Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, an industry group supporting the innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies. Andra is also founder of Robot Launchpad for startups, and cofounder of Robot Garden, a new robotics hackerspace.
Andra is a core contributor to Robohub, the global site for news and views on robotics. She obtained her MA in Human-Robot Culture at the University of Sydney, Australia in 2011, building on a background as a robot geek, STEM educator and film-maker.
Andra graduated as an ABC film, television and radio technician in 1986 and obtained a BA in Communication from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) Australia, in 1998.
New Zealand’s government innovation agency Callaghan Innovations and Silicon Valley’s innovation non-profit SVForum organized Transforming AgTech, an event bringing together New Zealand and US agricultural startups in typical Silicon Valley style.
Silicon Valley Robotics Rich Mahoney and Andra Keay led a panel on robotics and agriculture. Here, they highlight NZ startups and innovation groups present at the event.
New Zealand’s government innovation agency Callaghan Innovations and Silicon Valley’s innovation non-profit SVForum organized: “Transforming Ag Tech," an event bringing together New Zealand and US agricultural startups in typical Silicon Valley style.
It’s super hard to find skilled people willing to work for robotics companies in Silicon Valley. Even though robotics is awesome and going to change the world. Because big companies with big paychecks are stealing all the talent. So, you seriously can’t afford to overlook anyone. Yet, judging from the gender ratio at robotics companies, most are overlooking one huge potential talent pool.
On April 6th, Jabil Blue Sky Innovation Center hosted the 7th Annual Silicon Valley Robot Block Party. The free event was ‘sold out,’ with more than 2000 RSVPs and 40 companies in attendance. The event was part of National Robotics Week, showcasing the latest technologies, and was one of the events participating in the record-breaking 258 across the US!
For the first time, robotics was featured in the annual Economic Report of the President. The hefty 435 page report from the President and the Council of Economic Advisors was released to Congress on Feb 2016. This shows the increasing importance of robotics in world economic strategy.
Fetch Robotics builds robot systems for the logistics industry. The company was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in San Jose, CA. Unveiled in April 2015, the Fetch Robotics system is comprised of a mobile base (called Freight) and an advanced mobile manipulator (called Fetch).
In this second Silicon Valley Robotics Case Study, Savioke CEO Steve Cousins talks about his alpha customers and early trials, discusses the evolution of his company’s business strategy, and describes how robot delivery as a service fits into the hotel service model. Savioke has just raised a $15M Series A round for their hotel delivery robots, which are now deployed in five hotel chains, have completed 12,000 successful deliveries, and have an NSF grant to explore other applications for their robots, like eldercare. You can follow the full SVR Case Study series on Robohub here.
Savioke reached $17.6 Million in funding with a $15 Million Series A round from Intel Capital, EDBI, Northern Light Venture Capital. This funding will allow Savioke to scale their business, deploying Relay in hotels and exploring other business avenues. Relay is now in five major hotel chains and the robots have made more than 11,000 deliveries to date.
Robotics is finally stepping out of science fiction and into service, if not in our homes, then at least in our hotels, hospitals, restaurants, warehouses, hardware stores and other retail outlets. This new report series from Silicon Valley Robotics highlights the first steps of startups Fetch Robotics, Fellow Robots, Savioke and Adept into the emerging service robotics industry, with additional analysis contributed by industry experts.
Robots are starting to move out of the factory and into more common use as a service industry, where they work alongside people in places that range from the warehouse to the supermarket. Along the way, we need to ask: How do we integrate robotics into society? And what roles can robots play? A new report released today by Silicon Valley Robotics and titled "Service Robotics Case Studies in Silicon Valley – November 2015" showcases the new ways in which robots can enrich our economy, creating new positions in the retail, logistics, health and hospitality industries.
Ada Lovelace was the world’s first computer programmer, and heralded symbolic logic by demonstrating future applications for the universal computing machine that Charles Babbage proposed. She was exceptional in her era for her mathematical brilliance, but though she imagined future applications for a multitude of technological innovations, women at that time were not encouraged to speak about or publish their work, so Lovelace’s genius was appended as ‘notes’ onto the work of others and not seen as a major contribution in its own right.
The fact that the contributions of women such as Lovelace have not been celebrated until recently gives us cause to remedy the situation. Now in its third year, our list of ‘25 Women in Robotics You Need to Know About’ is both a shoutout and a call to look at what all these women in robotics have achieved!
From smart forklifts and web-based simulation interfaces, to assistive walking devices, robotic companions — even one for your pet! — the range of mature robotics that made it to the 2015 Robot Launch international startup competition was astounding. Now in it’s second year, the competition attracted more than 75 startups from 19 countries covering the gamut of medical, educational, consumer, industrial and service robotics. The finalists pitched to a live panel of judges and robotics entrepreneurs in Palo Alto, CA. Find out who judges picked for the winning RobotLaunch 2015 startups!
Robot Launch is the first international startup competition designed specifically to help robotics entrepreneurs get off the ground. Now in it’s second year, Robot Launch has attracted a diverse range of applicants that show just how quickly the business of robotics is maturing. Narrowed down from almost 100 robotics startups from around the world, the following 15 finalists represent 16 countries and cover an amazing cross-section of consumer, service and industrial robotics We are extremely impressed with the quality of the finalists! Check them out!