CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Vecna Robotics, a leader in next-generation, robotic material handling autonomous ground vehicles, announced today that it has appointed Dr. Daniel Patt as its CEO. Patt served as deputy director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Strategic Technology Office prior to his new position, which he has immediately assumed.
“Dan’s proven leadership abilities and diverse technology experience will further drive our rapid progression to becoming the automated logistics leader, building upon our position delivering superior materials-handling solutions in unstructured warehouse environments,” said Daniel Theobald, co-founder and chief innovation officer of Vecna Robotics.
In his previous role, Patt managed nearly half a billion dollars in annual technology investments. He oversaw and enabled the maturation of technology from conceptual and seed stage levels all the way through successful operational, financial, technology, and commercial transitions.
He joined DARPA in 2012 as a program manager in the Tactical Technology Office (TTO) working primarily in autonomy and robotics. Patt’s technology development and transition successes within the federal agency resulted in his promotion to office leadership in 2016 and in him being tapped to run several strategic initiatives with the U.S. Department of Defense.
An automation revolution
“We are on the verge of an automation revolution,” Patt said. “Key technologies including artificial intelligence, robotics, and distributed computing are finally becoming mature enough to show up in value-generating products.”
Many sectors of the economy will eventually be disrupted by new technology, according to Patt. The rise of e-commerce demand has affected material handling and logistics in particular.
“Vecna Robotics is on the cutting edge of robotics technology today, with a highly successful release of products that are exceeding expectations in service,” he said.
Last spring, Vecna Robotics launched its reliable, safe and cost-effective fleet of material handling mobile robots used for precision movement of boxes, totes, cases, carts, shelves, bins, pallets, and heavy, oversized SKUs.
Vecna Robotics is already working with the nation’s leading manufacturers, retailers, and shippers. The company was spun out from Vecna Technologies, a recognized leader in developing and deploying software and hardware for medical and military operations.
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Experience at DARPA and beyond
Patt brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Vecna Robotics. His areas of expertise include applied autonomy and automation, logistics, aviation, automotive, artificial intelligence, machine learning, human-machine teaming, safety-critical systems, and networked distributed systems.
Through initiating and overseeing investments, Patt has interacted with thought leaders and innovators in each of these areas, and he is considered a go-to resource on the state of technology. His resume of leadership experience includes positions with the aerospace and automotive industry, and with both small and large companies. He holds a doctorate degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
“I believe that the Vecna Robotics team has great potential to drive positive change — to revolutionize human productivity through delivering its automation technologies. I’m honored to be joining this exceptional group of people,” Patt said.