Robotics and AI Expert Brings Nearly Two Decades of Experience and Shared Vision for Improving Machine and Human Collaboration
Waltham, MA — July 1, 2020 — Vecna Robotics, the autonomous mobile robot and workflow orchestration company, today announced the appointment of Daniela Rus to its board of directors. With extensive experience in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and data science, Rus will provide deep technical knowledge and guidance to Vecna Robotics as the company accelerates the adoption of its world-class robotic platforms and orchestration software within the logistics market.
Rus is currently the director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She also serves on the board of MassRobotics alongside Vecna Robotics’ CEO, Daniel Theobald.
“As a firm believer in the collaboration between robots and humans for improved productivity and well-being, I’m excited to join the Vecna Robotics board as we work together to make this shared vision a reality across the world,” said Rus. “I’m also honored to be part of a company that supports an inclusive and diverse workforce. I look forward to working closely with Vecna Robotics on cultivating its extraordinary talent to continue fostering creativity and innovation.”
Rus also serves as the associate director of MIT’s Quest for Intelligence Core and as director of the Toyota-CSAIL Joint Research Center, focusing on the advancement of AI research and its applications to intelligent vehicles. Her research addresses the gaps between where robots are today and the promise of future pervasive robots. Rus’ work focuses on creating tools for designing and fabricating new robots quickly and efficiently, and increasing the ability of machines to reason, learn, and adapt to complex tasks in human-centered environments.
“We share Daniela’s vision that machines provide invaluable support to human workers,” said Daniel Theobald, founder and CEO, Vecna Robotics. “Her distinguished background in robotics and AI will be instrumental to our leadership team as we continue to deliver on our software vision and scale to meet the massive opportunity to serve our customers.”
Rus holds a doctorate in computer science from Cornell University and is a fellow of ACM, AAAI and IEEE. In 2017, she received the Engelberger Robotics Award from the Robotics Industries Association and was included in the Forbes “Incredible Women Advancing AI Research” list. In April 2020, the White House selected Rus to serve on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), a council that provides advice on topics critical to U.S. security and the economy, including policy recommendations on the future of work, American leadership in science and technology, and the support of U.S. research and development.
This announcement comes shortly after Vecna Robotics appointed Denis Lussault to oversee its autonomy division. The two experienced executives will help Vecna Robotics automate the material handlings and logistics operations for the world’s largest distribution, warehouse, and manufacturing organizations. Additionally, Rus and Lussault will provide invaluable support as Vecna Robotics further develops its AI orchestration engine Pivotal™, which integrates with existing warehouse management systems to maximize human and robot collaboration and increase productivity.
Welcome to the team, Daniela Rus! Read the full statement here.