S1E5 – Andra Keay

Robotics is reaching a turning point, with the potential to be beneficial to major organizations and be customizable for small operations and individuals. Robots will open doors to all the benefits of a large-scale operation, but in a small-scale size. Andra Keay dreams of this not-so-distant future each day, as a proponent for advancing robotics meaningfully for society.

Spoiler title
  • What it takes for a technology to scale, and how we determine where a technology will be good or bad for society
  • The importance of vision, contextual awareness, and dexterity to build smart robots
  • Robotics as a business problem and modifying existing technologies to create new industries
  • Defining industries and jobs like agriculture and healthcare that can benefit from robotics
  • Attitude as the defining characteristic for companies that succeed in robotics
  • Being able to pivot when a robotics concept proves undoable
  • The gap between research funding and commercial production
  • Investing in women and people of color and erasing cognitive biases in the robotics industry
About Andra Keay

Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, the non-profit industry group supporting innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies. She is a global ecosystem builder; a founder of the Good Robot Awards, Robot Launch global startup competition, Robot Garden maker space, and Women in Robotics; and is a mentor, investor, and advisor to startups, accelerators, and think tanks, dedicated to growing ethical and equitable Autonomous Intelligent Systems (AIS). She has a background in human-robot interaction, interaction design, and communications, and is currently a visiting scholar at CITRIS People and Robots Initiative at UC Berkeley.

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