The Eightfold Development Team - Together have over 30 years of automation, software and hardware design

Photo Credit:  Peter Hellberg

Photo Credit: Peter Hellberg

Ke Wang, Founder & Software developer

It was in 2005 that Ke became disabled after being struck by a SUV while standing at a bus stop. After years of hospitalization and rehabilitation, he realized that the existing devices for the disabled community fall short of meeting some of the most basic needs for himself and others alike. Fast forward to 2013, Ke started the SmartChair project at Eightfold Technologies to enable a new level of independence.

With over 20 years of developing and managing large scale automation projects in the high tech industry, Ke is leveraging his experience as Software Engineer at Engel and at Rockwell International, and as Manager of software development for the automation department at JDS Uniphase. In 2003, he founded Eightfold Technologies, initially a high tech consulting company, where he and his partners took on and completed several notable projects such as the development and deployment of a full scale production tracking system for Smart Technologies, the maker of SmartBoards. To continue on the smart stream, it is today the home of the SmartChair.

Ke is the software engineer for the SmartChair and holds a Computer Engineering degree from McMaster University in Hamilton.

Photo Credit:  Mitya Ku

Photo Credit: Mitya Ku

Tony Awad, Director of Operation

Tony met Ke Wang in 2006 after a snowmobile accident paralyzed his right arm. While attending physiotherapy, he mentioned to Ke that he is enrolled in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Robotics Program at Algonquin College in Ottawa. With his hardware expertise and 15 years of business management experience, Tony was invited to join Eightfold Technologies to help develop the SmartChair project.

Prior to selling his companies as the result of his accident, Tony co-founded Sky.Link Internet Access, launching the first wireless airport in North America and the first wireless courthouse in Canada in 1999. His career originally started in 1980 repairing electronics, evolving in 1987 to building and repairing computers, to becoming the General Manager of a successful computer retail & service company. Tony led and delivered in all facets of management and grew the company to 18 employees.

Today, Tony is the hardware developer for the SmartChair, while managing the company’s operations in finance and HR.


Photo Credit:  dimnikolov

Photo Credit: dimnikolov

Benoît Côté, Hardware Developer

Benoit Coté is a graduate of the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Robotics Program at Algonquin College in Ottawa, where he met Tony Awad. His passion is to improve the quality of life for people through the advancement of technology. As class peers, Tony took notice of Benoit’s remarkable talents and invited to him join Eightfold Technologies to develop the SmartChair.

From building the company’s existing lab environment, to printing custom 3D parts and developing circuit boards, Benoit is further advancing the SmartChair project.