About Marita Cheng - Tech Expert, Founder of Robogals, Aipoly & Aubot
Marita Cheng is a technology keynote speaker, one of Forbes Worlds Top 50 Women in Tech, and the founder of Robogals, Aipoly, and Aubot. Marita is an inspirational speaker who has given over 350 speeches since 2012 in 15 countries.
Her high-profile engagements have included appearing on Q&A on ABC beside two Nobel Laureates and the Chief Scientist of Australia (live TV audience of 600,000), and alongside Ashton Kutcher at Lenovo’s #TechMyWay (online audience 35,000). She has spoken before the M.A.P. International CEO Conference in the Philippines in 2016, MIT Technology Review EmTech Singapore in 2015, and the 2014 World Entrepreneurship Forum in Lyon France.
Aubot is the manufacturer of the telepresence robot, Teleport, for people with longterm illness or a disability to attend school or work remotely. Teleports have been sold to offices, museums, co-working spaces, for kids with cancer in hospitals and for security. Marita founded Robogals in 2008 to encourage girls into science, engineering, technology and mathematics. Robogals has taught over 100,000 girls in 11 countries. Chapter universities include CalTech, Georgia Tech, Columbia University and Wellesley.
While attending Singularity University’s 10-week flagship Graduate Studies Program, held at NASA Ames in Mountain View in 2015, Marita co-founded Aipoly. Aipoly’s first application recognizes objects in real-time on a smartphone using convolutional neural networks and relays them to people who are visually impaired. Since launching at CES in January 2016, Aipoly has twice won the CES Best of Innovation Award (in 2016 and 2017), is now available in 23 languages and has been downloaded over 500,000 times.
Marita was born in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. She grew up in housing commission with her brother and single-parent mother, who worked as a hotel room cleaner. She graduated from high school in 2006 in the top 0.2% of the nation, and that year was awarded Cairns Young Citizen of the Year for her volunteering and extra-curricula efforts.
Marita has a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics) / Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Melbourne. She has served on the Clinton Health Access Initiative’s Tech Advisory Board.
What Marita Cheng Talks About:
Managing Teams Through Your Computer
As the founder and founding-CEO of Robogals, Marita grew the organisation throughout Australia, UK, USA, Japan, and New Zealand, to teach thousands of girls robotics globally, every year. To achieve that huge feat, Marita needed to manage and inspire teams across the globe to take actions – all through her computer. How do you motivate people when they’re far away? How do you create community when your team is isolated from one another? How do you remain productive when the world is so confusing?
Robot Queen to Change the World
These are actual headlines from national Australian newspapers. Learn how Marita Cheng went from small town girl living in government housing to conquering the globe as one of Forbes Top 50 Women in Tech in the World, and the second youngest person to become a Member of the Order of Australia (like a junior knighthood). Noticing the limited number of girls in her engineering class, at the age of 19, Marita founded Robogals to inspire girls into robotics, growing the organization into an international movement. She followed that up with artificial intelligence company Aipoly to help the blind identify objects in real time, which resonated with millions of people. And robotics company Aubot, making robots to help people in their everyday lives. Hold on tight as pocket rocket Marita shares how she changed the world.
My Bot, Your Bot, AUbot
What do you think of when you think of a robot? R2D2 or C3PO from Star Wars? Sonny from Isaac Asimov and Will Smith’s I, Robot? Or a robot in a factory stamping out panels for your Toyota? In the future, we were promised robots, so where are they all now? Join Forbes 30 Under 30 robotics founder Marita Cheng on a deep dive of robotics. From robots that coexist alongside us in our everyday environments, to the robots we don’t see behind the scenes, making it easier than ever for us to raise our standard of living, and the robots Aubot has made to help people in their daily lives. What’s happening now, where is it taking us going forward, and when will we finally get our own personal butlers, like Rosie from the Jetsons?
What’s Real with Artificial Intelligence
What’s actually happening in the world of artificial intelligence? What are people working on? What results are they seeing? Is it increasing productivity? Across the main industries, let’s look at a snapshot of artificial intelligence to see what’s happening. Marita Cheng, cofounder of artificial intelligence company Aipoly, which won Best of Innovation Awards at CES 2017 and 2018, will take you on this journey through the most exciting artificial intelligence companies and projects happening today.
ROBOGALS: How Artificial Intelligence Won’t Take Your Job, But Teen Girls Might
When Marita first entered her engineering classes, she thought, “where are all the girls?” And so in her second year at university, she decided to do something about it. She founded Robogals to get girls interested in engineering and technology careers and tertiary studies by going to schools with robots and teaching girls how to build and program them. Now, the organization has taught over 100,000 girls in 11 countries. Awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship to study “strategies to get girls interested in engineering”, Marita shares insights from the USA, Canada, the UK, Germany, Jamaica, Japan and Australia on getting girls excited about engineering and giving them the tools to take on any challenge. For her work with Robogals, Marita received the Anita Borg Change Agent Award, Global Engineering Deans Council Diversity Award, and was named the Young Australian of the Year.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP: How to Start Something from Nothing
From teaching thousands of girls how to build robots, to helping the blind navigate their daily lives, to building robots to assist people with disabilities, time and time again, Marita Cheng has managed to create projects with a global impact. Learn the methodology which Marita uses to create projects from just an idea to multi-million dollar enterprises impacting millions of people. From using known concepts such as “3 Month Goals” and “Accountability Buddies” to new ideas such as “The Wall of Change”, and the “Uncomfortable Zone” figure out how you too can choose a project and go from zero to “woah, what did I just create?” in a few short months.
Marita is the complete package. As a speaker she is warm, interesting, and engaging. She was able to capture her audience's attention with her message of overcoming obstacles, living her dream and working hard to achieve her goals. She is an inspiration and demonstrates the potential to grow into an important leadership role in the future
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