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Daniela Rus is the Director of CSAIL at MIT. She serves as the Director of the Toyota-CSAIL Joint Research Center and is a member of the science advisory board of the Toyota Research Institute. Rus’s research interests are in robotics and artificial intelligence. The recipient of the 2017 Engelberger Robotics Award from the Robotics Industries Association, she is also a Class of 2002 MacArthur Fellow, a fellow of ACM, AAAI and IEEE, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Daniela earned her PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University.
Erica first joined the ROBO Global team as a content marketing specialist in 2014 and currently serves as the firm’s content manager. She manages the creative content, social media, and marketing strategies that lie at the convergence of investing and robotics. Erica graduated from High Point University as a Presidential Scholar with a BA in Journalism and has had bylines in both print and digital media. Prior to ROBO, Erica dedicated three years to editorial, research, and social media internships.
Dr. Henrik I. Christensen is the Qualcomm Chancellor’s Chair of Robot Systems and a Professor of Computer Science at Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering UC San Diego and director of the Institute for Contextual Robotics. He was also the founding director of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent machines (IRIM) at Georgia Institute of Technology (2006-2016). He performs research on systems integration, human-robot interaction, mapping and robot vision at the Cognitive Robotics Laboratory and has published more than 350 contributions across AI, robotics and vision. Actively engaged in the setup and coordination of global robotics research, Henrik collaborates with institutions and industries across three continents with an emphasis on solving “real problems with real solutions.” In 2011, he received the Engelberger Award, the highest honor awarded by the robotics industry, and was named the “Boeing Supplier of the Year.” He is a fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).
Illah R. Nourbakhsh is Professor of Robotics, Director of the Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment (CREATE) lab and Associate Director for robotics faculty at Carnegie Mellon University. He has served as Robotics Group lead at NASA/Ames Research Center, and he was a founder and chief scientist of Blue Pumpkin Software, Inc. His current research projects explore community-based robotics, including educational and social robotics and ways to use robotic technology to empower individuals and communities. The CEO and Chairman of Airviz, Inc., Illah is a World Economic Forum Global Steward, a member of the Global Future Council on the Future of AI and Robotics, and a member of the IEEE Global Initiative for the Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems. He also serves on the Global Innovation Council of the Varkey Foundation and is a Senior Advisor to The Future Society, Harvard Kennedy School. Illah earned his BS, MA, and PhD degrees in computer science from Stanford University and is a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. He is an active member of the ROBO Global Strategic Advisory Board.
Jeremie Capron joined ROBO Global in 2017 with more than ten years of experience as an equity research analyst in Asia, Europe, and the United States, with a focus on industrial technology. Most recently, Jeremie led CLSA’s industrial research out of New York. For the prior seven years he served as a Senior Research Analyst with CLSA in Singapore and Japan, receiving a No.1 stock picker award from Nikkei/Starmine and ranking No.1 for Japan Materials Research in Asiamoney Brokers’ Poll for three consecutive years. Earlier in his career, he was a project manager with Veolia Environment in Europe and Asia. Jeremie is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder, holds a Master’s Degree in Science and Executive Engineering from the École des Mines de Paris, and holds FINRA series 7, 63, 87 licenses. He is fluent in French and Japanese.
Ken Goldberg is a Professor and Chair of the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department at UC Berkeley, and he has secondary appointments in EECS, Art Practice at the School of Information, and in Radiation Oncology at the UCSF Medical School. He is also the Director of the CITRIS “People and Robots” Initiative and the UC Berkeley AUTOLAB where he and his students pursue research in geometric algorithms and machine learning for robotics and automation in surgery, manufacturing, and other applications. Ken has more than 250 peer-reviewed publications and 8 US Patents. He co-founded and served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering. Ken was awarded the NSF PECASE (Presidential Faculty Fellowship) from President Bill Clinton in 1995, elected IEEE Fellow in 2005, and selected by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society for the George Saridis Leadership Award in 2016. Ken is an active member of the ROBO Global Strategic Advisory Board.
Lisa Chai brings more than 17 years of experience investing in disruptive technology companies to her role as ROBO Global’s Senior Research Analyst. Prior to joining ROBO Global, Lisa was a corporate strategy consultant at Bluemont Partners where she worked with emerging growth technology companies. She also spent 10 years at Palisade Capital Management and AG Asset Management (a subsidiary of Angelo, Gordon & Co.) where she was a sector head of technology investing in the semiconductor, software, and Internet industries. Earlier in her career, she served as a Research Analyst/Portfolio Manager at Tavistock Group and Ridgecrest Partners, a hedge fund focused on the technology and telecom sectors. Lisa is currently a member of the Empire Angels, a professional angel group investing in early stage technology ventures with a strong focus in Internet, fintech, and enterprise software. She is also a Strategic Advisor to MState.io, a Blockchain growth lab backed by Comcast Ventures, IBM and Boldstart Ventures, focused on scaling the most promising blockchain companies globally for the Enterprise sector. She graduated from Boston University Questrom School of Business.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Duke University and studying Mandarin at Nanjing University, Louis joined the French Army where he served as a second lieutenant in a mountain infantry battalion. After leaving the army, he worked as a financial analyst with Paribas in Paris and Hong Kong. He then launched GaveKal Research with Charles Gave and Anatole Kaletsky in London in 1999. Since 2002, Louis-Vincent has been based in Hong Kong where he oversees GaveKal’s money management business and contributes to the firm’s research. He is the author of five books, including his latest, Too Different for Comfort, that explores the impact of robotics on the world around us.
Nina Deka brings nearly two decades of healthcare industry and investment research experience to the ROBO Global research team. Before joining ROBO Global in 2019, Nina spent six years as a research analyst on the sell-side at Piper Jaffray where she covered healthcare IT and services, focusing on themes such as telehealth and data analytics. Prior to transitioning to financial services, Nina spent 13+ years in the healthcare sector. More recently, she was a sales consultant at Becton Dickinson, where she helped some of the nation’s largest health systems improve patient outcomes and efficiency, while increasing sales for BD devices. She worked at Cardinal Health in its Financial Development Program, and held positions that spanned sales, corporate finance, and post-merger integration across Cardinal’s global manufacturing and distribution businesses. Nina received her BBA in Finance from the University of Iowa and an MBA from Cornell University. She also holds FINRA licenses series 7, 63, 86, and 87.
Raffaello D’Andrea is the founder and CEO of Verity, the world’s leading autonomous indoor drone company, and a professor at ETH Zürich. In 2003, he co-founded Kiva Systems, which was later acquired by Amazon and rebranded as Amazon Robotics. During his time as a professor at Cornell University, he co-founded the systems engineering program and led the Cornell Robot Soccer team to four world championships. Raffaello’s work as a new media artist has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale and is part of the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada and France’s FRAC Centre. With his team at Verity, he created the drone design and choreography for Cirque Du Soleil’s Paramour on Broadway, Metallica’s WorldWired Tour, and Céline Dion’s Courage Tour. In 2020, he was inducted in the National Inventors Hall of Fame and elected to the National Academy of Engineering. His TED and research videos, with tens of millions of views, offer an inspiring view into the world of engineering, robotics, and computer science.
Richard Lightbound joined ROBO Global in 2014. In addition to managing daily operations in Europe and Asia, he is responsible for executing the firm’s global business strategy. Richard has worked for 15+ years within the financial services sector with Wells Fargo and Standard Chartered Bank in senior management positions with responsibility for Institutional and Corporate clients across Europe, MENA and Asia. He enjoyed a 7-year break from banking to join an early cloud computing company funded by Warburg Pincus (now part of Infor) where he launched and managed operations across Asia and Europe. A frequent speaker at Robotics & Automation conferences and events, he has lived and worked in Hong Kong, USA, Europe, and Sri Lanka.
Shachi Merchant brings his expertise in ETF sales, risk management, and financial planning to his role as ROBO Global’s Vice President, Index Specialist. He began his career at Charles Schwab & Co. working with high net-worth clients as an Investment Specialist where he helped grow assets from $3.65 trillion to over $6 trillion. Shachi currently holds a Series 7 & 63 and attended Texas State University’s McCoy Business School where he received his Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance. In his free time, Shachi enjoys hiking, swimming, and playing the piano.
Travis is CEO and Partner of ROBO Global. A veteran of the finance and wealth management industry, Travis is responsible for managing daily operations and executing the firm’s business strategy. Prior to joining ROBO Global in March 2014, Travis served as managing director at Smith Group Asset Management in Dallas, where he created and led the firm’s Private Client Group. Before joining Smith Group, Travis served as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Business Development at Dallas-based hedge-fund Discovery Management. Earlier in his career, Travis was the Director of Investor Relations at Triton Energy and worked as an analyst at Bank of America.
Bill Studebaker joined the ROBO Global team in 2015 after more than 20 years in capital markets and investment management. For more than a decade, he served as a portfolio manager at Apex Capital where he covered industrials and the economies of supply chain management. Earlier in his career, he held a number of positions at Merrill Lynch, including as a trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and as a director in institutional equity sales, and he was an analyst in the structured finance group of Cargill. Bill received his BA in Political Science and International Relations (double major) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Wyatt Newman’s is a leading researcher in the areas of mechatronics, robotics and computational intelligence, in which he has 12 patents and over 130 technical publications. After earning degrees from Harvard College, MIT and Columbia University, he was named an NSF Young Investigator in robotics, and subsequently was named a Herbold Fellow, a Tau Beta Pi “distinguished engineer,” a Woody-Flowers FIRST-robotics mentor awardee, and a CWRU awardee for teaching and for leadership. In 2007, he led “Team Case” in the DARPA Urban Challenge, involving autonomous vehicles operating among live and robotic traffic. In addition to visiting appointments at Sandia Labs, NASA, and Princeton, Wyatt has held international appointments at Philips (Eindhoven, The Netherlands), as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at U. Edinburgh, and The Hung Hing Ying Distinguished Visiting Professor at U. of Hong Kong. Prof. He is currently leading HKU’s team in the DARPA Robotics Challenge, involving humanoid robots for disaster response.
Zeno brings nearly a decade of experience in research, due diligence, growth strategy, and partnership development across enterprise SaaS, healthcare, artificial intelligence and blockchain. He currently resides in Palo Alto, California after living in New York City for seven years. Prior to ROBO Global, Zeno worked at Bluemont Partners as a Principal Consultant supporting clients across numerous industries and stages with fundraising, growth and partner strategy, research, due diligence and project management. Prior to Bluemont, Zeno worked in enterprise SaaS at Transperfect, the world’s largest provider of language and LegalTech services, and HighQ, a London-based enterprise collaboration SaaS company acquired by Thompson Reuters. In these roles he helped build out cross-selling capabilities, integrating new AI and security technologies, conducted go-to market research and strategy work, and honed product design for clients in private equity, venture capital and Fortune 500. Zeno started his career in Investor Relations and Portfolio Monitoring at Stepstone Group, a global private markets firm with over $100 billion in AUM covering venture capital, growth equity, real assets and large buyout strategies. Zeno graduated from the University of Tennessee Gary Rollins College of Business.