AI for the robot age

Vicarious is developing artificial general intelligence for robots. By combining insights from generative probabilistic models and systems neuroscience, our architecture trains faster, adapts more readily, and generalizes more broadly than robotics approaches commonly used today.

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Research themes

The ability to generalize from a few training examples is one of the hallmarks of human intelligence. This ability is required for robots to work effectively in a variety of environments without arduous reprogramming.
Our algorithms learn models of the world that are then applied flexibly in a wide variety of situations. Our research emphasizes representations that enable task generality.
Underscoring our research strategy is the aim to discover the underlying properties of intelligence from neuroscience and cognitive science. We draw from the wealth of neuroscience literature to understand the representational structure and inductive biases that enable human brains to learn and generalize.
Teaching robots new tasks becomes easy if they have a conceptual understanding of the world just like humans. We develop algorithms that can learn abstract concepts from sensorimotor experience.


Prof. Fei-Fei Li

Dr. Li is the Director of the Stanford AI Lab, as well as an Associate Professor at Stanford. Prior to joining Stanford, she was on faculty at Princeton University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Research by Fei-Fei and her colleagues has been published in top-tier journals and conferences such as Nature, PNAS, Journal of Neuroscience, CVPR, ICCV, NIPS, ECCV, IJCV, IEEE-PAMI, and others. Fei-Fei is a recipient of the 2011 Alfred Sloan Faculty Award, 2012 Yahoo Labs FREP award, 2009 NSF CAREER award, the 2006 Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship and a number of Google Research awards.

Prof. Bruno Olshausen

Professor Olshausen is the Director of the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at UC Berkeley, as well as a Professor of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. He serves on the Editorial Board of Vision Research and the Journal of Computational Neuroscience and was Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Sensory Coding and the Natural Environment in 2004. In 2002, he co-edited the book Probabilistic Models of Perception and Brain Function (MIT Press).

Prof. Alan Yuille

Professor Yuille is the Director of the UCLA Center for Cognition, Vision, and Learning, as well as a Professor at the UCLA Department of Statistics, with courtesy appointments at the Departments of Psychology, Computer Science, and Psychiatry. He is affiliated with the UCLA Staglin Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines, and the NSF Expedition in Computing, Visual Cortex On Silicon.

Our Team

D. Scott Phoenix

Before cofounding Vicarious, Scott was CEO of Frogmetrics (Y Combinator S2008), Entrepreneur in Residence at Founders Fund, CXO at OnlySecure (acquired by NetShops) and MarchingOrder (Ben Franklin Partners). Scott’s design work has been featured in 16 magazines and 3 museums, including the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Scott earned his BAS in Computer Science and Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dileep George, PhD

Before cofounding Vicarious, Dileep was CTO of Numenta, an AI company he cofounded with Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky. Before Numenta, Dileep was a Research Fellow at the Redwood Neuroscience Institute. Dileep has authored 22 patents and several influential papers on the mathematics of brain circuits. Dileep’s research on hierarchical models of the brain earned him a PhD in Electrical Engineerings from Stanford University. He earned in MS in EE from Stanford and his BS from IIT in Bombay.

Ken Kansky

Ken previously earned a BS degree in Computer Science and Physics at Stanford University, where he completed his thesis on image recognition under Peter Norvig. Before attending Stanford, Ken built laser control circuitry for condensed matter experiments at the University of Georgia, as well as a remote-control flamethrower, an electromagnetic levitator, and a flex sensor suit for controlling robotic arms.

Wolfgang Lehrach, PhD

Wolfgang was previously Director of Sequencing at Halcyon Molecular, where he developed image processing and bioinformatics algorithms to sequence DNA with electron microscopes. Before that, he worked at Alacris Theranostics, using deep sequencing and machine learning to enable personalized cancer treatment. Wolfgang did his post-doc in Machine Learning at Microsoft Research, earned his PhD and MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and his BS from Cambridge.

Bhaskara Marthi, PhD

Bhaskara Marthi was previously a Research Scientist at Willow Garage, where he devised algorithms for robots to build 3D maps of their surroundings, assemble Ikea furniture, and tidy rooms in an optimal way. Before that, Bhaskara completed his post-doc in artificial intelligence at MIT and earned his PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley. His favorite learning agent is two years old and has already achieved state of the art results on the task of detecting candy in cluttered images.

Charlotte Bowell, PhD

Before joining Vicarious as Director of Operations, Charlotte was a researcher at Integrated Plasmonics and Halcyon Molecular, where she manipulated and imaged the nanoworld. Before that we was a post-doc in the Electron Microscopy Group at the University of Cambridge. She first got a taste for manipulating sub-atomic particles during her PhD at the University of Birmingham in the Condensed Matter Group. Charlotte earned her MSci in Experimental and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge.

Xinghua Lou, PhD

Xinghua Lou received his PhD. in Computer Science at Universität Heidelberg, under Fred Hamprecht. He worked on graphical models and structured learning for biomedical data analysis. He has published in NIPS, ICML, CVPR, Bioinformatics, IEEE-TMI, among others. Though initially trained as an experimental physicist in Engineering Physics at Tsinghua University, he is very excited about the current path towards building machines that can learn and reason.

Miguel Lazaro Gredilla, PhD

Miguel previously earned his PhD in machine learning at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. In his thesis, Miguel developed a sparse Gaussian process model which has become the de facto benchmark for fast regression algorithms. Since then, Miguel has been working on approximate inference algorithms for other Bayesian models. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge and the University of Manchester, and has authored and reviewed for NIPS, JMLR, and several IEEE journals.

Michael Stark, PhD

Michael was previously a member of the Max Planck Center for Visual Computing and Communication, both at Stanford University and MPII. He earned his PhD from TU Darmstadt for his research on knowledge transfer for object class recognition. Michael’s work has been published in CVPR, ICCV, ECCV, ICLR, and he received back-to-back Best Paper Awards at CVPR-3dRR. He is thrilled to be able to teach intelligent machines how to see.

Bryan Hart

Before joining Vicarious as its Resident Chef, Bryan worked as a private chef to Silicon Valley executives since 2001. He started his culinary adventure while living in Japan and working for the US Navy where he toured Asia and was exposed to new foods and cultures. After his return to the Bay Area, he attended the California Culinary Academy of San Francisco and graduated in 1994. Outside of work, Bryan spends his time with his children, as well as glassblowing and woodworking.

Nick Hay, PhD

Nick Hay earned his PhD at UC Berkeley under Stuart Russell. His research applied reinforcement learning and Bayesian analysis to the metalevel control problem: how can an agent learn to control its own computations. More broadly, he is interested in how AI systems can be safely developed for the benefit of humanity, and how this pursuit might be informed by the cognitive sciences. Born in New Zealand, Nick is still getting used to walking upside down.

Sandhya Bhasker

Before joining the Operations Team at Vicarious, Sandhya worked in executive support and operations in both corporate and start-up environments. Channeling her previous experience in SEO, she expanded those roles to include marketing and brand-storytelling. Sandhya earned a BA in Neuroscience and History from Kenyon College, where she completed theses on traumatic brain injury and sub-Saharan mineral economies.

Anna Chen

Anna was previously at Quora, where she applied ML to learn the semantics of millions of questions, and built the first system to detect paraphrased questions. Before that she earned her MS in Computer Science at University of Michigan, where she worked with Edmund Durfee and Satinder Singh on multi-agent cooperative planning under a reinforcement learning framework. In her free time she likes to paint, currently focusing on watercolor and oil painting.

Scott Swingle

Scott earned his BS in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Brigham Young University. While there, he completed undergraduate research in handwriting recognition, created possibly the world’s best competitive bot for the game Puyo Puyo, programmed a cryptanalysis engine to attack a variety of common cyphers, and wrote a multi-threaded program to decipher a symmetric-key cryptography challenge. Scott loves to cook, solve online math challenges, and work on coding projects. He especially enjoys saving time by making computer programs that play online games autonomously, so that he doesn’t have to.

Alex Schlegel, PhD

Alex completed his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience with Peter Tse at Dartmouth College, where his work sought mechanistic links between the distributed networks of the brain and the mind they create. The questions that drive him are: How does the human brain mediate flexible, creative cognitive behaviors including artistic and scientific thought? Why is our species the only one (so far) to demonstrate these abilities? And how are these abilities realized via dynamic interactions in distributed neural networks? In his free time, Alex enjoys hiking, gardening, and creating sculpture that reveals hidden processes in the environment. He looks forward to the day when machines begin imagining a better world.

Carter Wendelken, PhD

Carter was previously a research scientist at UC Berkeley where his work focused on neural mechanisms of reasoning, memory, and cognitive control. He has authored publications in journals including Cerebral Cortex, Neuron, Journal of Neuroscience, Developmental Science, and Neurocomputing. Prior to working as a neuroscientist, Carter earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence), under Lokendra Shastri and Jerry Feldman. Now that he has figured out how human brains work (if only), Carter is excited to apply what he’s learned to the task of creating artificial brains.

Nan Rong, PhD

Nan completed her Ph.D. in Computer Science with Dr. Joe Halpern at Cornell University, where her work focused on enabling machines to automatically learn new actions that they weren’t aware of previously. She also worked on designing equilibrium concepts that explain and motivate people’s cooperative behavior in a game theoretic setting. She is pretty serious about theories and at the same time excited by building robots. Her passion for creating robots started from reading Asimov’s Three Laws. In her free time, she enjoys reading novels, archery, and tree climbing.

Jimmy Baraglia, PhD

Jimmy earned his Ph.D. in Engineering at the Osaka University under the supervision of Minoru Asada and Yukie Nagai. His work allowed robots to develop prosocial behavior similar to infants’ based on a prediction error minimization mechanism. The system is based on Bayesian inference and the Free Energy principle. Previously, Jimmy was student at Paul Sabatier University in France where he studied automatism, signal processing and electronics. Jimmy loves cooking, traveling and playing all kind of sports.

Eyrún Eyjólfsdóttir, PhD

Eyrún’s research interests lie on the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience. She completed her PhD at Caltech where she worked with Pietro Perona on automated analysis of behavior, particularly that of fruit flies, in a collaboration with the David Anderson lab. During her PhD, she interned at Qualcomm Research Center, where she developed a power-efficient context-classification algorithm for smartphones. Prior to Caltech, she received her MS in Computer Science from UCSB and her BS in Mathematics from the University of Iceland. Her favorite pastime activities involve the backcountry, home brewing, and knitting.

Jaldert Rombouts, PhD

Jaldert earned his PhD at the Free University of Amsterdam under Pieter Roelfsema and Sander Bohte for his work on biologically plausible learning in neural networks. At CMU’s Robotics Institute he worked on the SnackBot, and at Brain Corporation he helped develop indoor navigation solutions for large wheeled robots. Besides playing with state of the art learning systems, Jaldert likes cooking (especially breakfast, his favorite meal), biking, hiking, reading, and Krav Maga.

Matthieu Perrinel, PhD

Matthieu was previously a data scientist in Deepomatic, where he worked on the efficient building of similarity datasets, and designed deep learning based models to predict the similarity between objects. Before joining Deepomatic, Matthieu earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science at ENS Lyon, under Patrick Baillot. During his thesis, he created type systems for lambda-calculus corresponding to polynomial time. When he does not talk about french food, Matthieu enjoys sailing in the bay and brewing his own beers.

Anjali Rao

Anjali Rao was previously a Robotics researcher at Symbio Robotics, where she worked on robotic learning for task generalization. Before that she earned her Master’s degree from SUNY Stony Brook University. Her Master’s thesis was focused on User-guided Inverse Kinematics based Path planning for redundant manipulators. She completed her Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering in India. Besides understanding the early stages of human brain development, she enjoys reading, traveling and cooking.

Swaroop Guntupalli, PhD

Swaroop completed his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at Dartmouth College under James Haxby. His work in the Haxby Lab focused on understanding neural representation of visual and auditory information and developing computational methods for probing and building models of representational spaces in the brain. Prior to Vicarious, he was a postdoc in HaxbyLab and a visiting scholar at Stanford. He received his MS in Computer Science from Texas A&M University under Bruce McCormick, and BS in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras. Swaroop enjoys running, hiking, reading math, science, and sci-fi, coffee, and hoppy IPAs.

Jake McCarter

Jake previously lead Product Development at Bossa Nova Robotics where he spent 6 years working with the team to solve challenges relating to large scale SLAM, human-robot interaction and product recognition. Before entering the robotics space, Jake worked as a strategy consultant for LEK Consulting, where he specialized in aviation and biotech. Jake holds a Masters in Engineering Management from Dartmouth College, a BS in Civil Engineering, and BA in Economics from UCLA.

Siva Swaminathan, PhD

Siva is interested in bringing together ideas from probabilistic inference and fundamental physics.  Before joining Vicarious, he earned a Ph.D. in Physics at UT Austin, advised by Can Kilic. His graduate research focused on topics in Fundamental Theoretical Physics, bringing together themes from Particle Physics, Cosmology, quantum gravity and the use of tensor networks to model emergent properties of high-dimensional quantum systems. Before graduate school, he spent four exciting years at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, earning an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and making wonderful friends along the way.  In his free time, Siva enjoys indulging his curiosity, reading, playing sports, and pondering the nature of human learning.

Mike Fled

Prior to joining Vicarious, Mike served as an IT consultant, in both the Bay Area and Southern California, designing secure networks and systems for everything from startups to publicly traded companies.  He appreciates fully redundant network designs, flexible systems architecture, and the simplicity underlying the complexities of Linux. In his free time, Mike enjoys attending concerts and live sporting events, weekend getaways, and bonsai.

Abhishek Sriraman

Abhishek enjoys working on intelligent systems that can interact with and reason about their world. Abhishek studied Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science at Cornell University, where he worked in Professor Hadas Kress-Gazit’s Verifiable Robotics Group. Previously, Abhishek worked in the much more heavily regulated world of medical robots at Neocis Inc. In his free time he enjoys reading and watching Roger Federer highlights.

Nicholas Joseph

Nicholas previously worked at the Education Innovation Laboratory, where he analyzed data to determine the effects of education programs on student test scores. He earned his BA in Computer Science at Harvard with a minor in Economics. Previously, he interned at GiveWell and Chase bank. In his free time he enjoys rock climbing, hiking and running.

Elton Cheng

Before joining Vicarious, Elton received his M.S in Robotics from Northwestern University and B.S in Bioengineering from University of California, San Diego. For his Master’s project thesis, he integrated hardware and software components to build a four wheeled mecanum mobile robot that can be controlled with ROS through a Linux computer. During his free time, he enjoys cooking, playing video games, and keeping up with the latest TV shows.

Saurabh Nair

Saurabh got his Masters in Robotic-Systems from Carnegie Mellon University, where he worked on Virtual Reality, and Autonomous Cars. Saurabh studied a range of coursework during his education, ranging from Machine Learning to Under-actuated Robots. Prior to that, he worked as a software engineer at Cisco Systems and Magic Leap. In Saurabh’s free time, he loves to play music and go hiking.

Max Hu

Max earned his MS in Robotic Systems Development at Carnegie Mellon University, where he taught RC cars how to drift around suddenly-appearing obstacles. He also worked on trajectory generation and optimization for mobile robots at Omron Adept Technologies. Max is an advocate of design thinking and adopting a systems approach to the architecture of complex robotic systems. When not working with robots, Max enjoys mountain biking, making coffee, live music, and tinkering with hardware.

Sudeep Fadadu

Sudeep graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a master’s in Computer Vision. Before that, he interned with Uber‘s Advanced Technology Group, building perception modules for their self-driving cars. Sudeep’s major academic interests are in Geometry based Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Mobile Robotics and Reinforcement Learning. He earned his BA with honors in Robotics from IIIT-H. While there, he served as a Research Assistant at the Robotics Research Center, where he worked on low-cost self-driving car, autonomous wheelchair and perception projects for DRDO and CAIR.

Karthikeyan Yuvaraj

Before joining Vicarious, Karthikeyan worked at Honeywell R&D, developing advanced robotics and perception systems for applications for logistics and supply chains. During his MS thesis program at Drexel University, he worked under Dr. Paul Oh, and competed in DRC; designing and building a humanoid robot to act as a disaster recovery agents. Karthikeyan holds multiple patents and publications in developing state of the art robotic systems for industry and research. In his free time, Karthikeyan likes to do charcoal Sketching and lift weights.

Nicolas Sommer

Nicolas Sommer completed his PhD in Robotics at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne under the supervision of Aude Billard. In his research, he applied robotics and machine learning tools to improve robots’ ability to interact with their environment, in particular by providing them with the capacity to use artificial skin. Nicolas enjoys beach-volleyball, learning new languages, and sharing wine with friends. He is also fond of magnets and LEDs.

Vincent Dinicola

After achieving his BS in Computer Science, Vincent moved in a different direction and started working as a Linux System Administrator. Working in various types of environments, he leveraged his CS background often, developing a passion for automation and treating infrastructure as code. In his spare time, Vincent enjoys rock climbing, hiking, reading, and video games.

Trevor Bauchou

Prior to joining Vicarious, Trevor was a Senior Customer Experience Manager for Luxe Valet in Austin, TX, where he created knowledge bases for their customer success and logistics teams. Additionally, Trevor worked in the grocery retail sector for Whole Foods Market, and other large grocers. While there, he implemented food and occupational safety programs, worked in facility/operations management, and developed E-commerce operations. In his free time, Trevor enjoys practicing the piano, playing poker with friends, and all things food and wine.

Frank Michel

Frank received his PhD from the Technische Universität Dresden under the supervision of Carsten Rother. During his PhD, Frank worked on 6D object pose estimation and object tracking. In his free time, he likes to boulder and cycle.

Ishan Deshpande

Ishan graduated with an MS from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he worked on generative modeling. Before joining Vicarious, Ishan was a researcher in computer architecture/ hardware systems and CPU Performance Engineer at AMD and received his Bachelor’s degree from IIT Bombay, India. In Ishan’s spare time, he loves football (soccer), pool, reading, and also sometimes doing nothing.

Abhishek Agarwal

Before joining Vicarious, Abhishek earned his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, where he focused on the design and development of an affordable autonomous vehicle for bike lanes in urban environments. Prior to graduating, he worked as an R&D Engineer at Systemantics India Pvt. Ltd. on kinematics, dynamics, and controls of low-cost industrial arms for OEMs. Abhishek likes to travel, cook, explore craft breweries, and contribute to the MIT RACECAR and F1/10 community.

Alessio Rocchi

Alessio received his Ph.D. in Humanoid Robotics at the Italian Institute of Technology under the supervision of Nikos Tsagarakis and Antonio Bicchi. He worked on hierarchical whole-body control and manipulation, and with team WALK-MAN at the Darpa Robotics Challenge. During his Postdoc at IIT he focused on simulation of underactuated compliant grippers for grasp learning, then worked on next-generation prosthetics and exoskeletons for Ottobock. Alessio is a fan of science fiction, the sea, good food, jazz, and indie movies.

Antoine Dedieu

Antoine earned his MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Operations Research Center  where he was advised by Rahul Mazumder. His MS thesis lies at the intersection of Machine Learning, Optimization and Statistics, building new algorithms to compute sparse interpretable estimators, and understanding their statistical performance. Prior to joining MIT, Antoine received an MS in Applied Mathematics from Ecole Polytechnique. When he is not traveling the world, he enjoys cinema, reading,  and playing (and watching) sports.

Li Yang Ku

Li Yang Ku earned his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst under Erik Learned-Miller and Rod Grupen. His research focuses on integrating robotic perception, action, and memory. Li Yang was also a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow and collaborated with the Robonaut team at Johnson Space Center. Prior to this, he worked at HRL Laboratories, received his Master’s degree at UCLA, and completed his Bachelor’s degree at NCTU in Taiwan. Outside of work, Li Yang enjoys house dancing and is the owner of a top ranked computer vision blog on Google search.

Ahmad Humayun

Ahmad received his PhD in computer vision at the School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, and received his MS in Computer Graphics, Vision and Imaging from University College London. He is interested in recognition problems in videos where motion and sparse labeling can be used to build life-long object learning systems. He has worked on a diverse set of problems including object detection, optical flow, tracking in bio-imaging, and incremental machine learning. Outside of work he likes to rock climb many pitches, push a lot of watts on a bicycle, and eat dozens of donuts.

Shadi Dianat

Shadi received her Bachelor’s in Business Management and Master’s in Entrepreneurship Management from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. Before joining Vicarious, she worked as a financial operations manager for a broker insurance company. Outside of the office, Shadi enjoys traveling the world, swimming, and cooking new recipes.

Arjun Sharma

Arjun completed his MS in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University and his B.Tech in Mathematics and Computing from Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati. His research focused on developing techniques for integrating problem specific information with deep reinforcement and imitation learning methods. Arjun previously worked at Xerox Research, where he designed deep learning based models for various problems in computer vision. In his free time, Arjun enjoys reading, playing sports and traveling.

Rajeev Rikhye

Rajeev completed his Ph. D. in Systems Neuroscience at MIT where he used experimental and computational methods to uncover the neural basis of visual perception. Prior to MIT, he earned a M. Eng. in Biomedical Engineering from Imperial College London. His research interests include elucidating the neural algorithms that give rise to cognition and harnessing them for artificial general intelligence. When not at his desk, Rajeev can be found either eating or trying to get back in shape.

Li Zhang

Li received her M.S. in computer science from Fudan University, where she worked on embedded system design. Before joining Vicarious, she worked as Web Services Software Engineer at both Amazon and eBay. She loves watching movies, reading and hiking with friends and family.

Julian Astts

Previously, Julian worked as a network security researcher and as a network and security engineer. He first became inspired to pursue technology after discovering the Linux Terminal while trying to decipher wireless encryption keys. He is a proactive problem solver that’s addicted to learning and has a natural curiosity about science and the natural world. When he’s not in front of a screen, Julian keeps busy being a dad and with an occasional music jam.

Marco Carra

The sight of the first coin-op video game sparked Marco’s interest in computer graphics when he was a kid. He started his career as the owner of a shareware-game company and then his passion for computer graphics lead him to work as a graphics developer in the game industry, and later in the flight simulation industry. Marco worked as a Runtime Engine Software Architect at Aechelon Technology and as a senior software engineer at Page 44 Studios. He enjoys playing video games with his son, cycling, and listening to historical podcasts.

Aravind Sivakumar

Before joining Vicarious, Aravind earned his BA in Computer Science from UC Berkeley where he developed his interest in algorithms and machine learning systems. Previously, he interned at Twitter, where he built Hidden Markov Models to optimize geolocation. While at Berkeley, Aravind was a student-athlete, playing for the school’s soccer team. In his free time, he still loves playing soccer, following his favorite team Arsenal, solving brain teasers and puzzles, and playing board games.

Nishad Gothoskar

Nishad earned his undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University. During his time there, he was involved in competition math and community service organizations. Before Vicarious Nishad worked on: predicting vehicle interactions for self-driving cars at Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, developing task and motion planning systems for a PR2 at MIT CSAIL, and general-purpose sensors at CMU and Google. In his free time, Nishad enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing basketball.

Peter So

Before joining Vicarious, Peter worked as an automation engineer developing custom industrial robotic solutions. He has worked on manufacturing lines in the U.S. and China producing semiconductors, medical devices, electric cars and even chocolate bars. He most recently co-founded a new restaurant concept at the CITRIS Foundry using robot arms to serve up just-in-time breakfast sandwiches and coffee. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and a certificate from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.

Joe Weber

Previously, Joe worked at Denso Robotics as a regional sales manager for the West Coast and at Omron-Adept Technologies as an applications engineer developing industrial and autonomous mobile robot solutions for Fortune 500s and startups. His interest in robotics began with a design project for NASA Lunabotics while studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. Joe went on to receive an MBA focused on Entrepreneurship from William Howard Taft University. In his free time, he enjoys hiking in the Redwoods, traveling, enjoying live music, and reading.

Luke Whitaker

Luke earned his BSME from UCF while interning at Hoverfly Technologies. After graduating, he took on the role of Senior Mechanical Engineer at Hoverfly and earned valuable experience designing various electromechanical components such as drone frames and camera gimbals. He also invented a patent-pending tether management system that allows tethered aircraft to fly smoothly at any altitude. Luke’s hobbies include CAD modeling, unicycling, hiking, racing RC cars, and FPV flying.

Pete Bremer

Before joining Vicarious Pete worked at KUKA Robotics as the Operations Manager for the western region. His career has encompassed a wide range of manufacturing technologies including milling and machining for PCB and electronics, sheet metal and electric automotive manufacturing, laser cutting, and automated robotic system integration. When not trying to automate the planet, Pete enjoys home audio and automation, woodworking and working on classic automobiles.

Sanjana Srinivasan

Before joining the product team at Vicarious, Sanjana completed her Masters in Engineering Management from Dartmouth College where she obtained a focus area in Operations and Analytics. Previously, she interned as a project manager in the Client Operations Team at Neurala Inc. While completing her Bachelors in Electronics and Communication Engineering in India,  Sanjana was a part of Team Indus, an aerospace startup, which competed in the Google Lunar X Prize competition. An amateur singer, a traveling enthusiast, Sanjana loves playing a board game or two.

Michael Declerck

Michael graduated from the University of Texas at Austin as an officer in the USAF and then worked at a number of national supercomputer centers, including the National Energy Research Supercomputer Center, writing operating systems for various supercomputers. At Industrial Light and Magic, he worked on several movies including Star Wars and lead the Systems R&D team. Michael spent the next 12+ years as the VP of Engineering for a number of storage startups and the past 6-years doing “cloudy” work at AWS DynamoDB, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, and Swift Navigation.  Outside the office he spends time in the Sierras (year round) and exploring with his wife and two crazy border collies.

Anthony Avena

Anthony graduated from Texas A&M and previously worked for KUKA Robotics where he held several roles including Field Service Engineer and Plant Support Engineer (at Tesla Motors).  His diverse professional background includes metals processing, recycling, robotics, and automation. In his free time, Anthony enjoys rock climbing, hiking, skiing, and cycling with his wife Amber and their dog Theo.

Andrew King

Andrew has a background in industrial (KUKA Robotics) and oceanographic robotics (Hawaii Oceanographic Time-series, Texas A&M: GERG), along with mission operations experience at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Andrew graduated from The University of Texas at Austin, B.S. and M.S.E, in Mechanical Engineering with interests in automation and controls theory, heat transfer, fabrication and design. Originally from San Antonio, Andrew enjoys running, cycling, sailing and surfing in his spare time and has visited over half the US along with seven countries.

Saeid Shahhosseini

Saeid has done research and development in projects including micron-precision 3D scanners, virtual and augmented reality cameras, and light field cameras. He graduated with distinction from St. Mary’s University of San Antonio with an MSc in Electrical Engineering. Saeid’s research interests include geometric and semantic computer vision, machine learning and unsupervised learning. His research has been published in several peer reviewed journals and at academic conferences. In his free time he enjoys reading, watching movies, and mountaineering.

Bell Maghanoy

Before joining Vicarious, Bell held executive assistant positions in the venture capital, private equity, and software technology industries where she was able to tailor her skills to meet the needs of various executives. Bell earned her BA in Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University. Outside of work,  Bell enjoys spending time with family and friends, trying new restaurants, singing, and riding the dunes at Pismo beach.

Rastislav Komara

Rastislav is a software engineer focused on building hybrid cloud solutions. Previously, he worked as part of the NetBeans team for Sun Microsystems, which was acquired by Oracle in 2010. He also worked on Oracle’s Iaas Cloud offering and on BlackBerry’s BB10 IDE team. In his spare time Rastislav enjoys hiking, camping, gaming and practicing the martial art Aikido.

Carson Chapman

Before joining Vicarious, Carson attended UCLA where he received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics degree. He grew up in Santa Cruz, California and his hobbies include riding bicycles, gaming, programming, cooking, and gardening.

Scott Bandy

Scott Bandy has held senior engineer positions for 7-years and has worked with a range of manufacturing technologies for more than a decade. At Tesla, Scott launched the Model 3 and helped refine the Model Y for manufacturability. Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. He is a hands-on engineer who works collaboratively to develop creative and refined solutions. Scott loves the outdoors and living an active lifestyle.

Zachariah Bremer

Before joining Vicarious, Zach worked at The Wine Group as a Line Technician, an experience that helped develop his interest in automation and robotics. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechatronic Engineering from California State University at Chico. In Zach’s spare time he enjoys making music and hiking.

Che Kun Law

Che Kun received his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University where he worked on mobile robotics for agricultural applications. Previously, he worked on visual odometry for mobile warehouse robot localization at Vecna Robotics and simulation for autonomous driving trucks at TuSimple. In his free time, Che Kun loves playing sports, dancing, traveling and reading.

Scott Guajardo

Before joining Vicarious, Scott worked as an applications engineer at Marposs, an industrial automation firm specializing in precision equipment for measurement and control in the production environment. He also worked at KUKA Robotics as field service engineer where he managed teams of service engineers in a variety of industries from automotive to e-commerce. Scott started his career as a mechanic and welder before completing his associate’s degree in Electrical Technology at NCST. He is the proud father of a baby girl named Vitalina, who gives him countless hours of fun at home and a lot of experience sneaking out of rooms quietly.

Hayley Ritterhern

Before joining Vicarious, Hayley worked as an application engineer in collaborative robotics at Precise Automation. Her interests include laboratory and industrial automation, both in hardware and robotic programming. She earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, with a specialization in mechatronics. In her free time, Hayley enjoys scuba diving and perfecting her stand-up comedy routine.

David Woods

David has spent twelve plus years building and releasing software with a focus on mobile and embedded devices at companies including Anki Robotics and Palm’s WebOS. He graduated from Cal State Hayward with a double major in Computer Engineering and Applied Math, and a minor in Physics. In his free time, David enjoys traveling, gaming, yoga, and ballroom dancing.

Guangyao Zhou

Guangyao (Stannis) Zhou has broad research interests in the field of probabilistic generative models. He completed his PhD in Applied Mathematics with Dr. Stuart Geman at Brown University demonstrating the importance of kinetics in polymer folding, and developing theory and algorithms to overcome entropic barriers in stochastic dynamics. During his PhD, Stannis interned at Amazon Lab126, where he worked on multi-scale optimization for efficient training of deep neural networks. Stannis also has extensive experience consulting for quantitative finance firms. He received his Bachelor’s in Mathematical Statistics and Probability from Peking University in China.

Phil Dibowitz

Phil received his BS in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Southern California while working for a number of startups and co-founding the SCaLE conference. With a keen interest in automation, he pursued challenges at Ticketmaster, Google, and Facebook before coming to Vicarious. As a strong open source advocate, Phil worked to release as much work as possible and build an open source-friendly culture at all companies as well as maintaining and contributing to a variety of open source projects in his personal time. Outside of the office, Phil also enjoys following Metallica around the world and riding his Harley. 

Jake Astts

After graduating high school in 2010, Jake went to work for a bodyshop chain where he developed skills in IT and the parts department before moving into estimating for luxury cars. He’s always enjoyed working on computers, doing some gaming, and hanging out with friends. In his free time he enjoy scenic drives, camping, a little bit of photography, but most of all he loves riding dirt bikes!

Weston Wahl

Before coming to Vicarious, Weston previously developed mechanisms for various satellite systems at Lockheed Martin Space. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Weston is driven to create simple solutions for complex problems. He enjoys riding motorcycles and working on cars.

Jiangxia Shi

Katrina earned her Master’s in Robotic Systems Development from the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. Before that, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Automotive Engineering from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She developed multi-disciplinary skills from both of them in environments of building robots, cars, or watching cars being built. Her past experience involves building vision and learning systems in industrial automation, designing/developing different subsystems of complex robotic systems and their integration, business development of robotic systems, and so much more. Professionally, she enjoys prototyping and building robots. In her personal free time, her favorite activities include talking about table tennis tables, playing one specific video game, and chasing away squirrels stealing apples and tomatoes from the plants.

Oscar Baeza

Before working at Vicarious, Oscar has always had a passion for computers and technology. Throughout primary and secondary school, he has worked with his school districts to improve infrastructure and workflow from a full stack perspective. Primed with this knowledge and experience, Oscar is grateful to be able to apply, improve, and practice his craft as an IT Engineer here at Vicarious. Outside of work, Oscar likes to compete in games, create and listen to music, and tinker with the newest hardware and technology.

Christian Benson

Christian has worked as an Automation Controls Engineer since he graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  Most recently, Christian came from Tesla where he helped to launch the Model 3, and then led a team of Controls Engineers in the Remanufacturing Department. In his spare time he enjoys trekking, running, cycling, and pretty much anything that keeps him outdoors.

Benny Luy

Before joining Vicarious, Benny worked at a Data Center Solution provider company called Rahi Systems Inc. as a Field Tech helping building a data center on the infrastructure side. Outside the office Benny enjoys working out, going on bike rides, hiking, and trying new places to eat.

Nicole Ferszt

Prior to joining Vicarious, Nicole led the People Strategy for several McKinsey New Ventures, a portfolio of startups within the global consulting firm. Before that, she was the first Head of People at Bounce Exchange, building the function from the ground up at one of the fastest-growing software companies in NY. She also designed and rolled out the Org Design practice at the Estée Lauder Companies and expanded their Global Leadership Development programs. She holds an MBA and BS from the Wharton School of Business, showing her affinity for Philadelphia. When not at work, Nikki enjoys making and consuming food, cocktails, and jokes.

Lucas Pereira Silva

Before joining Vicarious, Lucas worked as a Designer at Google Assistant (Mountain View), with Voice Interfaces, Machine Vision, and Artificial Intelligence. During his Masters in Digital Communication/Media, Arts and Science at the MIT Media Lab, he focused on architecture and development of Distributed Systems and Human Computer Interfaces (HCIs) on Robotic Environments. His undergrad was in Brazil, on Science Technology. During all his undergrad he developed research projects on Virtual Reality and Physical HCIs. More of his work at

James Hasbany

James attended Central Michigan University where he received an honorary full ride into the Master’s of Engineering program. Working alongside professors Dr. Brian DeJong, Dr. Jinxiang Xi, Dr. Kumar Yelamarthi, and Dr. Ernur Karadogan in the fields of mechanical and biomedical engineering, he has contributed to multiple publications on spherical robots, teleoperations, and aerosol drug delivery. In the field of robotics, James has worked in tandem with companies such as Tesla, BMW, and Adidas to create practical and efficient robotic solutions for production, development, and demonstrations. Outside of robotics, James enjoys traveling to distant places, discovering and creating new worlds in literature, learning the unknown, and contemplating world domination.

Sarah Vogelsong

Before joining Vicarious, Sarah worked for a tethered drone company as their Purchasing Specialist where she gained valuable experience in the fast-paced tech world.  She received her BA in Music from University of Central Florida.  In her free time she enjoys playing piano, practicing yoga, trying to keep her plants alive, and hiking. 

Sergey Ivankov

Before joining Vicarious, Sergey worked as a Mechanical Engineer and Technician for several successful Bay Area start-ups developing mechanical devices for Biotech and Sustainable Energy industries. He earned his B.S. in Municipal Systems Engineering from State University in Russia and M.S. in Energy Systems Engineering from Iowa State University. In his free time he enjoys working in his metal/wood shop and having with with his two daughters doing outside activities.

Evan Jonokuchi

Before joining Vicarious, Evan developed software and machine learning systems for start-ups in the Bay Area. He first discovered a passion for programming while doing research in a cancer biology lab. Evan received a BAS in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania. In his free time, he enjoys burritos.

Joshua Kliphan

Joshua is originally from Los Angeles and started his career in mechanics when he joined the US Navy as a Helicopter Mechanic. While enlisted he was a part of the NAAD 2515th. After the Navy, Joshua worked for a company called Encore Flight Academy as a mechanic for 13 aircrafts. He also previously worked at Tesla, where he was a Robot Technician on the Model 3 production line. For fun Joshua likes to skateboard, play video games, and go to the beach. 

Jordan Leung

Jordan first found his passion for automation and robotics while interning for the Advanced Engineering Group at Flex, where he worked on developing industrial automated systems. After earning his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at UC Davis, he worked as an Applications Engineer creating custom solutions with both collaborative and industrial robots at Buchanan Automation. A San Francisco native with a love for playing music, Jordan also enjoys reading, running, and spending quality time with his close friends.

Victor Liu

Before joining Vicarious, Victor worked on various products in Google Cloud as a Software Engineer. He graduated from the University of Rochester with a BS in Computer Science. In his free time, Victor enjoys playing table tennis and sous vide cooking.