Fidelity Investments Speaker Series

Leadership in Technology

Speaker Series

The Fidelity Investments "Leadership in Technology" Speakers Series Proudly Presents...

Photo of Wurman

Dr. Peter Wurman

VP of Engineering, Cogitai

The Disruptive Power of Robots

Tuesday, March 28th, 6:00 PM; EB2 1231

The Disruptive Power of Robots

Abstract: Kiva Systems introduced swarms of agile robots into an industry dominated by stationary conveyor systems. The path from concept through successful startup and eventual acquisition involved challenges on all fronts. In this talk I’ll explain the business problem that motivated the innovation, Kiva technology and the benefits it brought to customers, and the future of applications of robotics in warehouses.

Speaker Bio

Pete Wurman is currently VP of Engineering at Cogitai, a startup in the machine learning space.

Prior to Cogitai, Pete was CTO of Kiva Systems, the Boston-based company that pioneered the use of mobile robotics in warehouses and distribution facilities. Pete joined Kiva in 2004 as a technical co-founder with Raff D’Andrea to help founder Mick Mountz bring his vision to life. In May of 2012, Kiva was acquired by, which has now deployed tens of thousands of Kiva robots into its warehouses. While at Amazon, Pete founded the Amazon Picking Challenge, an international robotics competition pushing the state of the art in warehouse automation. 

Prior to joining Kiva, Pete was an Associate Professor of Computer Science at NC State University in Raleigh, NC.  Pete’s teaching focus was e-commerce systems, and his research focused on electronic auctions (especially combinatorial auctions), multi-agent systems, and resource allocation.  Unfortunately, he never got to savor the fruits of earning tenure, as the Kiva opportunity had become too attractive and he moved his family to Boston.

Pete earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan in 1999, and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T. in 1987.

Note to CSC Graduate Students

These lectures have been approved by the CSC Graduate Oversight Committee to count toward the required lectures for graduate students. Download seminar attendance form.

Watch the Talk