The purpose of this paper is a “Q&A interview” conducted by Joanne Pransky of Industrial Robot Journal as a method to impart the combined technological, business and personal experience of a prominent, robotic industry PhD-turned-entrepreneur regarding the evolution, commercialization and challenges of bringing a technological invention to market.
The interviewee is Dr Cory Kidd, an inventor, entrepreneur and leading practitioner in the field of human–robot interaction. Dr Kidd shares his 20-year journey of working at the intersection of healthcare and technology and how he applied innovative technologies toward solving large-scale consumer healthcare challenges.
Dr Kidd received his BS degree in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and earned a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in Computer and Information Science & Engineering. Dr Kidd received his MS and PhD degrees at the MIT Media Lab in human–robot interaction. While there, he conducted studies that showed the psychological and clinical advantages of using a physical robot over screen-based interactions. While finishing his PhD in 2007, he founded his first company, Intuitive Automata, which created interactive coaches for weight loss. Though Intuitive Automata ceased operations in 2013, Dr Kidd harnessed his extensive knowledge of the healthcare business and the experiences from patient engagement and launched Catalia Health in 2014 with a new platform centered specifically around patient behavior change programs for chronic disease management.
Dr Kidd is a pioneer of social robotics and has developed groundbreaking technology for healthcare applications that combines artificial intelligence, psychology and medical best practices to deliver everyday care to patients who are managing chronic conditions. He holds patents, including one entitled Apparatus and Method for Assisting in Achieving Desired Behavior Patterns and in an Interactive Personal Health Promoting Robot. Dr Kidd was awarded the inaugural Wall Street Journal and Credit Suisse Technopreneur of the Year in 2010, which is meant to “honor the entry that best applies technology with the greatest potential for commercial success”. He is also the Director of Business Development for the nonprofit Silicon Valley Robotics and is an impact partner for Fresco Capital. He consults, mentors and serves as a Board Member and Advisor to several high-tech startups.
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