Vecna Robotics today announced that it has appointed artificial intelligence and robotics expert Daniela Rus to its board of directors. She is currently the director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“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,” said Waltham, Mass.-based Vecna.
Rus a recognized AI researcher
Rus holds a doctorate in computer science from Cornell University. She is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
In 2017, Rus 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. The council is intended to provide 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.
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, said Vecna. Rus’ work focuses on creating tools for designing and fabricating new robots quickly and efficiently. It also focuses on increasing the ability of machines to reason, learn, and adapt to complex tasks in human-centered environments.
Continuing collaboration at Vecna
“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,” stated 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.”
She also serves on the board of MassRobotics alongside Daniel Theobald, founder and CEO of Vecna Robotics, which provides autonomous mobile robot hardware and software.
“We share Daniela’s vision that machines provide invaluable support to human workers,” said Theobald. “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.”
Vecna Robotics‘ latest announcement came shortly after it appointed Denis Lussault to oversee its autonomy division. The company said the two executives will help it automate the material handlings and logistics operations for the world’s largest distribution, warehouse, and manufacturing organizations.
In addition, Vecna said Rus and Lussault “will provide invaluable support” as it further develops its AI orchestration engine Pivotal AI orchestration engine. Pivotal is designed to integrate with existing warehouse management systems, maximize human and robot collaboration, and increase productivity. Vecna Robotics won a 2020 RBR50 innovation award for Pivotal.