Why I Joined an AI and Robotics Startup

 
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Victor Anjos

VP of Engineering

 

Anyone looking at the collective background of Kindred’s employees would easily realize that this place has some great talent. When I dug deeper into the company’s product, culture, and mission, it became evident that this was a company that was going places, and I had to be a part of it for 4 reasons:

1 - Kindred’s Moats

In this age of Artificial Intelligence, there is a type of machine learning used when trying to train a system to find the optimal solution without telling it how to get to that solution. It allows machines and software agents to automatically determine the ideal behaviour within a specific context, in order to maximize its performance. Simple reward feedback is required for the agent to learn its behaviour; this is known as the reinforcement signal.

*MIND BLOWN*

Kindred is building cool stuff - including robots that learn the tasks they need to perform!

2 - R&D, Robots, Grippers and RaaS

Did I mention we invest in R&D and create world class grasping robots?  Ya, we do that! It's really impressive to be honest. Our mechanical teams crush it, finding amazing ways to solve problems that are often too complex to even fathom on other teams, and they do this within the business constraints we have. This is not a purely academic endeavour, we are commercializing everything we build and there are stringent constraints and SLAs we need to adhere to.

I have been around for just about everything-as-a-service, starting with services themselves, then software, infrastructure, cloud, all the way through to machine learning in one of my last positions.  When I learned about Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS), it made total sense. The ability to flip the CapEx / OpEx paradigm on its head for our customers is a game changer for them.  The risk profile of a robot acquisition is no longer burdensome and paying for only what our robots do is great.

3- Kindred People

Our values are such an integral part of what makes Kindred both a great product company and a great place to work for our employees.

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As I read more about the robotics space, I was blown away by just how complex this space is. I was impressed not just by what they have built (a thriving and important product), but also by how they created a company around a set of core values that drive how each and every individual shows up to work. After meeting a number of people across the company, I was convinced that this is the place where I wanted to spend the next chapter of my career.

4- Kindred Engineering: the Best-Kept Secret

Engineering culture at Kindred is one of freedom and autonomy. Everyone gets to affect production, including interns — yes, interns! Most new employees get to deploy code on their first week.

At Kindred, engineering is also known for being quirky and fun. The team truly enjoys each other and is a stand for one another; there is a strong penchant toward praising our staff and being liberal with it.  We are heavy on one-on-one's, not because we are authoritarian, the opposite actually, because we do give people a very long leash and care deeply about how they're doing, how they're progressing in their career and how to best affect the company's outcome.

As I look ahead to the rest of this year, I am excited to fuel the existing success, and continue building a place where diversity, inclusion, trust, and creativity enable each and every person to thrive. This is the future I see for the Kindred engineering organization.

-Victor