Welcome, this page is meant to give just a bit of information about me, Chuck Hays.

The Story So Far…

I was born in Iowa, moved to Minnesota around 1988, the summer before I started 2nd grade. I eventually went to Maple Grove High School, and then on to the University of Minnesota.

At the U of M, I earned a B.S. degree in Computer Science in 2003. I then continued on into the graduate program at the U of M, doing research under Nikos Papanikolopoulos in the Distributed Robotics Lab. I worked with various robots, including the MegaScout, COTS Scout, COTS-m Scout, and the eROSI robots. I earned a M.S. degree in Computer Science in 2005. I then completed the written examination for the PhD program, and am slowly working toward a thesis.

I am a founder/owner in a robotics company named Recon Robotics. Recon Robotics was formed to commercialized technology we developed at the U of M. We specialize in miniature robots designed for surveillance.

I currently work for Microsoft on a product called Expression Blend. The feature I work on is a new feature called SketchFlow.

On a personal level, I was married to Andrea Hays in 2004 in Satellite Beach, FL.

My interests include:

  • Fishing/boating/water sports
  • Camping/hiking
  • Wood/metal working
  • Working on cars
  • Home improvement/carpentry
  • Electronics/robots (combat robots as well)
  • Technology/programming/research
  • Photography

There are probably many more, but those come to mind at the moment.

I help support/maintain the following websites (the contents belong to each site):


I like to build things. Many of these things end up being gifts to family members, who may or may not appreciate the huge amount of time it takes to build such things, but it is fun building them anyway!

I went to school at the U of Minnesota and got a B.S. in computer science, and then a M.S. in computer science, while doing robotics research. As part of my thesis work I worked on the MegaScout and the eROSI as well as many other various projects. Several of my fellow students and I, along with our advisor, started ReconRobotics which produces and sells the Recon Scout robot.

I also have competed several times in TC Mech Wars, it is a local version of BattleBots. Competitors spend months building combat robots, and then destroy each other in 3 minute rounds. I won several of the competitions, and then decided it was too much work to build a robot, just to have it destroyed in front of my eyes.

I do quite a bit of home improvement work. We renovated our 100+ year old house in NE Minnapolis, and finished the basement of our current home.

In general, I like to build things, and decided it was time to document some of the various projects, before I start forgetting about them.