MassRobotics hosted the inaugural Women in Robotics Gala on Saturday, October 21st which celebrated the Robotics Medal recipient Dr. Nancy Amato ($50k prize) and Robotics Rising Star recipient Dr. Alyssa Pierson ($5k prize).

It was an evening filled with inspiration and recognition for the remarkable contributions of women in robotics. The Women in Robotics gala, held at the Museum of Science, brought together a diverse crowd of innovators, engineers, professors, students, ecosystem contributors and enthusiasts.

The event was described as “the Oscars for Nerds,” featuring a red carpet, black tie attire and numerous photo opportunities. And there were great additions to the event that would not be found at the Oscars such as robots, including Boston Dynamics AI Institute’s robot dog drawing portraits, Pepper (dancing social humanoid robot) and Ava Robotics’ telepresence robot. 

The event was a celebration of not just the accomplishments of two extraordinary women, Dr. Nancy Amato (Head of the Computer Science Department and Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Dr. Alyssa Pierson (Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Boston University), but also a testament to the continuous strides being made in the world of robotics. As MassRobotics continues to serve as a hub for innovation, collaboration and inspiration, the Inaugural Women in Robotics Gala exemplified the power of recognizing and supporting the women who have made invaluable contributions to the robotics field. 

Special thanks to MassRobotics board members Daniela Rus, Director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL)  and Tye Brady, Amazon Robotics Chief Technologist, for pioneering the idea to have both the award and the Gala to honor the impact of women in robotics. 

Thank you to the sponsors of the event:  Amazon Robotics and Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. Additionally, we would like to thank Amazon Robotics for sponsoring our Jumpstart Fellowship alumni to attend the event. Four of the Jumpstart students  had the opportunity to speak during our program. It has been amazing to see them grow into the young confident women that are today. 

Students from our Jumpstart Fellowship Program kicked off the event and represented our first three cohorts of students.

Thank you to the MassRobotics staff for ensuring a truly special evening of celebrating important accomplishments.