Get to Know the Key Players behind the Evolution of Protonics and it's science
Development of the new Protonics T1 and T2 is a collaboration between Protonics Technologies, based in lincoln, Nebraska and Sentir Technologies, based in San Diego, California.
Clinical research is based out of Lincoln, while the majority of the technical development is performed at the Sentir Technologies Robotics Lab in San Diego.
The Protonics Development Team is led by robotics and haptics pioneer Walt Aviles and Inventor Frank Joutras. The Team has over 100 years of combined technical design, development and manufacturing experience.The team has designed and developed robotic systems and human interface hardware & software, including exoskeletons, for the medical, sports rehabilitation, fitness, educational, scientific, and military markets.
Protonics Development Team
Frank Joutras - President - Protonics Biomechanical Balance Systems
Frank is Founder and President of Protonics Biomechanical Balance Systems, and is the co-team leader for the Protonics Development Project. Frank is co-inventor of the Protonics system with Physical Therapist, Ron Hruska, holds several patents, on exoskeleton and robotics design. Frank, has over 30 years of technical and development experience in exoskeletons, fitness equipment, virtual environments and robotic system, and holds several patents in this area.
Prior to his current position, he served as VP of Exoskeleton Development for Novint Technologies. While at Novint, Frank, along with Walter Aviles, led the team to develop Novint XIO, wearable haptic technology currently licensed to Facebook®. Mr. Joutras has served as the President and Chief Science Officer of Inverse Technology since its founding in 1995.
Lisa Bartels, DPT, PRC
Lisa currently leads up all development of applications for Protonics, along with training. She has been involved with Protonics for over 10 years. Lisa’s first introduction to physical therapy and sports medicine was a result of injuries sustained during her high school volleyball career. After rehabilitating from an ACL rupture/reconstruction, she went on to enjoy a fair amount of athletic success which included an opportunity to play for the junior national team in 1994, and the offer of a volleyball scholarship to the University of Nebraska in 1995.
In 2001, still dealing with chronic knee pain, she was introduced to the science of Postural Restoration (PR) as a patient under the care of Ron Hruska, founder of the Postural Restoration Institute. She was inspired by this effective treatment approach and decided to pursue physical therapy as a career. She completed her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2005. Today she currently practices at Crossroads Physical Therapy in Lincoln, NE where she continues to integrate advanced biomechanical theories and interventions with traditional orthopedic treatment principles. Given her personal experiences with athletics and injuries, Lisa’s special interest is working with athletes of all levels who are struggling with chronic injury and pain. She also consults with collegiate teams who are requesting implementation of applied movement science into their conditioning and rehabilitation programs.
Walter Aviles - President - Sentir Technologies
Walt has spent over 30 years developing all kinds of robots and human/computer interfaces including exoskeletons and wearables. He loves to take things from “idea to product” and is helping to lead the technical development of the Protonics T1 and T2 Systems. Walt loves to explore – whether it be on land, on or in the water. He spends a lot of his free time being trained by his Portuguese Water Dogs.
Richard Aviles - Sr. Software Engineer
Richard oversees Sentir’s software development and has electronics as well as software expertise. This comes in very handy when developing new systems. He has helped to develop Sentir’s drivers, SDKs, application software as well as electronic systems for over a decade. When he isn’t at the computer, Richard likes to trail run, bike and hike as well as chasing after his kids to do their homework.
David Finke - Sr. Electrical Engineer
David has been a practicing electronics engineer for over 30 years. He has never met a circuit he didn’t like and has helped Sentir to develop first of a kind haptic interfaces for over 10 years as our lead electronics designer. He keeps, however, trying to convince everyone that the wires are the mechanical engineer’s problem. David also has extensive experience in robotic systems as well as in aerospace. He also plays a mean guitar.
Zach Joutras - Design Engineer
Zach has been involved with Protonics and Sentir Technologies for the past 4 years. With Protonics, he has helped with production, quality assurance and design. While working with Sentir, Zach has performed final QA checks on the Falcon Haptic Robots, and as worked with the tech team on product development for the Protonics T2. While Zach is not in California or Nebraska, he enjoys hiking, biking, or skiing in the mountains.
Ben Shure – Sr. Mechanical Engineer
Ben handles mechanical design and fabrication for Sentir Technologies. He has been designing, building and fabricating for the medical robotics industry for almost 10 years. He loves design "problem solving" and turning ideas into working real world products. When he isn’t entering a Sammy Hagar look-alike contest, Ben enjoys four wheeling in the desert and trying to keep a step ahead of his young son Parker.
Clinical Applications and Research
The following individuals have contributed significantly to the clinical science, development of application and testing behind Protonics over the past 20+ years:
Ron Hruska PT, MPA
Ron is co-inventor of Protonics with inventor Frank Joutras. Ron has a strong interest in myokinematic and biomechanical influences on postural and peripheral adaptation patterns. His 32 years of clinical experience assists him with direct patient interventions based on specific examination and evaluation data that best reflects neuromechanical stability, trunk symmetry and respiratory balance. He lectures extensively and consults regularly with physicians, physical therapists, optometrists, dentists, and other health care providers across the United States and internationally on patterned postural position and pathology and his approach of restoring symmetrical balance using Postural Restoration Institute principles. His reputation has led to consultations with collegiate and professional athletes from a variety of arenas, states and countries. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Division of Physical Therapy. He currently is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. Ron serves as a Biomechanical Consultant to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln through the Division of Athletic Medicine. He has patented Prism and Priori PRI Aquatic systems. He is co-founder of PRI Vision, LLC. He is Director of the Postural Restoration Institute ® and consults and practices at the Hruska Clinic, Restorative Physical Therapy Services, and PRI Vision Clinic in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Dr. James R. Andrews
Doctor James R. Andrews, as co- founder of the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) helped sponsor inital clinical research on Protonics technology. His research was key in proving the positive effect of Protonics on changing muscle firing patterns. The American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) a non-profit institute dedicated to injury prevention, education and research in orthopaedic and sports medicine. Doctor Andrews continues to serve as Chairman of the Board and Medical Director of ASMI. Doctor Andrews is also a founding partner and Medical Director of the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Florida. He is President and Chairman of the Board of the Andrews Research and Education Foundation also dedicated to prevention, education and research at the Andrews Institute. He has mentored more than 314 orthopaedic/sports medicine Fellows and more than 84 primary care sports medicine Fellows who have trained under him through these Sports Medicine Fellowship Programs.
Doctor Andrews is internationally known and recognized for his skills as an orthopaedic surgeon as well as his scientific and clinic research contributions in knee, shoulder and elbow injury prevention and treatment. In addition, he has made major presentations around the world, and has authored numerous scientific articles and books. He has recently written a book, Any Given Monday, about sports injuries and how to prevent them for athletes, parents and coaches. The book is based on his life in sports medicine and was released in January 2013 by Simon & Schuster. Doctor Andrews was also awarded the "Mr. Sports Medicine" award of the AOSSM at the annual meeting in 2014.
Scott Donkin DC, DACBOH
Scott Donkin, DC, DACBOH, is an internationally published author, chiropractor, lecturer, and consultant who has been in private practice in Lincoln, Nebraska, for over twenty-five years. Dr. Donkin has incorporated Protonics into his gait training regime to correct improper muscle activation patterns. Dr. Donkin is considered an expert on the use of the physical environment to promote balance, physical performance, safety, and longevity. He owns and operates a successful HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehab clinic. He is the author of Sitting on the Job, the co-author of Peak Performance Body & Mind: How to Make Your Body Last a Lifetime, and is also the producer of a number of multimedia programs on health and wellness.
Ken Kontor CSCS
Ken is responsible, with Lisa Bartels for helping incorporate Protonics into certain aspects of their Movement 2 Muscle program were it would be beneficial for helping promote correct muscle firing patterns.
Ken Kontor is founder and president of Performance Conditioning Inc. His company is the world’s largest single source of sports-specific conditioning information. Among the educational resources provided are Performance Conditioning Volleyball, Cycling and Soccer newsletters now in their 14th year of publishing and 15 sports-specific conditioning books and training card systems. He is a founding member of the USA Volleyball Sports Medicine and Performance Commission and was instrumental in the establishment of the Volleyball Conditioning Accreditation Program (V.C.A.P.) curriculum offered through the USA Volleyball Coaching Accreditation program. Among his contributions to this program was writing the curriculum.
He has established the Off-bike Conditioning curriculum promoted by USA Cycling. In the past he has worked with USA Roller Sports and USA Triathlon producing conditioning specific newsletters.
Prior to the establishment of Performance Conditioning Inc., Mr. Kontor was a founding father, executive director and publications editor of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) for 14 years an organization of over 16,000 sport conditioning professionals. He was an original member of the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist committee that established the internationally recognized C.S.C.S. credential. He has traveled extensively throughout the world including the former Soviet Union, East Germany and the Leipzig Institute of Sport, Hungary and Bulgaria with the purpose of introducing their strength and conditioning methods to the NSCA membership. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association Inc. and the National Strength and Conditioning Association of Japan. He has lectured extensively on the conditioning of athletes throughout the world.