Dan Patt has stepped down as CEO of Vecna Robotics, the Waltham, Mass.-based maker of autonomous tuggers, pallet jacks, and conveyors. Daniel Theobald, who co-founded parent company Vecna in 1998, will take over as CEO for the foreseeable future. Patt, who led Vecna Robotics’ spin-off from Vecna early in 2018, will continue supporting the company in a strategic role.
In a statement to The Robot Report, Vecna Robotics attributed the change to “recent customer expansion and new partnerships,” passing along quotes from both leaders. Patt stated, “we’re excited about our recent progress and milestones.” Theobald echoed this sentiment, noting that “there will be more to share in the near future.”
Patt joined Vecna Robotics in January 2018 after spending nearly six years at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). As Deputy Director of DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office (2016-2018), Patt managed nearly $500 million in annual technology investments. He also oversaw the maturation of technology from conceptual and seed stage levels all the way through commercial transitions. Patt joined DARPA in 2012 as a program manager in the Tactical Technology Office, working primarily in autonomy and robotics.
Patt spoke about Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) at the Robotics Summit & Expo 2019, which was produced by The Robot Report. The panel analyzed the technical, operational, business, and legal aspects of the RaaS model that helps businesses adopt robotics.
“The heart of RaaS is all about flexibility,” said Patt during the panel discussion. “If you could predict the future and know exactly what your needs for work or process would be in 10 years, you’d just design and build the right thing for that. RaaS lowers the cost to grow and the cost to change. It’s about enabling flexibility.”
Theobald co-founded Vecna in 1998 with other MIT scientists, self-funding the company and growing its into a manufacturer, researcher and software firm serving the healthcare, logistics and remote presence marketplaces. Theobald is also Founder and President of MassRobotics. Vecna is getting set to open its new headquarters on Sept. 26
Vecna Robotics develops a mixed fleet of autonomous mobile robots for a variety of material handling applications. It has thousands of robots deployed worldwide at manufacturing facilities doing line-side replenishment, at shipping companies moving non-conveyables and automating indoor and outdoor tuggers and lifts, and at 3PLs and retailers doing order fulfillment for store replenishment and for e-commerce. Vecna also recently introduced its Pivot.al fleet management software.