Nathan Parrott
Engineer & Technology specialist.

Mechatronics - The fusion of mechanics, electronics & software to make awesome stuff happen.
citrix startup best early stage company
tech23 award
slingshot award




Assisted Saber Astronautics flight test the "DragEN" tether deployment mechansim with NASA's flight opportunities program. DragEN is designed to address the growing threat of space junk by un-rolling a conductive tether which uses the magnetic field of the Earth to gently drag a dead satellite back into the atmosphere allowing it to burn up safely at the end of its life. The experiements were conducted on a modified boeing 727 out of Ellington Field Houston Tx, with each flight comprising 40 parabolas of approximately 20-30s of zero gravity each.

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In order to showcase the work of Doctors at the Harry Perkins Medical Research Institute. A dual screen interactive exhibit was designed to demonstrate research being undertaken at various regions of the human body. Each screen contained a PID controlled 24VDC motor with optical encoder feedback. Dual light curtains and over current shutoff in the event that an obstical was encountered.

Robotic Design

Marathon Targets develop smart autonomous targets for live fire training. We designed a drive train replacement that was 70% cheaper than the existing design while still meeting acceleration and top speed requirements.


Machinability produce high quality engineering and prototype products. Barley Max is a musuem exhibit created with Machinability for the CSIRO. Children select different food options for Max to eat and Max shows his appreciation or dissatisfaction based on the choices they make. Max's movement is controlled using an arduino micro controller, Saberototh motor driver and two linear actuators.

Research equipment

The Macquarie University 'Griggs Press' is designed to emulate the temperature and pressure experienced by rocks hundreds of kilometers below the earths surface. A control system was designed using National Instruments hardware and LabView software to provide accurate measurement and control of

  • The hydraulic and electric rams to displace rocks at pressure exceeding 100MPa
  • Toroidal transformer capable of supplying 300A @ 4V to drive the furnace to temperatures exceeding 1000C
  • Sensing of furance temperature using thermocouple inputs, LV/DT linear displacement measurement, Analog pressure transducer & water coolant flow
  • Provided measurement accuracy 10x greater than that previously experienced.



BT Imaging designs and builds manufacturing tools used by the manufacturers of photovoltaic bricks, wafers and cells. In 2008 I helped to design and build the LIS-R1 solar wafer inspection platform using laser luminescence. This project included:

  • Multi level PCB design
  • FPGA controller to actuate and sense multiple items including, electric door motor, laser interlocks, pneumatic cylinders, vacuum pumps
  • 3 phase power design and distribution
  • Design of a pneumatic lift tray to easily load/unload heavy silicon blocks


Factory Automation

Using a combination of industrial PLC controllers and pneumatic actuators and valves to automate the packaging of paper hand towels for an Australian manufacturer. Our solution reduced labour requirements by 66% whilst increasing production yields by 50%.

Small Area Sensor Networks

Designed to track human movements within a building and generate real time alerts via SMS and email when an elderly person falls.



A car crash simulator was designed for the NRMA car crash showroom. The simulator combined hydrualic actuation of the suspension of a car while the user was seated inside wearing an Oculus Rift headset. The experience combined tactile motion of the vehicle with visual and audio feedback being provided by the Oculus Rift. This exhibit won "Best in show" at the 2014 Sydney Royal Easter show where it was also showcased.


Electronic Control Systems

The Ivy nightclub Sydney wanted a unique exhibit for their Saturday night Pacha event. We designed and implemented the electronics and control system for the "Pacha Ball" which comprised five linear actuated petals, smoke machine with strobe and LED strip lighting. The entire ball was remote controlled and timed to the Pacha event.

Satellite ground station

Assisted Saber Astronautics & The University of Sydney to bring their satellite communications ground station online. This ground station will be used to provide satellite telemetry (receive and transmit) capabilities to Saber Astronautic's customers.