Founding team

WeRobotics brings together decades of professional experience, expertise and contacts across multiple sectors including the humanitarian, development, environmental, robotics and business sectors. We already have a proven track record in spearheading successful, international “robotics for good” initiatives as evidenced by DroneAdventures and UAViators. In this capacity, and in the course of the past three years, we carried out dozens of aerial robotics missions and trainings in dozens of countries for a wide range of humanitarian, development and environmental projects. In addition to this unique practical experience, all four of us hold advanced graduate degrees—1 MBA and 3 PhDs. We are teaming up as WeRobotics to sustainably scale the positive impact of robotics across multiple social good sectors. Join us!

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

Patrick is an internationally recognized expert with well over 10 years of experience in humanitarian technology. He has consulted for the UN, Red Cross, World Bank, OSCE, OCED, Facebook, Planet Labs and more. Patrick founded the Humanitarian UAV Network (UAViators) and has a PhD from the Fletcher School, Pre-Doc from Stanford and MA from Columbia University.

Read Patrick’s full bio here.

Andrew Schroeder

Andrew Schroeder

Andrew is a world recognized leader in geographic information systems (GIS), data science and applied epidemiology for humanitarian aid and global health.  He founded the Nethope.org UAV working group and co-directs the UAViators Humanitarian UAV Network. He received advanced degrees in social analysis and public policy from New York University and the University of Michigan.

Read Andrew’s full bio on LinkedIn.

Adam Klaptocz

Adam Klaptocz

Adam is a pioneering drone maker, designing the predecessor of the Flyability Gimball during his Ph.D and then leading the design team behind the senseFly eXom. Never happy staying in an office, Adam co-founded Drone Adventures to explore how drones can help our planet and its people by launching drones from the summit of the Matterhorn, mapping flood-prone valleys in Haiti or desert dunes in Namibia.

Read Adam’s full bio on LinkedIn

Sonja Betschart

Sonja Betschart

Sonja is a passionate business developer and marketer with a longstanding career in SME’s, multinationals and start-ups, including in the drone industry. An active member of the board of DroneAdventures, she helps companies today in facilitating innovation through co-creation workshops, using digital technologies and design thinking methods. Sonja holds degrees both in Marketing and SME management.

Read Sonja’s full bio on LinkedIn

Staff

While all the members of the founding team are actively involved in all the tasks and bring in their diverse expertise, we are happy to count on the indispensable contributions of our staff.

Peter Mosur

Peter Mosur

Peter is taking care of our administration and helps out with research and communication. Peter’s prior experiences with the Humanitarian UAV Network as well as Standy Task Force and his education in both business and emergency management make him a great fit for WeRobotics.

Read Peter’s full bio here.

Joyce Monsees

Joyce Monsees

Joyce Monsees is the Head of Finance for WeRobotics Global. Previously she was the Finance Director and Deployment Lead of the Standby Task Force, where she lead the efforts behind the 2015 Nepal Earthquake and the West Africa Ebola Outbreak of 2014-2016.  Beyond that Joyce has also guest lectured at universities and high schools, and acted as the Task Force’s central point of contact for international and local news agencies.

Read Joyce’s full bio here.

Joel Kaiser

Joel Kaiser

Joel Kaiser is a PMI certified project manager and emergency response specialist with advanced studies in complex humanitarian emergencies. After fifteen years leading humanitarian and disaster response teams across nearly a dozen countries, Joel has shifted his focus to developing the use of UAVs in support of humanitarian aid and disaster risk management. Though born and raised in Canada, he now lives in Switzerland and can speak English, French and Spanish.

Leka Tingitana

Leka Tingitana

Leka’s background is in transferring technology from industrialized countries to areas with limited resources in a local context. He has lived in rural Africa for more than 10 years and acquired experience in remote data connectivity, mobile health and renewable energy. Leka is a Tanzanian Digital Change Maker with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical/Electronic Engineering from the University of Houston and an MBA from the International University in Geneva.

Uttam Pudasaini

Uttam Pudasaini

Uttam is the Nepal Flying Labs Coordinator. He is a Geomatics Engineer from Kathmandu University (KU), and the co-founder of a Kathmandu- based startup company called Naxa Pvt. Ltd. which has been working to introduce Geo-informatics as a vital domain for development. He has also served as the President of Geomatics Engineering Society, a student run professional club at KU.

Read Uttam’s full bio here.

Yussuf Said Yussuf

Yussuf Said Yussuf

Yussuf is a Coordinator at Tanzania Flying Labs. He is a geospatial consultant in Zanzibar, Tanzania and holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, and a Diploma of Computer Science from the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA). Yussuf is a certified eBee drone trainer by senseFly and has also founded the Apps Club in SUZA where students learn how to develop mobile applications for the Android platform.

Juan Bergelund

Juan Bergelund

Juan is the Peru Flying Labs Coordinator. He has worked in the information industry for more than 25 years and has held technical and managerial positions for various Fortune 100 companies. Mr. Bergelund has been speaker in several conferences and seminars focusing on internet and development projects in Latin America. In 2005 he founded UAV of Peru, which currently leads the use and implementation of unmanned aircraft in emergency and disaster situations.

Jürg Germann

Jürg Germann

Jürg is a creative engineer, experienced scientist, musician and outdoor sportsman.
With his passion for adventures and love for technology in the medical, environmental and development fields,
he is now engineering within the Zika-project at WeRobotics.
Jürg holds a PhD in Robotics from EPFL and a MSc in Electrical Engineering from ETHZ.

William Ponsot

William Ponsot

William is the mechanical engineer of the Zika release mechanism project. He is a micro engineer at EPFL in his last year. Always trying to put his ideas into reality, he developed an automatic indoor garden during his years off. He is passionate by the design of products to bring together technology and beauty in the same place.

Board

WeRobotics is not your typical organization. We operate at the cross-section of multiple sectors, industries and skillsets including humanitarian aid, global development, public health, environmental protection, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, data analytics, capacity building, social entrepreneurship, social innovation, social good and professional photography, digital storytelling and documentary film-making. This explains why our Board of Directors had to be anything but typical! The members of our Board span the multiple sectors, industries and skillsets listed above.

Board_Vijai

Vijay Kumar

Dean of Penn Engineering with appointments in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Computer and Information Science, and Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Kumar’s group works on creating autonomous ground and aerial robots, designing bio-inspired algorithms for collective behaviors, and on robot swarms. Kumar is a fellow of ASME and IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has held multiple administrative positions in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, including director of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing & Perception (GRASP) Lab, Chair of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, and the position of the Deputy Dean. He served as the Assistant Director of Robotics and Cyber Physical Systems at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Vijay is a TED Speaker and gave the Keynote at the prestigious International Drones for Good Awards in Dubai.


Amy Lockwood

Amy Lockwood is the Chief of Staff at UCSF’s Global Health Sciences where she leads strategy and operations for the AIDS Research Institute and the Institute of Global Health Delivery and Diplomacy. Lockwood, who has a background spanning the business, non-profit and academic sectors, previously served as Deputy Director for the Stanford University Center for Innovation in Global Health, and as Executive Director of Project Healthy Children, working with governments and local industries in Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Malawi, Nepal and Rwanda to combat micronutrient malnutrition. She has worked with the Clinton Foundation as the Director of the Global Pediatric HIV/AIDS Program and Deputy Country Director for India, where she was responsible for supporting governments to develop strategies and implementation plans; design guidelines; build systems, procure drugs and diagnostics; and deliver care to HIV-positive children and adults. She has experience in strategic planning, management, evaluation and development of global health projects and programs throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. Amy is also a TED Speaker.


Gisli Olafsson

Gisli is a senior level technology executive with over 25 years of international experience from diverse fields, such as humanitarian response, medical diagnostics, venture capital, non-profit, software development and information technology. He previously served as Nethope’s Emergency Response Director and as Disaster Management Technical Advisor to Microsoft. Gisli is a technology visionary with strong business acumen and strategy development experience. He is a long term trusted technology advisor to national governments, non-profit organizations and international organizations with a deep understanding of the potential of technology to make their organizations more effective. Gisli is also an experienced leader of teams of various sizes, in chaotic, stressful and often life threatening environments. A team builder, motivator and leader, Gisli has a strong focus on empowering and mentoring. A firm believer in cross-organization collaboration, with great experience in bringing together disparate people and organizations around a common vision.

Advisors

We thank our advisors who generously offer their time and knowledge to further our cause and advice us in specific areas.

Timothy Reuter

Timothy Reuter

Timothy Reuter is a serial robotics entrepreneur, and former USAID and State Department official. He is the CEO and founder of Service Robot Labs, a company that makes robots for the food service industry. Prior to SRL, he worked at Google[x] on drone delivery and was also the Executive Director of the Drone Social Innovation Award, a prize for the most socially beneficial use of a low cost drone.

You can read his full bio here on LinkedIn.