Helen Grenier, iRobot

 

 

 

Helen Greiner is a co-founder of iRobot and currently CEO of CyPhyWorks. Under her leadership, iRobot Corporation delivered robots into the industrial, consumer and military markets. iRobot became a household name in 2002 with the Roomba, the hands-off, robotic vacuum cleaner. When that product launched, it was a marketing phenomenon, redefining household chores and promising to make tedious tasks easier, at prices that most people could afford.

More importantly, the company realized that there were ways robots could save people's lives―and as a result developed the PackBots series. These robots explore places where soldiers shouldn’t, for instance, Afghan caves and mine-infested battlefields. They are also being continuously upgraded to perform new functions, like detecting snipers in the field. The US government currently has over 200 of these tactical mobile robots in use.

And iRobot isn’t ready to stop there. In the works are projects as varied as robots that help out around the home, controlled online or via remote control, and unmanned ground vehicles, in collaboration with John Deere.

Helen holds a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in computer science, both from MIT. Helen is an alumna of the Springboard New England 2002 venture capital program that  was hosted by the Center for Women & Enterprise.

Accolades

  • Named one of America’s Best Leaders by the Harvard Kennedy School in conjunction with U.S. News and World Report
  •  “Innovator for the Next Century” by The Review Magazine
  • Global Leader of Tomorrow and Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum
  • Prestigious Pioneer Award from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)
  • DEMO God Award and DEMO Lifetime Achievement Award
  • New England Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young
  • Inducted in the Women in Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame

Service:

  • Presidential Advisor for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) for President Obama and Secretary of Commerce 2014-present
  • Trustee Boston Museum of Science (MOS) 2008-present
  • Trustee Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 2007-2013
  • President of the Robotics Technology Consortium (RTC) 2008-2012
  • Trustee of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA)
  • Board of Visitors of the U.S. Army War College (AWC) 2010-2013
  • Army Science Board (ASB) 2007 -2013