Melonee Wise is Agility Robotics' new chief technology officer. Wise previously served as vice president and general manager of robotics automation at Zebra Technologies. She is the co-founder and former CEO of Fetch Robotics, which was acquired by Zebra in 2021.
Wise is recognized as a pioneer in the robotics industry, particularly for her work in the autonomous mobile robot (AMR) space. In 2022, she was honored with an Engelberger Robotics Award, which is considered to be among the highest accomplishments in robotics.
Wise will now help Corvallis, Ore.-based Agility Robotics improve Digit, its “multi-purpose” and “human-centric” robot.
Specifically, she will focus on “broader software product, and fleet deployment technologies,” the company wrote in a press release yesterday.
“After taking six months off to travel and relax after Fetch, today I’m excited to announce I’ve joined Agility Robotics as CTO,” Wise wrote in a post on LinkedIn on Monday. “I’ll be at Automate for anyone who wants to catch up, ping me if you’d like to grab a drink.”
Agility showed new version of Digit at ProMat
Earlier this year, the company showcased a new version of Digit at ProMat that includes a head with LED animated eyes and new end-of-arm tools designed to help it pick up totes.
Other leadership changes
In addition to bringing on Wise and placing Hurst into a new role, the company also highlighted a number of other executive changes.
Per the company's announcement, here is a list of the people assigned to new leadership roles at the company:
Renuka Ayer, chief financial officer
Rich Bohne, chief commercial officer
Aindrea Campbell, chief operations officer
Liz Clinkenbeard, vice president of communications
Pras Velegapudi, vice president of innovation and distinguished engineer
Robotics 24/7named the humanoid as one of the 10 most interesting robots at the show.
While Agility Robotics is planning to offer Digit to a range of industries, it is first targeting the warehousing and logistics market.
The upgraded model is still in its alpha phase, and the company is working with its Agility Partner Program members to make improvements to the new Digit. Agility said it plans to make the robot commercially available by 2025.
Hurst to serve as chief robotics officer
Agility Robotics co-founder Jonathan Hurst, who previously served as CTO, will now be the company's first chief robotics officer. In this role, Hurst will focus on the company's research and development roadmap.
“Agility has had a great deal of highlights recently, but perhaps the most significant is the strategic growth of our leadership team over the past year and the addition of game-changing expertise that will position Agility for long-term success,” Damion Shelton, CEO of Agility Robotics, said in a statement.
“We’ve recently added a CCO, CFO, and COO, and created the exciting new CRO organization led by my co-founder Jonathan Hurst,” he added. “Today, we’re thrilled to cap off this incredible year of leadership growth by welcoming industry luminary and well-known roboticist Melonee Wise to the team as our new CTO.”
In an interview with Robotics 24/7 on the Automate show floor, Jim Lawton, vice president and general manager of robotics automaton at Zebra, congratulated his former colleague.
“Melonee is a classic serial entrepreneur,” he said, noting that she is always looking to work on exciting new technologies. “I think she'll be great for those guys. She was ready to figure out her next gig from a small company perspective.”
The Next Generation Of Digit - Enabling Humans To Be More Human
About the Author
Cesareo ContrerasCesareo Contreras was associate editor at Robotics 24/7. Prior to working at Peerless Media, he was an award-winning reporter at the Metrowest Daily News and Milford Daily News in Massachusetts. Contreras is a graduate of Framingham State University and has a keen interest in the human side of emerging technologies.
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Agility Robotics showed a new version of Digit at ProMat earlier this year.
Agility Robotics was founded in 2015 to enter markets newly enabled by recent scientific and technical breakthroughs in robotic legged mobility. Agility’s roots stretch back to co-founder Jonathan Hurst’s PhD research at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in the early 2000’s (where he and Damion Shelton,...
Fetch Robotics builds robot systems for the logistics industry. The company was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in San Jose, CA. Fetch is targeting light-industrial users. Fetch’s human-sized robots are mobile and can perform tasks like locating items in warehouses and preparing these items for...
Zebra Technology's extensive portfolio of marking and printing technologies include RFID and real-time location solutions. Zebra illuminates mission-critical information to help customers take smarter business actions.