Henrik Christensen | Director of Robotics, Distinguished Professor at UC San Diego and co-founder of ROBO-global & Robust.AI

Henrik Christensen is currently Co-Founder of Robust.ai, one of the 2020 SVR Industry Awardees. As well as being the Qualcomm Chancellor’s Chair in Robot Systems and the Director of the Contextual Robotics Institute at the University of San Diego, where he researches robotics and AI with an emphasis on a systems view to problems. His research has been published in 350+ contributions across AI, Computer Vision and Robotics, and adopted by companies such as Electrolux, ABB, Kuka, Weda, BMW, Boeing, iRobot, PerMobil, and General Motors.

Christensen is also a strategic advisor to ROBO-global, the world’s first publicly traded Robotics and Automation Index, which he co-founded. He has been active in community organizations such as the European Robotics Network and later as the main organizer of the US Robotics Roadmaps ( 2009, 2013, 2016 and 2020), which was the basis for the National Robotics Initiative. The Roadmaps outline societal drivers and specific challenges towards the growth of robotics. The latest Roadmap also contains a section on the five major areas where robotics can be useful in combating COVID-19: deep cleaning, rapid manufacturing, logistics, healthcare and telepresence.

“Robots keep U.S. manufacturing competitive by allowing them to improve product quality, increase productivity, get products to market faster and lowering the overall costs. As a result, manufacturing jobs are growing as more robots are adopted in the U.S. Since 2010, some 180,000 robots have been shipped to U.S. companies during the same period 1.2 million new manufacturing jobs have been created. At the same time, robots are making the workplace safer by performing dangerous tasks that people should not be doing.” [A Roadmap for US Robotics 2020 Edition] 

Christensen is a Fellow of AAAS & IEEE and was awarded an honorary doctorate (Dr. Techn. h.c.) from Aalborg University. In 2011, he received the “Joseph Engelberger Award”  and was also named “Boeing Supplier of the Year”. He serves as an advisor to a large number of companies and agencies across four continents, and is a strong proponent of “real robots for real problems”. You can find him on Twitter at @hiskov