Clearpath Robotics CEO Matt Rendall has been selected to be one of four at-large directors on the board of the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), announced at the RIA’s annual general meeting in Orlando, Florida.
Based in Kitchener, Clearpath Robotics works with over 500 brands in more than 40 countries, developing robots for materials handling, mining, agriculture, aerospace, military and academic applications.
Clearpath recently unveiled OTTO, its autonomous vehicle for moving heavy loads in industrial or warehouse environments, shortly after accepting an investment from GE Ventures.
“I am honored to take on the position of Director at-Large within RIA,” said Rendall. “RIA is an indispensible resource for the robotics industry, an industry that is entering a hyper-growth phase. I’m hoping to bring a fresh perspective on emerging technologies like self-driving vehicles and mobile manipulation, as well as start-ups and venture capital.”
The 22 directors on the RIA board meet four times a year to discuss the organization’s direction, as well as overall trends in the robotics industry.
The RIA is part of umbrella organization the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), covering the RIA as well as the Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA) and Advancing Vision + Imaging (AIA), the RIA has a staff of 18 based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and counts 375 organizations among its worldwide membership.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Matt Rendall to the RIA Board of Directors,” said RIA President Jeff Burnstein. “Matt has the experience, insight and expertise to represent the mobile robotics community on our board.”
Founded in 2009 by four University of Waterloo grads, Clearpath Robotics counts the Canadian Space Agency and the Department of National Defence as clients and now has more than 80 employees.
In a conversation with Cantech Letter in June of 2015, Rendall said he views the potential of the market as larger than most.
“The way we view robotics is it has the potential to create economic impact on the scale of the Internet or the personal computer,” he said. “I think that in the future we will measure the impact of robotics in GDP. That’s how large we think this is.”
In March of last year, Clearpath Robotics raised a $14 million ($11.2 million U.S. at the time) Series A round that was led by New York-based RRE Ventures with an assist from iNovia Capital. RRE co-founder and managing partner Stuart Ellman joined Clearpath’s board of directors.
Rendall said RRE was the Waterloo company’s first choice because of what he viewed as the fund’s history of spotting trends and investing in business models that might not be the easiest to understand. He pointed to the firm’s investment in New York-based 3D printing company Makerbot as an example.
“Robots are changing the way industrial work gets done,” said Ellman upon the close of the financing. “Organizations are realizing that automating dull and dangerous work is not only the right choice for workers, it’s also more efficient and saves money. Clearpath has the vision, talent and track record to lead the service robotics industry.”