At InOrbit, most of our time is spent thinking about robots and how to make them perform better. But part of that vision includes robots and humans working together – without the human factor, robots are just a collection of metal and plastic parts. Here is another in a series of posts highlighting some of the outstanding humans on the InOrbit team, also known as InOrbiters. The posts aim to share details on some of the newest members of the team, what drove them to work here, and what they find most interesting about robotics and the development of the InOrbit platform.
Diego May, Chief Revenue Officer
How did you find out about InOrbit?
I was living in the Bay Area from 2010-2014, and I had met Florian Pestoni and Julian Cerruti during that time. At that point I was involved with a startup I co-founded in the open data space, and I remember meeting with Julian on one of my trips and getting a cool Ekumen T-shirt. In a quick chat with Julian I learned the basics of what was happening in robotics, and I remember thinking it was visionary and futuristic.
More recently, in 2020 I was talking again with Florian as InOrbit was raising its seed round, and was greatly compelled by the vision of the company. At the same time, I was watching some of the Star Wars movies and “Clone Wars” episodes with my 5-year-old son, and began to think we are getting at the point where artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud infrastructure and robotics hardware are at the point where the industry can have a substantial impact on society.
What is special about working at InOrbit?
InOrbit is special in so many ways. First, the co-founding team is simply great. Two high-IQ, well-connected, well-synchronized and complementary spirits with an amazing vision. Second, there’s a culture that emphasizes the importance of “always learning,” which is crucial for an industry like robotics. You can feel in almost every conversation this interest in learning, the clarity that different things in this industry will evolve fast, and that it is key to be open to challenge old ways of thinking, even if that was last week. This is encouraged, and we are looking to define experiments that can derive learning.
Third, robotics is an ample industry where there are lots of roboticists solving the hardware problems and applying the right AI/ML tools to allow for the robots to be autonomous (as much as possible, at least) to perform their tasks. But then there is the problem of thinking at scale – even when you are starting – and rightly using the power of the cloud, and best practices developed in DevOps over the past decade, to ensure that human-robot interaction allows for robotics to have the impact we expect.
What interests you about the robotics space?
The data revolution has delivered results and impact with the big guys (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, etc.) really using this at scale, and that is now getting to other industry segments and companies. This is impacting humans as they interact with technologies (cell phones, entertainment, shopping, work, social life) in their lives.
I see robotics taking this a step further. As we move forward, we will interact more with silicon-based pieces of equipment in our work (robots in manufacturing, warehouses, logistics), when we go shopping (robots in retail, cleaning), at the bank (customer service robots), in the street (delivering restaurant food or groceries), and in the sky (pervasive drones delivering packages). The power of data and AI/ML will be around us in new ways, and it’s something that will continue to grow.
This will cause lots of change at different levels, affecting regulation, social reaction and policy-making. But it also has the potential to improve human life and take it to the next level. It’s amazing to be a part of this revolution.
What inspires you in your work?
It is great to be part of a high-power team, with the right culture, adding our grain of sand to an industry of such impact to society and humankind. In particular, it is inspiring for me to be able to touch the robot-human interaction piece. By managing robot fleets correctly, it empowers humans to cooperate with robots, rather than just be surrounded by robots. That fascinates me.
For example, in a Clone Wars episode, Anakin tells R2-D2 and C-3PO to go buy some stuff in the market, and they just go together to perform the task. Then they get in trouble and are required to solve the problem. Watching this “futuristic and well imagined” movie and TV show now becoming a reality over the next couple of decades, and having a front-row seat in the evolution of this industry is a gift.
InOrbit is always looking for new InOrbiters. If you’d like to join our team, check out the latest job openings at InOrbit.