Vecna Robotics Named SWE WE Local 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Partner Award Winner

Vecna Robotics has been named the recipient of The Society of Women Engineers WE Local 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Partner Award. For more than six decades, SWE has given women engineers a unique place and voice within the engineering industry. The SWE strives to advance and honor the contributions of women at all stages of their careers as well as recognize the successes of SWE members and individuals who enhance the engineering profession through contributions to industry, education and the community. WE Local Awards provide additional opportunities to recognize outstanding SWE members, SWE groups and individuals.

The Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Partner Award recognizes groups that promote diversity and inclusion and show commitment to SWE and/or SWE’s mission and goals. Vecna Robotics has received the SWE WE Local 2021 Award  based on the following qualifications.

  • Have made significant impacts in the acceptance and advancement of women and those who identify as women / female and in the promotion of diversity and inclusion in engineering or an engineering-related field.
  • Have developed or contributed programs to promote, advance, and encourage women in STEM related fields.
  • Exhibit strong ties to SWE and SWE’s mission, including SWE membership.
  • A small company with 500 or fewer employees.

Vecna Robotics was named the winner of the SWE WE Local 2021 Award for both internal and external efforts which support diversity and inclusion. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee at Vecna Robotics aims to: create internal awareness of the unique qualities contributed by each member of the team; ensure a diverse candidate pool and equitable hiring and internal application processes; promote inclusiveness and diversity in STEM for the communities we live and deploy robots in through education and community service; and ensure the accessibility of our internal tools and solutions to all that use them. Vecna Robotics has also hosted events for Women in Robotics. Women in Robotics is a professional network for women who who work in or aspire to work in the robotics industry.


Read more about Vecna Robotics events with Women in Robotics:

Bridging the Gap: Robotics in Industry and Academia with Daniela Rus and Clara Vu 


Read about other awards Vecna Robotics has received:

MassTLC names Vecna Robotics to Tech Top 50 Awards 

Vecna Robotics named as Best Overall Robotics Company by the AI Breakthrough Awards for AI Orchestration Engine

Vecna Robotics Named a BostInno ‘Inno on Fire’ Innovation Award Winner 


Cleantech Group Names Vecna Robotics to 2021 Global Cleantech 100 List

From Chaos to Transformation: Cleantech Group Announces 2021 Global Cleantech 100 list of Companies Committed to Delivering the Future and Vecna Robotics is Honored to be Selected


Waltham, MA – 15 December 2020, Vecna Robotics:

Out of thousands of innovators from across the globe, Vecna Robotics, the autonomous mobile robot and workflow orchestration company, was named a 2021 Global Cleantech 100 Company by Cleantech Group. Delivering solutions that will take us from climate chaos to transformation, the 100 companies on the list represent the private, independent and for-profit companies best positioned to contribute to a more digitized, de-carbonized and resource-efficient future. This is the 12th edition of the widely respected annual guide. This year’s list includes innovators from 15 countries, with just over half located in the US and the rest hailing from Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. The sectors covered include: Agriculture & Food, Enabling Technologies, Energy & Power, Materials & Chemicals, Transportation & Logistics and Resources & Environment.

The Global Cleantech 100 list combines Cleantech Group’s research data with qualitative judgements from nominations and insight from a global, 91-member Expert Panel of leading investors and executives from corporations and industrials active in technology and innovation scouting. From pioneers and veterans to new entrants, the Expert Panel broadly represents the global cleantech community and results in a list with a powerful base of respect and support from many important players within the cleantech innovation ecosystem.

The Global Cleantech 100 program continues to be sponsored by Chubb, the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company.

“We are delighted to welcome 50 companies for their first time on this year’s new Global Cleantech 100. This replacement rate speaks to the healthy maturing of this innovation ecosystem and to some specific impacts of Covid-19,” said Richard Youngman, CEO, Cleantech Group. “On the one hand, the 2021 list reflects the long-running mega-trends like decarbonization, digitization, electrification, and the ever-increasing volumes of deployed renewable energy. On the other, Covid-19’s impact is evident – for example, in the uptick in automation and robotics-enabled solutions, in logistics and supply chain solutions, and solutions in the food chain to prevent, reduce and repurpose food waste. Resilience is a new critical factor at play.”

Read about other awards Vecna Robotics has received:

MassTLC names Vecna Robotics to Tech Top 50 Awards 

Vecna Robotics named as Best Overall Robotics Company by the AI Breakthrough Awards for AI Orchestration Engine

Vecna Robotics Named a BostInno ‘Inno on Fire’ Innovation Award Winner 

MassTLC names Vecna Robotics to Tech Top 50 Awards

MassTLC – Top Tech 50 Awards – Vecna Robotics received two nominations for MassTLC’s Tech Top 50 program in the Business Accomplishment category and the Company Culture category!

Vecna Robotics Tech Top

The Tech Top 50 program aims to recognize the people, products, and companies that have made an impact this year. 2020 has been an unpredictable year full of ups and downs. Through a time of unknowns, one thing has remained consistent, and that is the power of the MA tech community. MassTLC recognizes 50 leaders across 5 categories for the Tech Top 50 awards.


See more on MassTLC’s website here.

Vecna Robotics’ Nomination for Business Accomplishment – Vecna Robotics is a Waltham-based autonomous mobile robot (AMR) and workflow orchestration company. Leading organizations in distribution, warehousing and manufacturing rely on Vecna Robotics’ AMRs and AI-orchestration system, Pivotal, to streamline their materials handling and logistics operations. The company’s technology has been crucial to its customers’ success and survival in the wake of COVID-19. 

Vecna Robotics has had a number of accomplishments this year, including:

  • A successful funding roundIn January, Vecna Robotics raised $50 million in Series B funding. 
  • Appointed industry experts to key leadership roles.  
  • Expanded capabilities. Vecna Robotics launched a Quick Start Program to enable organizations to quickly and safely leverage the power of its AMRs. The Quick Start Program is part of the company’s remote deployment capabilities and adheres to social distancing mandates, empowering organizations to utilize the resources of fully operational AMRs within four weeks of order date without any in-person interaction. 
  • Responded to the COVID-19 crisis. The Vecna family of companies – including Vecna Healthcare, Vecna Robotics, and nonprofit arm VecnaCares – teamed up with MIT CSAIL, 10XBeta, and others to develop and bring to market an automated manual resuscitator for use in emergency overflow. The device, called Ventiv, is an automated manual resuscitator compressor. 
  • Extended corporate partnerships. Earlier this year, Vecna Robotics expanded its partnership with UniCarriers® Americas, part of the Mitsubishi Logisnext family companies – the third largest forklift manufacturer in the world. Through this partnership, UniCarriers manufactures and promotes its best-in-class pallet jacks running Vecna Robotics’ Pivotal automation software. This partnership helped grow Vecna Robotics, enabling them to reach and meet the increasing demand for warehouse automation solutions. In addition, Vecna Robotics forged a partnership with SVT Robotics for creating greater ease in integration with legacy systems, and Softeon, one of the world’s largest WMS providers.  
  • Launched a Diversity & Inclusion Committee. The committee aims to create internal awareness of the unique qualities contributed by each member of its team; promote inclusiveness and diversity in STEM for local communities; deploy robots through education and community service; and ensure the accessibility of Vecna Robotics’ internal tools and solutions to all that use them. 
  • Supported Women in Robotics. Hosted the inaugural Women in Robotics – Boston panel. 
  • Received industry recognition. Vecna Robotics has also received numerous industry accolades this year for its innovative solutions and partnerships: 


Vecna Robotics Unveils Next-Generation Autonomous Counterbalanced Fork Truck

High-Capacity AMR Company Expands Product Line to Address End-to-End Automation Needs for Warehousing Organizations

Autonomous Counterbalanced Fork Truck

The Silverback Series includes lift up to 72″ and empty pallet handling

Waltham, MA — December 9, 2020 — Vecna Robotics, the autonomous mobile robot and workflow orchestration company, today unveiled its autonomous counterbalanced fork truck, a highly versatile, safe, intelligent and integrated pallet-handling solution. The first in the company’s Silverback Series of counterbalanced fork trucks, this next-generation AMR offers vertical lift of up to 72” to help distribution, warehousing, and manufacturing organizations move a wider range of payloads and pallet types, lift inventory to and from equipment, and seamlessly work alongside other materials handling vehicles and human workers to improve efficiency and throughput.

The autonomous mobile robot (AMR) segment is expected to reach $6.8 billion by 2025, according to Frost & Sullivan. The demand is generated from warehouse operators who need flexible automation systems and solutions that allow them to easily and intelligently move pallets at varying heights, weights, and sizes throughout a facility.

The autonomous counterbalanced fork truck is the next-generation of pallet handling designed for seamless greater maneuverability versatility and intelligent operational efficiency for organizations. Our new autonomous counterbalanced fork truck allows customers to automate entire workflow processes from end-to-end. This is the future of robot automation and we’re excited to be the trailblazer.”

Maximum Throughput, Safety and Control for Warehousing and Distribution

Vecna Robotics’ Autonomous Counterbalanced Fork Truck is a fully integrated solution that works alongside human operators for improved productivity in dynamic industrial environments. The autonomous counterbalanced fork truck includes dynamic obstacle avoidance to navigate warehouses easily and safely and is compliant with industry regulations such as the ANSI B56.5-2019.

The Autonomous Fork Truck delivers powerful applications that streamline materials handling and logistics operations, including:

  • Flexible Pallet Handling: Supports pallets of varying sizes and weights, including empty, partial, full, irregular, and double-stacked, with and without bottom boards
  • Warehouse Material Hauling: Moves pallets floor-to-floor in a facility, including delivering pallets to staging locations within aisles
  • Induction, Extraction, and Sortation: Hands off pallets to and from material handling equipment like conveyors, carts and wrappers
  • Opportunistic Material Handling: Transports empty pallets, dunnage, or trash on an as-needed basis

The new solution also leverages Vecna Robotics’ orchestration engine Pivotal™, which analyzes an organization’s operations and adjusts processes accordingly, ensuring every facet performs optimally in real-time. Pivotal shares information across people, robots and systems, and integrates with existing warehouse management solutions.

Vecna Robotics’ autonomous counterbalanced fork truck is available now. For more information on the company’s Silverback Series, click here.

Work-Life Balance of Women in Business During Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted and affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Many of us now have new challenges that come with working from home, homeschooling, and sheltering in place. Kay Perkinson, Chief of Staff at Vecna Robotics shared with Karina Michel Feld of Authority Magazine how she tackles the extreme work-life balance of woman in business during Covid-19.

Kay Perkinson, Chief of Staff  at Vecna Robotics  

In her interview Kay discusses the many challenges of balancing work and home life and how she manages the added stress of a global pandemic. Throughout the interview Kay reveals some of the powerful advice that has guided her to success and her tips on how to stay positive during uncertain times.

“My kids have really helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. They’re beautifully naïve and don’t carry the stress of the situation, which has provided needed perspective.”

“Additionally, when I wake up each morning, I try to think of all the things for which I’m grateful. I suggest others do this too. It’s a reminder that, more often than not, the positives outweigh the negatives.”

In her role Kay is responsible for organizing and aligning strategic priorities with members of the senior leadership team, designing and facilitating cross-company process and communications, and supporting the CEO on strategic initiatives. Kay has held a variety of non-technical roles across various industries, including solar technology, healthcare, and finance. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Science form Northwestern University, where she played center midfield on the Division I Varsity women’s Soccer team. Kay lives with her husband, Jim, and Engineering Manager at Boeing, and children, Ashton (17), Logan (4), Evan (3) and Benjamin (2), at their family home in Massachusetts.

Read the full interview with Kay Perkinson here:

Vecna Robotics has adapted to working effectively and safely throughout Covid -19. Read more about our efforts below.

  1. Maintaining Safety, Camaraderie, and High Spirits at Vecna Robotics During Social Distancing 
  2. Robotics Firms Lead the way in Reopening Offices 
  3. New Rules for Leading Teams in the COVID Era and Team Communication

Innovating with Scott Amyx Featuring CEO of Vecna Robotics Daniel Theobald

Innovating with Scott Amyx – Interview with CEO of Vecna Robotics, Daniel Theobald – Daniel Theobald, CEO and Founder of Vecna Robotics, is a leader in autonomous material handling solutions. Vecna Robotics is a Series B startup and has raised a total of $63.5M.

Daniel has decades of experience leading research scientists and teams of engineers in developing cutting-edge robotics technology. He has 67 issues patents and more than 30 patents pending. Additionally, in 2014 he co-founded MassRobotics, a non-profit dedicated to the global advancement of the robotics industry. Daniel is dedicated to the idea that technology can be used to improve life for everyone on the planet.

Listen to the interview above to learn more about:

  • The challenges of manufacturing safe and effective robotics
  • How autonomous solutions are increasing efficiency across industries
  • The benefits of investing in technology that improves over time

Watch the full interview above or here.

Astor Perkins Defense Panel Recording: All Things Space and Survival

Vecna Robotics Daniel Theobald

Astor Perkins Defense Panel – All Things Space and Survival Investor Roundtable – Hear more on how the next era of military superiority will be invisible. The competitive edge to ensure superiority vis-a-vis hostile state actors are no longer only naval fleet, air force or ground tactical assets. It has become a race for superiority in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics, autonomy and data analytics.

In extreme conditions such as space and defense, this blend of human and artificial computation and coordination become paramount for survival.

CEO & Founder of Vecna Robotics, Daniel Theobald, was featured in this Defense Panel. Daniel is a leader in autonomous material handling solutions. He has decades of experience leading research scientists and teams of engineers in developing cutting-edge robotics technology. Daniel has 67 issued patents and more than 30 patents pending. He is also the co-founder of MassRobotics, a non-profit dedicated to the global advancement of the robotics industry.

Listen to the full recording above or here.

Emerging Tech Brew: Autonomous Vehicles, Robotic Arms, and More at FedEx

Emerging Tech Brew – Online shopping to fill the void? You’re not alone: The average consumer spent $254 on impulse buys in the past month.

And since there are only a handful of companies responsible for getting yet another pair of sweatpants from your phone screen to your door, the pressure is on ahead of what’s projected to be one of the largest-ever holiday shopping seasons.

Vecna Robotics’ Autonomous Tugger

On Thursday, FedEx detailed its tech game plan for getting through it.

Autonomous vehicles: FedEx Ground is testing out autonomous vehicles to help move trailers from loading docks. FedEx told us it’s also invested in ~5x more of Vecna Robotics’s autonomous “tuggers,” which use sensors to navigate and move bulky packages between loading spots.

Looking ahead: If you thought we were already in an industrial robotics boom…just wait.

See more of FedEx’s plan through Hayden Fields’ full article here.

Vecna Robotics Headquarters Turns to 100% Renewable Energy

Vecna Robotics – Giving back and going green is part of the culture at Vecna Robotics. One of the more recent activities Vecna Robotics is focusing on, is making the switch to 100% renewable energy. The company’s Mass Save energy assessment audit found that the office building was fully up to code with the most efficient lighting and utilities. Parts of the audit that were well above average included the Vecna Robotics rooftop HVAC units and electric vehicle charging stations.

beaver brook waltham

Team members taking in a fall day at Beaver Brook Reservation, Waltham.

Some other employee-led initiatives include in-office composting, eliminating the use of K-cups, switching to compostable cutlery and cups, and adding car charging stations in the parking lot, as well as food drives, electronics drive, blood drives, and trash pickup in nearby Beaver Brook Reservation. Vecna Robotics also provides full reimbursement for all zones of commuter rail transit, and pre-pay passes for busses and the subway to encourage carpooling and reducing car emissions.

Many employees are encouraged to engage in environmentally conscious behaviors outside of the workplace as well. Michael Bearman, Chief Legal Officer of Vecna Robotics shares,

“Personally, I also have solar panels, bike to work, and recycle my food waste through my 9 chickens!   It is sometimes surprising how small changes can make a big impact on our environment.”

See more of Vecna Robotics’ community service efforts here.

The Shifting Nature of Big Retail’s Investment in Robotics

Forbes – Tom Taulli – Walmart has been investing heavily in robots, such as for cleaning floors. But the company’s efforts have not been without their challenges.

“Workers can perform a multitude of different tasks,” said Meghan Huber, who is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Director of the Human-Robot Systems Laboratory at UMass Amherst. “They can move from the cash register to the stockroom to the sales floor as needed. The functionality of most commercial robots, however, is limited and inflexible. In Walmart’s case, a human worker can check shelf inventory levels and help a customer find an item, whereas the robot could only do the former.”

Even though robots have been shown to be useful for commercial purposes since the 1960s, the focus has generally been on the factory floors for automakers. There has also been lots of traction for ecommerce warehouses during the past decade.

vecna robotics daniel theobald

Daniel Theobald, CEO & Founder of Vecna Robotics

But the use of robots for other applications and industries has proven more difficult.

“In many ways, robots are the most difficult thing the human race has ever done,” said Daniel Theobald, who is the founder and CEO of Vecna Robotics. “Learning is a process of determining what is hard versus what is easy given a new tool, and you often don’t learn that until you try. Adoption will occur in the places that robots provide the most value—and in other cases, it may take longer. Take for instance, the self-driving car market. Many people predicted massive adoption of self-driving cars by now. However, that industry has been learning that it’s cost prohibitive to do that job safely compared to human drivers. There will be specific instances where on-highway self-driving technology makes sense–that is, trucking—but maybe not so much for other things like self-driving taxis in the short term.”

Read more on the investment of robotics and challenges in the industry with adopting new technologies in the full article here.