From Mexican immigrant to MIT, from Girl Power in Latin America to robotics entrepreneurs in Africa and India, the 2019 annual “women in robotics you need to know about” list is here! We’ve featured 150 women so far, from 2013 to 2018, and this time we’re not stopping at 25. We’re featuring 30 inspiring #womeninrobotics because robotics is growing and there are many new stories to be told.
So, without further ado, here are the 30 Women In Robotics you need to know about – 2019 edition!
CEO & CTO – Squishy Robotics
Squishy robots are rapidly deployable mobile sensing robots for disaster rescue, remote monitoring and space exploration, developed from the research at the BEST Lab or Berkeley Emergent Space Tensegrities Lab. Prof. Alice Agogino is the Roscoe and Elizabeth Hughes Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Product Design Concentration Founder and Head Advisor, MEng Program at the University of California, Berkeley, and has a long history of combining research, entrepreneurship and inclusion in engineering. Agogino won the AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award in 2012 and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in 2018.
CEO & CoFounder – Daughters of Rosies
While working at Otherlab, Danielle Applestone developed the Other Machine, a desktop CNC machine and machine control software suitable for students, and funded by DARPA. The company is now known as Bantam Tools, and was acquired by Bre Pettis. Currently, Applestone is CEO and CoFounder of Daughters of Rosie, on a mission to solve the labor shortage in the U.S. manufacturing industry by getting more women into stable manufacturing jobs with purpose, growth potential, and benefits.
Professor and Billie J. Ball Endowed Professorship in Engineering – Mississippi State University
Prof. Cindy Bethel’s research at MSU ranges from designing social robots for trauma victims to mobile robots for law enforcement and first responders. She focuses on human-robot interaction, human-computer interaction and interface design, robotics, affective computing, and cognitive science. Bethel was a NSF Computing Innovation Postdoctoral Research Fellow (CIFellow) at Yale University, is the Billie J. Ball Endowed Professorship of Engineering, the Director of the Social, Therapeutic, and Robotic Systems (STaRS) Lab, and is the 2019 U.S. – Australian Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Co-Founder & Chief Entrepreneurship Officer – WeRobotics
Sonja Betschart is the Co-Founder and Chief Entrepreneurship Officer of WeRobotics, a US/Swiss based non-profit organization that addresses the Digital Divide through local capacity and inclusive participation in the application of emerging technologies in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Oceania. Betschart is a passionate “”Tech for Good”” entrepreneur with a longstanding career in SME’s, multinationals and start-ups, including in the drone industry and for digital transformation initiatives. She holds Master degrees both in Marketing and SME Management and has been voted as one of Switzerlands’ Digital Shapers in 2018.
General Secretary – International Federation of Robotics (IFR)
Dr. Susanne Bieller is General Secretary, of The International Federation of Robotics (IFR), a non-profit organization representing more than 50 manufacturers of industrial robots and national robot associations from over twenty countries. Before then, Dr Bieller was project manager of the European Robotics Association EUnited Robotics. After completing her PhD in Chemistry, she began her professional career at the European Commission in Brussels, then managed the flat-panel display group at the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) in Frankfurt.
Managing Partner – MiLA Capital
Noramay Cadena is an engineer, entrepreneur, investor, and former nonprofit leader. She’s the Cofounder and Managing Director of Make in LA, an early stage hardware accelerator and venture fund in Los Angeles. Since launching in 2015, Make in LA’s venture fund has invested over a million dollars in seed stage companies who have have collectively raised over 25 million dollars and created jobs across the United States and in several other countries. Previously Cadena worked in aerospace with The Boeing Company, and cofounded the Latinas in STEM Foundation in 2013 to inspire and empower Latinas to pursue and thrive in STEM fields.
Principal Researcher – ATONATON
Madeline Gannon is a multidisciplinary designer inventing better ways to communicate with machines. Her recent works taming giant industrial robots focus on developing new frontiers in human-robot relations. Her interactive installation, Mimus, was awarded a 2017 Ars Electronica STARTS Prize Honorable Mention. She was also named a 2017/2018 World Economic Forum Cultural Leader. She holds a PhD in Computational Design from Carnegie Mellon University, where she explored human-centered interfaces for autonomous fabrication machines. She also holds a Masters in Architecture from Florida International University.
|Colombia Girl Powered Program
Girl Powered – VEX
The Girl Powered Program is a recent initiative from VEX and the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, showcasing examples of how women can change the world, providing tools to enable girls to succeed, and providing safe spaces for them to do it in. Girl Powered focuses on supporting diverse creative teams, building inclusive environments, and redefining what a roboticist looks like.
Co-Lead, DeepMind Ethics and Society – DeepMind
Verity Harding is Co-Lead of DeepMind Ethics & Society, a research unit established to explore the real-world impacts of artificial intelligence. The unit has a dual aim: to help technologists put ethics into practice, and to help society anticipate and direct the impact of AI so that it works for the benefit of all. Prior to this Verity was Head of Security Policy for Google in Europe, and previously the Special Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Sir Nick Clegg MP, with responsibility for Home Affairs and Justice. She is a graduate of Pembroke College, Oxford University, and was a Michael Von Clemm Fellow at Harvard University. In her spare time, Verity sits on the Board of the Friends of the Royal Academy of Arts.
Nora Harding Professor – Rice University
Prof. Lydia Kavraki is known for her pioneering works concerning paths for robots, reflected in her influential book Principles of Robot Motion. A professor of Computer Science and Bioengineering at Rice University, she is the developer of Probabilistic Roadmap Method (PRM), a system that uses randomizing and sampling-based motion planners to keep robots from crashing. She’s also the recipient of numerous accolades, including an ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, an NSF CAREER Award, a Sloan Fellowship and the ACM Athena Award in 2017/2018.
Professor – Monash University
Prof. Dana Kulić develops autonomous systems that can operate in concert with humans, using natural and intuitive interaction strategies while learning from user feedback to improve and individualise operation over long-term use. She serves as the Global Innovation Research Visiting Professor at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, and the August-Wilhelm Scheer Visiting Professor at the Technical University of Munich. Before coming to Monash, she established the Adaptive Systems Lab at the University of Waterloo, and collaborated with colleagues to establish Waterloo as one of Canada’s leading research centers in robotics.
President – Didi Chuxing
Jean Liu runs the largest mobility company in China, rapidly innovating in the smart cityscape. A native of China, Liu, 40, studied at Peking University and earned a master’s degree in computer science at Harvard. After a decade at Goldman Sachs, Liu joined Didi in 2014 as chief operating officer. During Liu’s tenure, Didi secured investments from all three of China’s largest internet service companies — Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. It also bought Uber’s China operations in China and has announced a joint venture with the Japan’s Softbank. Liu is outspoken about the need for inclusion and women’s empowerment, also the role of technology in creating a better society.
Professor at the AASS Research Center, Department of Science and Technology – Örebro University
Professor – University of Toronto
Community Innovation Manager – REC Foundation
Assistant Professor – Singapore University of Technology
|Cristina Olaverri Monreal
BMVIT Endowed Professorship and Chair for Sustainable Transport Logistics 4.0 – Johannes Kepler University
Program Director – Menzies Health Institute
Project Professor and Director of Cognitive Developmental Robotics Lab – University of Tokyo
Robotics Trainer – TechieGeeks
SLAM Algorithm Engineer – Indoor Robotics
Founder & CEO YouCode
Assistant Professor – University of Cambridge
Director, Emerging Capabilities & Prototyping Initiatives & Analysis Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense
Engineer – Naval Research Laboratory
Specialist in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics – Professor Machine Learning & Data Science
Associate Professor – Indiana University Bloomington
Cofounder and CTO – Canvas
Head of People and Culture – Vicarious Surgical
Community & Partnership – Auterion
Want to keep reading? There are 150 more stories on our 2013 to 2018 lists. Why not nominate someone for inclusion next year! Want to show your support in another fashion? Join the fashionistas with your very own #womeninrobotics tshirt, scarf or mug.
And we encourage #womeninrobotics and women who’d like to work in robotics to join our professional network at https://womeninrobotics.org