About Me sticky icon

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I am a Technical Architect at Acquia. Previously, I was Lead Developer at Trellon, and a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow at the Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces Lab (MAHI Lab) at Rice University, where I researched human-robot interaction. My interests include rock climbing, traveling, contributing to Drupal, and spending time with my wife.

Drupal development sticky icon

Drupal, a free open-source content-management system (CMS), is one of the world's most popular CMS platforms and used by sites including WhiteHouse.gov. I have developed and currently maintain a number of Drupal projects and web sites (see below). Some of my projects are hosted on drupal.org.

I am currently employed full-time, and am not accepting sponsorship for development of new modules or sites.


  • Worked directly with clients and an international team of developers to build Drupal websites and
    modules for Jane Goodall Institute, Gates Foundation, Stanford, NRG Park, and Leaping Bunny.
  • Experience with all parts of the site and module design and management process, including solutions
    architecture, project management, infrastructure management, and backend development.
  • Developed a Docker-based continuous integration and development infrastructure to increase test
    coverage and drastically reduce onboarding time for new developers.

LilyPad Development

  • Built infrastructure to support sites with 30,000 unique visitors and 200GB of traffic daily using continuous integration on Rackspace Cloud servers, Aegir hosting system, Drush Make, and Jenkins.
  • Built, audited, and maintained sites and provided on-site training for dozens of clients using CiviCRM, Open Atrium, and standard Drupal distributions.


Human-in-the-Loop Control of a Bipedal Robot with Variable Levels of Autonomy

NASA's Robonaut 2 (R2) is a highly capable dexterous humanoid robot; taking full advantage of this capability and complexity, however, requires an intuitive and efficient control system. I augmented the standard mouse and keyboard teleoperative interface with a haptic device that allows for more intuitive and efficient control. This interface takes advantage of available sensor data and R2's on-board motion planning capabilities to assist the operator in performing tasks safely and efficiently. I also designed a software and hardware interface that integrates pressure data from a tactile sensing array into ROS.

Improved touch sensing for the Haptic Creature

The haptic creature is a fur-covered robot designed to assist children with emotional and developmental difficulties. It can react to human input, such as stroking or poking, by purring, breathing, and raising its ears. I designed, implemented, and analyzed a new touch-sensing suite based on quantum tunneling composites.


Powell, D, O'Malley, MK. 2012. The Task-Dependent Efficacy of Shared-Control Haptic Guidance Paradigms. IEEE Transactions on Haptics.

Powell, D, O'Malley, MK. 2011. Efficacy of Shared-Control Guidance Paradigms for Robot-Mediated Training. IEEE World Haptics Conference.