

Designed and programmed a 16 camera panoramic camera system. This multi-threaded system combined the uncompressed images from 16 cameras into a scrollable, zoomable panoramic image. Motion tracking and realtime recording, timeshift and replay were also provided

Designed mechanical system, PC boards and wrote software for a haptic user interface. This interface featured programmable knobs that could switch their feel from detents to viscous drag to a flywheel-like inertia

Designed and programmed a data acquisition and display system for digitizing Radar data at 30MHz. Wrote high performance kernel mode device drivers using DMA

Designed and programmed control and display systems for the MaxiMog demonstration vehicle

Designed and programmed the automation systems for the SmartTruck, an auto-show vehicle project for the Army

Programmed a wide variety of interfaces for various hardware required by other projects

Sony Development / Hyper Entertainment

Designed, coded, tested, documented and installed the Access Metreon stored value card system. The system included point of sale stations and self-service kiosks to sell the cards, and three types of point of use terminals to redeem them

Designed all databases, queries and reports. Wrote an object wrapper for general database access

Designed USB interface for a video game, including digital circuit design, PCB layout, embedded firmware and Windows WDM driver

Designed, coded and tested networking and database routines for several multi-player games. Functions included player tracking, scoring, payment and inter-game realtime synchronization

Designed, coded and tested a realtime audio playback system for video games

Designed motion control system and wrote all control software for a two axis motion base, including servo control and coordinate transforms

Designed the control system for a telepresence robot. Wrote servo control software and 3D coordinate transforms, including six axis head tracking. The robot won an award at the Sony tech fair in Tokyo, and as "B.B. Wonderbot", was a popular tourist attraction at the Sony building in New York

Installed and maintained Windows NT, Netware, OS/2 and UNIX servers, Ethernet LANs, and remote dialup links using ISDN and POTS

Configured routers using TCP/IP, IPX and Appletalk with T1 links. Installed and maintained Lucent Definity PBX telephone system using ISDN-PRI

Supported and trained users in several locations

Designed systems based on SQL databases including a purchasing/receiving system


Designed machines for automated loudspeaker testing and wrote all software

Walt Disney Imagineering, R&D Department

Lead the advanced control systems group

Designed modular, distributed control system for theme park use. Designed and wrote all operating system and communication software

Designed and wrote theatrical lighting control software

Designed and wrote animated figure servo control software

Designed microprocessor based controller and I/O boards including mechanical packaging and surface mount PC board layout. Set up prototype surface mount assembly line and trained operators

Supervised installation in several attractions

Evangelized, promoted and sold the project to management

Designed microprocessor based controller board and wrote all software for the air launched pyrotechnic project. This patented technology launches fireworks using compressed air and times the burst using a miniature, low-cost electronic timer. Co-designed the custom IC and designed the chip-on-board packaging for the timer

Designed the hydraulic servo system for an automated rod bending machine. Designed and wrote servo control, user interface and CAD interface software for the machine

Designed and wrote optical tracker, tempo extraction and MIDI control software for the "Guest Controlled Orchestra". This system allowed a park guest to vary the tempo and volume of a MIDI sequence by waving their arms in front of a video camera

Designed mechanical components for "Audio Animatronics" animated figures

Worked as a troubleshooter and technical consultant on a wide variety of theme park related design, operations and maintenance problems

Innovision Medical

Designed a patented microprocessor controlled servo systems for precisely controlling inter-ocular pressure and surgical suction during vitreo-retinal eye surgery

Designed a precision, computer controlled valve to pressurize an eyeball, where all parts that contacted the infusion fluid were required to be disposable

Designed a precision, computer controlled suction valve, air-to-liquid interface and waste container for removing surgical debris from the eye

Designed and wrote all servo, operating system and user interface software

Worked closely with leading eye surgeons to develop user interface

Helped design the case, electronic packaging, disposable drape, wiring, plumbing, refrigeration and fail-safe safety systems

Assisted in the design of microprocessor based controller boards

Cambridge Instruments

Designed and wrote software for sub-micron automated wafer inspection and measurement systems including image processing, thermal correction, NBS traceable calibration, coordinate transform, robot control, servo and stepper motor control, automatic focus, multiprocessor communication and user interface functions

Installed and maintained Netware servers. Wrote multi-user utilities for the network

Rivera Amplification

Designed electronic chassis and PC boards

Designed MIDI interfaces, and programmable foot controller

Designed front panel layout and company logo

Set up manufacturing line

Designed purchasing and inventory databases

Wrote manuals, including graphic design, layout and illustrations

Advanced Automation

Did concept design for automated machines used in manufacturing

Fender, Rogers, Rhodes Musical Instruments

Designed and built the Rhodes Mark IV electric piano prototype

Contributed to the design of the Mark V electric piano. Optimized the classic Rhodes hammer design to produce better and more consistent performance. Harold Rhodes called it the best Rhodes ever Rhodes Piano

Designed, built prototype and put into production, the collapsible stand for the Mark V

Designed parts to be fabricated by plastic injection molding, aluminum extrusion, steel stamping, plastic vacuum molding, automatic screw machining, riveting and brazing. Designed and built special tools and fixtures and trained production personnel

Built piano prototypes including the first MIDI Rhodes (used by Chick Corea on the Elektric Band album)

Worked on microprocessor controlled music synthesizers and MIDI interfaces

National Technical Systems, Testing Division

Managed environmental testing department

Wrote hydraulic control software for an automated stress testing machine

Set up and conducted a wide variety of system and component tests to MIL specs under DCAS supervision

Mike Peterson Manufacturing and Engineering
First version, in the 70s

Designed and built custom furniture, electronic consoles, sound systems, musical equipment, photographic darkrooms, recording studios and many other custom products

Invented tooling and production techniques to build projects that most other shops would not attempt