S1E1 – Andrea Thomaz

Did you know nurses and doctors spend up to 30% of their days on nonclinical work? Clinical environments have a need for efficiency and automation technology to safely work around people in order to maintain exceptional standards of care and service. Diligent Robotics, cofounded by Andrea Thomaz and Vivian Chu, provides truly collaborative robots to work next to clinical teams. Moxi, an autonomous robot for hospital material handling applications, keeps clinical environments running by assisting with tasks ranging from running labs to picking up and delivering patient medication—all so medical personnel can focus on patient care.

In this episode of Crazy Hard Robots, Tom chats with Andrea Thomaz, a professor-turned-CEO and founder of Diligent Robotics.

Tune in as Andrea talks to Tom about:
  • The challenges of robots tackling unstructured environments
  • Teaching robots efficiently, with a little data as possible
  • Scheduling and automating clinical tasks with Moxi
  • How Diligent and Moxi found a niche within the clinical space
  • Moxi’s impact during the Covid-19 pandemic
About Andrea Thomaz
Andrea Thomaz is the CEO and co-founder of Diligent Robotics and a renowned social robotics expert. She’s been recognized by the National Academy of Science as a Kavli Fellow, the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Tech, MIT Technology Review’s Next Generation of 35 Innovators Under 35, Popular Science’s Brilliant 10 list, TEDx as a keynote speaker on social robotics, and Texas Monthly as a Most Powerful Texan of 2018. Andrea’s robots have been featured in the New York Times and on the covers of MIT Technology Review and Popular Science.

Her passion for social robotics began during her work at the MIT Media Lab, where she focused on using AI to develop machines that address everyday human needs. Andrea co-founded Diligent Robotics to pursue her vision of creating socially intelligent robot assistants that collaborate with humans and free up time for people to do the work they care most about. She holds a Ph.D. from MIT and B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UT Austin and is also a robotics professor at UT Austin.