Our Founders
Roberts' Persistence

The persistence of Australian Dr. Bryan Roberts in refusing to abandon pursuing high altitude wind capture technology in this fossil fuel oriented world is something for which hopefully the world will be grateful. Please see his curriculum vitae at the end of this section.

Sky WindPower Corporation is in business to bring to market the technology which Roberts has pioneered.

David Hammond Shepard, a University of Michigan graduate, was its founding president and obtained 28 US patents. He started his career as a successful cryptanalyst working on Japanese codes. After the war he built an optical scanner (reading machine) in his attic with the help of his friend, Harvey Cook, and then formed Intelligent Machines Research Corporation(IMR), which delivered the world's first dozen commercial Optical Character Recognition(OCR) systems.

In this connection, Shepard designed the Farrington B numeric font used today on almost all credit cards. Although the IMR recognition process did not require special fonts, recognition was more reliable if a font as simple and open as possible was used to avoid the effects of smearing at gasoline station pump islands. Reading of these imprints was the world's first major industry use of OCR, although today the information is captured magnetically from the back of the cards, and today OCR is a fundamental computer tool for reading all kinds of text and numbers whether printed by machine or hand.

In 1962 Shepard founded Cognitronics Corporation. His patented "Conversation Machine", which operated on line, unattended in 1964 in New York City for a year, was the first to provide telephone caller interactive voice response(IVR) access to computer stored data using speech recognition. (His apologies for the times you are forced to converse with a machine instead of a human being.)

Mr. Shepard was a Charter Member of the TAWPI Hall of Fame, a Life Senior Member of the IEEE, an ACM member present at its founding at Aberdeen in 1947, and a member of the AIAA and AGU.

Starting in 1980, convinced that the world needed a new energy source, and that high altitude wind energy had the potential of being that source, Mr. Shepard began researching potential methods of capturing this energy as well as conducting wind tunnel and open air tests on various approaches, including a test of a rising and descending kite in a Nevada desert location. In the end he considered Dr. Roberts' approach to have the best potential of meeting the world's most important energy and global warming problems.

Dr. Roberts' experience in this field in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia should be noted in particular, as may be seen below.

Bryan William Roberts Curriculum Vitae High Points


Bachelor of Engineeering, University of New South Wales
PhD, University of Cambridge, UK


1995-2000 Foundation Professor of Mechanical Automation Engineering,
University of Western Sydney, Nepean
1994 Awarded "Best Lecturer in Engineering", University of Sydney

Professional Memberships and Consultations

Fellow of Institution of Engineers, Australia
Senior Member, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
Member, American Helicopter Society
Visiting Research Fellow, Royal Aerospace Establishment, Farnborough, UK 1972
Visiting Employee, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque 1976-77
Consultant to Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden CO 1980-82

Industrial Projects and Developments

Plastic film parachute development, designed and constructed as research
projects at the University of Sydney. Demonstrated at El Centro, CA USA
AIAA Conference, Trials at Braunschweig, West Germany, Royal Aircraft
Establishment, UK., Malaysian Government, and Sandia National
Laboratories, USA.

High altitude tests of a meteorlogical parachute, Darwin.

Construction of a Tethered Four Rotor Helicopter:
A patented device built under a collaborative agreement with Bell
Helicopters' Australian agents, B.H. Pacific Pty. Ltd. Four rotors
arranged in a highly meshed configuration.

Design, Construction and Testing of Flying Electric Generators:

Starting 1979, succession of developments: Rotor Test Vehicle; Gyromill;
Wind Tunnel Model; Twin 2.3 m diameter rotor for atmospheric testing;
Twin 3.7 m diameter rotor machine-actually generated power from a strong
wind tethered at 60 feet; further testing on stabilization; design of single tethered four rotor rotorcraft using collective blade pitch for high altitude test.

90 Technical Publications; Nine Patents.