The cavnessHR Podcast - A talk with Mary Ellen Sparrow of NextShift Robotics - The cavnessHR podcast
NextShift Robotics was co-founded by Mary Ellen Sparrow. Mary Ellen first began creating material handling robotics systems for the Semi-Conductor industry while at PRI Automation (which was brought by Brooks Automation). Mary Ellen focused on all layers of software and her teams
were responsible for deploying 30+ systems in Fabrication plants across the world for Intel, IBM, AMD, Motorola, Promos, etc. She has held software management positions at Brooks Automation, AS&E, Symbotic, and Veeco, where she managed software, systems, controls, software
quality, field service, and program management teams; was a member of the companies’ strategic planning boards; and company representative for several semi-conductor standards committees. The products shipped were diverse from automated material handling systems to networked X-ray image stationary and mobile systems scanning bags, people, vehicles and large cargo containers to supply chain material handling automation to thin film magnetic heads tools used by hard disk manufacturers.
In 2015, she joined Harvest Automation, to create an e-retail warehouse material handling system using collaborative mobile autonomous robots. When Harvest decided to sell their warehouse robotics so they could focus on their original market (agricultural robots), Mary Ellen and Stephen
Toebes started NextShift Robotics buying the technology from Harvest Automation. Mary Ellen took the helm at NextShift which has completed a product beta test, and is looking for seed capital. She has 30+ years in the material handling & robotics industries leading cross functional in-house and out-sourced international teams. Mary Ellen is member of the ASTM standards F45 committee for “Driverless Automatic Guided Industrial
Vehicles.” Using her master’s in Computer Science, she has developed patented and trademarked traffic management software for material