From driving rovers on Mars to improving farm automation for Indian women, once again we’re bringing you a list of 25 amazing women in robotics! These women cover all aspects of the robotics industry, both research, product and policy. They are founders and leaders, they are investigators and activists. They are early career stage and emeritus. There is a role model here for everyone! And there is no excuse – ever – not to have a woman speaking on a panel on robotics and AI.
But to start, here’s some news about previous nominees (and this is just a sample because we’ve showcased over 125 women so far and this is our 6th year).
In 2013, Melonee Wise was just launching her first startup! Since then she’s raised $48 million USD for Fetch Robotics and Fetch and Freight robots are rolling out in warehouses all over the world! Maja Mataric’s startup Embodied Inc has raised $34.4 million for home companion robots. Amy Villeneuve has moved from President and COO of Kiva Systems, VP at Amazon Robotics to the Board of Directors of 4 new robotics startups. And Manuela Veloso joined the Corporate & Investment Bank J.P. Morgan as head of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research.
In 2014, Sampriti Bhattacharya was a PhD student at MIT, since then she has turned her research into a startup Hydroswarm and been named one of Forbes 30 most powerful young change agents. Noriko Kageki moved from Kawada Robotics Corp in Japan to join the very female friendly Omron Adept Technologies in Silicon Valley.
2015’s Cecilia Laschi and Barbara Mazzolai are driving the Preparatory action for a European Robotics Flagship, which has the potential to become a 1B EUR project. The goal is to make new robots and AIs that are ethically, socially, economically, energetically, and environmentally responsible and sustainable. And PhD candidate Kavita Krishnaswamy. who depends on robots to travel, has received Microsoft, Google, Ford and NSF fellowships to help her design robots for people with disabilities.
2015’s Hanna Kurniawati was a Keynote Speaker at IROS 2018 (Oct 1-5) in Madrid, Spain. As were nominees Raquel Urtasun, Jamie Paik, Barbara Mazzolai, Anca Dragan, Amy Loutfi (and many more women!) 2017’s Raia Hadsell was the Plenary Speaker at ICRA 2018 (May 21-25) in Brisbane, Australia. And while it’s great to see so many women showcased this year at robotics conferences – don’t forget 2015 when the entire ICRA organizing committee was comprised of women.