Autonomous Mobile Robots & Logistics Week Conference Speakers

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Mikell Taylor

Principal Technical Program Manager, Amazon Robotics

Mikell Taylor has spent two decades making useful robots - from a robotic senior prom date to autonomous underwater vehicles to cutting-edge industrial robotic systems. She is currently a Principal Technical Program Manager at Amazon Robotics, where she leads the Autonomous Mobility technology and product development program. She is passionate about building robots that are practical, reliable, and good partners for the people that work with and around them. In 2018 Mikell was part of Accomplice VC’s Rev4 class highlighting the top women in the Boston tech community, and recognized as a Woman to Watch by Mass High Tech in 2011. Outside of work she volunteers for various STEM outreach and education initiatives. She holds a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Olin College, where she was a member of the first class of graduates. 

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David Northup

Director of Product Management, OTTO Motors

David Northup has more than twenty years of experience in the robotics and automation industry, ranging from autonomous mobile robotics, machine vision, and autonomous vessels.  An early pioneer in the commercialization of AMR technologies for industrial use, Dave was part of the initial team at MobileRobots Inc. which first brought fully autonomous navigation to the mainstream market in the early 2000s. Dave also ran the North American division of Adimec for over seven years, producing mission-critical machine vision cameras for applications ranging from remotely operated submersibles to the space shuttle.  At OTTO Motors, Dave oversees the entire product development lifecycle for OTTO’s suite of AMRs. Dave holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Union College.

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Andreas Boedenauer

CEO, AGILOX North America

Andreas is a business development executive and global technology leader with more than 25 years of experience in the IT, telecommunications, electrical engineering, and factory automation sector. Combining an entrepreneurial vision with solid business skills has enabled Andreas to create effective and profitable solutions for companies across the globe. His core competence is understanding the demands of various cultural and contextual factors that impact international business. He successfully built his own telecommunications company from the ground up, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2004. Andreas has remained active in the high-tech sector, consulting for major international companies and clients around the world. In 2019, Andreas joined AGILOX North America, Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia, where he now serves as CEO. He believes AGILOX’s cutting-edge AMR technology is the future, and that future is here.

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Tim DeRosett

Product Director, PreciseFlex, Brooks Automation

Tim DeRosett is the Director of Product at Brooks Automation, where he leads product strategy and product management for the PreciseFlex Collaborative Robots business. 

Tim has 20+ years of experience bringing advanced technology solutions to manufacturing. Prior to joining Brooks, Tim served as Dir of Product Management at Jabil, VP of Industrial Automation at Aethon, Inc.; and was the co-founder of Blue Ocean Robotics, LLC; as well as the director of strategic initiatives at YASKAWA Motoman. He previously held several positions at Adept Technology. Tim has been advisor to startups, established companies and investors. Additionally, he served on the board of directors for the Robotics Industries Association (RIA).

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Ben Perlson

Senior Innovation Manager, DHL

Ben Works for DHL at the DHL’s Americas Innovation Center: a purpose-built platform to engage customers, startups, and industries on the future of logistics. Ben is the Robotics and Automation lead, focused on bringing the latest cutting-edge technology into DHL operations by working with startups and experienced vendors to identify the best way to bring new innovations and technology to fruition within DHL’s expansive network of operations.

Throughout Ben’s career, he has spent time working with industry leaders across many topics, including but not limited to, robotics, automation, 3D printing, Clen tech, and AI to support the ever changing dynamic and growing logistics environment.

Ben is based in Chicago and has a bachelors and masters in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Iowa.

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Laura Wasson

Senior Manager, Automation & Robotics, P&G

Laura Wasson has a decade of experience in industrial automation and robotics and is the Robotics AMR Innovation and Technology Leader across Global Engineering for Procter & Gamble. After graduating from Miami University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, she pursued master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Cincinnati and business administration from Xavier University. Laura was a recipient of the Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Emerging Leader award and is a member of Miami University’s Robotics Taskforce.

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Walter Buga

CEO, Arendai

Dr. Walter J. Buga is a serial entrepreneur and strategic thinker with extensive knowledge of high-tech markets, products, and technologies. He is a telecommunications subject matter expert in both wired and wireless networks and technologies, who has designed large-scale systems that have been deployed throughout the world. His new experiences and passions are autonomous and connected vehicles and systems, industrial IoT, robotics, drones and Artificial Intelligence.  Walter is the CEO and founder of Arendai Inc, a San Diego based start-up focusing on the orchestration and automation of logistics centers.   Dr. Buga was a founder and CEO of Arynga Inc (based in San Diego), and Chairman of Arynga Poland sp. z.o,o. (based in Lodz, Poland).Walter started Arynga in April 2012 and sold it to Intel Corporation on April 4, 2016.  Walter co-founded Proximetry, Inc., in 2005 and served as its Chief Technology Officer. Proximetry was acquired by relayr, the global Enterprise Internet-of-Things (IoT) platform provider (  Dr. Buga held senior management and leadership positions at Bell Laboratories of AT&T and Lucent Technologies, in Holmdel, New Jersey.  Walter holds BS/MSEE and PhD in Technical Sciences from the Technical University of Wroclaw, Poland. 

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Firdaus Pohowalla

Managing Director, Cascadia Capital

Firdaus is a Managing Director of Cascadia Capital and co-leads the firm's Robotics, Automation and AI (RAAI) practice. He has worked in the intersection of finance and technology for over 25 years in both investment banking and strategy consulting and is passionate about the transformational power of automation and its potential impact on how we work and live. His focus is on supply chain / logistics technology, computer vision and industrial automation. Firdaus has a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College and an MBA from The Wharton School.

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Russell Toris

Director of Robotics Engineering, Zebra Technologies

Russell Toris is Director of Robotics Engineering at Zebra Technologies. His passion is bringing robots out of the lab and into the world to be used by everyday people. Throughout his career, Toris has built and distributed tools which enable researchers, developers, and end-users to interact with robots in an intuitive way using popular cloud and web-based technologies. His research in Learning from Demonstration, Cloud Robotics, and Mobile Manipulation has focused primarily on non-expert end-users which has helped Zebra Technologies bring robots into the workplace. Toris received his B.S. in Computer Science from Dickinson College and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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Kevin Blankespoor

Senior Vice President and General Manager of Warehouse Robotics, Boston Dynamics

Kevin Blankespoor is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Warehouse Robotics at Boston Dynamics. He led and contributed to the development of the BigDog, LS3, Atlas, Handle, and Stretch robots. Blankespoor’s Warehouse Robotics team is focused on building flexible, mobile robots capable of taking on all of the box handling tasks in warehouses and distribution centers. He also wrote the control software that first enabled Boston Dynamics’ legged robots to dynamically balance and walk outside in the real world. Blankespoor received his Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia, and his Master’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado.

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Trevor Barcelo

Vice President & General Manager, Industrial, Consumer and Energy Business, Cambridge Consultants

Trevor Barcelo works with clients to develop innovative products and provide business strategy around technology-critical issues. In addition to his experience leading multi-disciplinary engineering product development teams, Trevor uses his analytical, marketing and technology strategy skills to ensure projects deliver maximum impact for clients. His career includes integrated circuit design with a focus on battery technology, power management and sensing and signal conditioning across a range of end applications such as industrial, medical and consumer. Trevor holds an Executive MBA with Business Analytics Certificate from MIT, an MS (EE) from Stanford and a BA (Physics) from Harvard.

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Samir Menon

CEO, Dexterity

Samir Menon is a founder and CEO of Dexterity, Inc., a company focused on developing autonomous robots with human-like dexterity for applications in logistics, supply chain, and warehousing. Samir holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University, where he developed simulation models and control theory formulations to study the human musculoskeletal system. He is experienced in robot control, dynamics, modeling, simulation, and building robots and haptic interfaces. While at Stanford, he was awarded two Stanford School of Engineering fellowships and one Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship. Prior to that, Samir completed his Bachelors in Technology at the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, where he was awarded the university's merit scholarship. Samir was born and raised in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India, and currently resides in the Bay Area with his wife and two children.

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Carl Doeksen

Global Robotics / Automation Director, 3M

Global Robotics & Automation Director | 3M Carl Doeksen is the Global Robotics & Automation Director at 3M Austin, TX where he leads teams to accelerate full-robotic, and fixed automation, solutions for 3M’s industrial customers around the world. Prior to joining 3M, Carl spent 4 years at Honeywell’s Sensors & Signal Processing Laboratory. Carl  has a BS in Finance from the University of Minnesota, an MBA from the University of Minnesota, and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA) as well as a Certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt (DMAIC and DFSS).  He has held multiple International Leadership positions for 3M (UK, DE, CN) and has spent most of his career in international operations. He’s active in the Robotics Industry, serving on the Board of Directors of the Robotics Industry Association (RIA/A3) as well as the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) Marcom and Suppliers Committees. Carl and his wife Kelly have two young daughters and they currently live in Austin, TX.

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Denise Stafford

Business Development Manager, KUKA Robotics

Denise Stafford is a business development manager for KUKA Robotics, where she works with local sales and account management to provide customers within the North American market with innovative automation solutions utilizing human-robot collaboration and mobile robotics. 

Ms. Stafford has been with KUKA since 2008, supporting the company in a variety of key positions, including head of Service Robotics Research for KUKA Laboratories and as a key account manager. In her current position, she provides invaluable thought leadership for both KUKA and their customers on a wide range of topics, such as Industry 4.0, mobility, and human-robot collaboration.

Before coming to KUKA, Ms. Stafford was the patent coordinator for AKsys GmbH, where she was responsible for the set-up of the company’s patent department, ensuring that their processes and formulas were egally compliant. She also served as patent engineer for REINZ-Dichtungs-GmbH.

Ms. Stafford obtained a Master of Science degree in business administration and economics from the University of Hagen after completing her graduate studies in industrial engineering at the Ulm University of Applied Sciences. 

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Jason Walker

Vice President of Market Development, Locus Robotics

Jason Walker is the Vice President of Market Development at Locus Robotics. Before joining the Locus Robotics organization, Walker Co-founded Waypoint Robotics, which designs and manufactures easy to use, industrial-strength, omnidirectional autonomous mobile robots. Prior to founding Waypoint, Mr. Walker Co-founded CyPhy Works where he served as Lead Roboticist and Director of Operations while working on contacts for DARPA, NIST, and the National Science Foundation. Walker helped grow CyPhy Works into a leading tethered drone supplier in North America. Prior to CyPhy Works, he was the quality and testing manager for the Roomba vacuuming robot at iRobot. Walker received a BSEE with a concentration in Robotics and Control Systems from Kansas State University.

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Matthieu Ebert

Vice President, Wiferion North America inc.

Matthieu is the Vice President of the recently founded Wiferion us entity “Wiferion North America inc.” in Chicago. He has a strong engineering, R&D and product development background from his time at the German Fraunhofer research group and the Jetboard Startup Lampuga. He joined Wiferion to kick off the go to market phase in 2018 and since then successfully developed first the German and later the European market achieving yearly triple digit growth with the StartUp Wiferion. He has a deep understanding of the energy supply requirements of AMR’s and has helped multiple OEM’s to enhance there products and processes.

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Tom Ryden

Executive Director, MassRobotics

Thomas Ryden is the Executive Director of MassRobotics, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the robotics community and help grow the next generation of robotics and connected device companies. MassRobotics runs the world’s largest robotics and IoT focused co-working space.     Prior to joining MassRobotics, Mr. Ryden was the founder and CEO/COO of VGo Communications where he helped launch the VGo telepresence robot. Previously, Mr. Ryden was Director of Sales & Marketing for iRobot Corporation, overseeing the development of some of iRobot’s most successful products.  Mr. Ryden serves on the Tufts University Computer Science Advisory Board, the Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Robotics Engineering Advisory Board, the Mechatronics & Robotics Engineering (MRE) Education Advisory Board, and the Robotics Technical Advisory Panel for ASME.  He is an advisor to a number of robotics start-ups. Mr. Ryden has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Bentley University.

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Daniel Theobald

Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Vecna Robotics

Daniel Theobald is the Chief Innovation Officer and founder of Vecna Robotics, flexible, intelligent material handling automation company. Daniel has decades of experience leading research scientists and teams of engineers in developing cutting-edge technology. He has 67 issued patents and more than 30 patents pending. 

Daniel has been at the forefront of robotics for more than 20 years, working closely with DARPA, DOD, NASA, NIH, USDA, and many others to advance the use of robots and AI software to improve supply chain automation. In addition to founding Vecna Robotics, Daniel also 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 empower people worldwide to live more fulfilling lives. 

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Florian Pestoni

CEO & Co-founder, InOrbit

Florian is an accomplished business leader and author, with hands-on experience bringing innovative products to market. As InOrbit’s CEO and co-founder, Florian leads strategy, fundraising and go-to-market activities. He is passionate about raising awareness around the new category of RobOps, sharing his compelling vision for the evolution of robotics and the future of work. He is also a co-founder of the Robot Operations Group, a community-led organization of experts in scaling robot deployments. Florian is an investor, advisor, board member, and mentor to young startup founders. 

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Josh Cloer

Director of Sales, Mujin

Speaker biography coming soon. 

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Matt Charles

VP of Mobile Robotics, RoBEX

Matt is the Vice President of Mobile Robotics for RoBEX, a leading integrator of robotic material handling and AMR’s.  Throughout his 15+ year career in robotics, he has been fortunate to partner with many Fortune 500 companies to help them solve their labor, safety and efficiency challenges through automation solutions.  With regards to Mobile Robotics, Matt has been a part of some of the largest deployments of AMR Fleets in North America over the past 5 years.

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Jack Kaumo

VP of Sales, Formic

Jack is the VP of Sales at Formic where they pride themselves as being the lowest risk way to automate. Formic provides unlimited service and a contractual performance guarantee, using a very unique Robot as a Service model, offering best-in-class robotics and automated solutions for their clients. Jack has been in the Industrial Automation space for nearly 10 years, with time at The Raymond Corporation heading up their North American Automation and Technology team and at Seegrid heading up their Channel Team.

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Melonee Wise

VP Robotics Automation, Zebra Technologies

Melonee Wise is the Vice President of Robotics Automation at Zebra Technologies. Melonee joined Zebra through the acquisition of Fetch Robotics where she was the CEO. Melonee was the second employee at Willow Garage where she led a team of engineers developing next-generation robot hardware and software, including ROS, the PR2, and TurtleBot. Melonee serves as the Chair of the IFR Service Robot Group, as a robotics board member for A3, and on the MHI Roundtable Advisory Committee. Melonee has received the MIT Technology Review’s TR35 and has been named to the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Women of Influence and 40 Under 40, the Robotics Business Review RBR50, and as one of eight CEOs changing the way we work by Business Insider. 

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Pablo Molina

Chairman, CTO, VP of Product & Co-Founder, Avidbots

Pablo’s vision is to live in a world where robots and humans work together in everyday life. He has been building robots since the early days of his undergraduate program at the University of Waterloo. After graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechatronics Engineering (+Physics option), Pablo received his Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Carleton University (Space Robotics). He quickly applied his space robotics know-how working as an autonomous navigation designer at NepTec Design Group before co-founding Avidbots with Faizan Sheikh in 2014.

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Mark Joppru

VP of Sales, Americas, Mobile Industrial Robots INC

Mark Joppru has been named Vice President for the Americas market at MiR in 2022.

Mark had been with ABB since 2017.  He most recently led the Consumer Segment of Robotics in the US.  He was responsible for business leadership, sales and customer experience.  He previously led the ABB Motors and Mechanical sales team in the US for Baldor and Dodge bearings.  Prior to ABB he was in multiple sales leadership roles at Rockwell Automation for 25 years including Industry Sales Director for China, Latin America and Global Director of Automotive sales.