Robotics and STEM: Building future innovators

19 Mar 2024

Robotics and STEM: Building future innovators featured image

If you’re looking for someone who embodies the phrase “making a difference,” look no further than Churchill Fellow Marita Cheng (VIC, 2011). This dynamo has been on a mission to use technology for good.

As the founder and CEO of aubot (formerly known as 2Mar Robotics), Marita’s leading the charge in creating innovative solutions to real-world problems. Take, for instance, the Teleport robot, designed to bring a sense of normalcy to those battling cancer in hospitals, allowing kids to attend school and stay connected with their peers.

And that’s just the beginning. Marita’s involvement with Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program in 2015 sparked the creation of Aipoly, an app with a powerful mission. Using convolutional neural networks, Aipoly recognizes objects in real-time on smartphones, providing invaluable assistance to the visually impaired.

Since its launch at CES in 2016, the app has garnered over half a million downloads and has been translated into 23 languages—talk about impact!

But Marita’s passion doesn’t stop there. She’s also the brains behind Robogals, an initiative aimed at inspiring girls to pursue careers in engineering. Through workshops and outreach programs, Robogals has already reached over 70,000 young girls, planting the seeds for a future generation of female tech leaders.

Marita has received the Nancy Fairfax Churchill Fellowship, and in 2022 was a recipient of a Churchill Trust Fellowship Impact Funding Grant, an initiative to enhance the outcomes of Fellowships. Through her Impact Funding, Marita will be actively promote diversity in STEM fields and work on new strategies to engage female schoolgirls in science, engineering, and technology, creating a more inclusive tech landscape. Stay tuned for more outcomes flowing out of Marita Cheng’s Impact Funding. One thing’s for sure: wherever Marita goes, positive change is sure to follow.

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