technology keynote speaker, one of Forbes Worlds Top 50 Women in Tech, and the founder of Robogals, Aipoly, and Aubot. Marita is an inspirational speaker who has given over 350 speeches since 2012 in 15 countries.


Keynote Speaker Category: Artificial Intelligence, Diversity, Female Speakers, Future Trends, Innovation, Robotics, TEDX,


We Need to Teach Our Kids to be Makers: Marita Cheng at TEDxSydney



What’s actually happening in the world of artificial intelligence?  What are people working on?  What results are they seeing?  Is it increasing productivity?  Across the main industries, let’s look at a snapshot of artificial intelligence to see what’s happening.  Marita Cheng, cofounder of artificial intelligence company Aipoly, which won Best of Innovation Awards at CES 2017 and 2018, will take you on this journey through the most exciting artificial intelligence companies and projects happening today.

Key Takeaways:
– Overview of what’s hot in artificial intelligence
– Ideas for artificial intelligence projects you could work on in your business
– Examples of companies using AI around the world to transform industries


When Marita first entered her engineering classes, she thought, “where are all the girls?”  And so in her second year at university, she decided to do something about it.  She founded Robogals to get girls interested in engineering and technology careers and tertiary studies by going to schools with robots and teaching girls how to build and program them.  Now, the organization has taught over 100,000 girls in 11 countries.  Awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship to study “strategies to get girls interested in engineering”, Marita shares insights from the USA, Canada, the UK, Germany, Jamaica, Japan and Australia on getting girls excited about engineering and giving them the tools to take on any challenge.  For her work with Robogals, Marita received the Anita Borg Change Agent Award, Global Engineering Deans Council Diversity Award, and was named the Young Australian of the Year.

Key Takeaways:
– The exciting world of science, technology, engineering, mathematics
– From little things, big things grow
– Scale your impact with technology


From teaching thousands of girls how to build robots, to helping the blind navigate their daily lives, to building robots to assist people with disabilities, time and time again, Marita Cheng has managed to create projects with a global impact.  Learn the methodology which Marita uses to create projects from just an idea to multi-million dollar enterprises impacting millions of people.  From using known concepts such as “3 Month Goals” and “Accountability Buddies” to new ideas such as “The Wall of Change”, and the “Uncomfortable Zone” figure out how you too can choose a project and go from zero to “woah, what did I just create?” in a few short months.

Key Takeaways:
– A framework to get any project (at any stage) off the ground
– “Accountability Buddies” and “The Wall of Change” to ensure you achieve your goals
– Inspiring examples of the concepts being used to create global movements

Women Make Science: Robogal | Special Series


Marita Cheng is a technology keynote speaker, one of Forbes Worlds Top 50 Women in Tech, and the founder of Robogals, Aipoly, and Aubot. Marita is an inspirational speaker who has given over 350 speeches since 2012 in 15 countries.

Her high-profile engagements have included appearing on Q&A on ABC beside two Nobel Laureates and the Chief Scientist of Australia (live TV audience of 600,000), and alongside Ashton Kutcher at Lenovo’s #TechMyWay (online audience 35,000). She has spoken before the M.A.P. International CEO Conference in the Philippines in 2016, MIT Technology Review EmTech Singapore in 2015, and the 2014 World Entrepreneurship Forum in Lyon France.

Aubot is the manufacturer of the telepresence robot, Teleport, for people with longterm illness or a disability to attend school or work remotely. Teleports have been sold to offices, museums, co-working spaces, for kids with cancer in hospitals and for security. Marita founded Robogals in 2008 to encourage girls into science, engineering, technology and mathematics. Robogals has taught over 100,000 girls in 11 countries. Chapter universities include CalTech, Georgia Tech, Columbia University and Wellesley.

While attending Singularity University’s 10-week flagship Graduate Studies Program, held at NASA Ames in Mountain View in 2015, Marita co-founded Aipoly. Aipoly’s first application recognizes objects in real-time on a smartphone using convolutional neural networks and relays them to people who are visually impaired.  Since launching at CES in January 2016, Aipoly has twice won the CES Best of Innovation Award (in 2016 and 2017), is now available in 23 languages and has been downloaded over 500,000 times.

Marita was born in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. She grew up in housing commission with her brother and single-parent mother, who worked as a hotel room cleaner. She graduated from high school in 2006 in the top 0.2% of the nation, and that year was awarded Cairns Young Citizen of the Year for her volunteering and extra-curricula efforts.

Marita has a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics) / Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Melbourne.  She has served on the Clinton Health Access Initiative’s Tech Advisory Board.

Marita’s Awards and Accolades

  • AM, Member of the Order of Australia (2019)
  • Forbes World’s Top 50 Women In Tech (2018)
  • Forbes 30 Under 30 (2016)
  • 2012 Young Australian of the Year
  • American Australian Association Next Generation Leader (2017)
  • Asia Society Asia Game Changer Award (alongside architect IM Pei (Lifetime Achievement Award), movie director Zhang Yimou, and the founder of K-Pop and S.M. Entertainment, Soo-Man Lee (2016)
  • Grace Hopper Celebration’s Anita Borg Change Agent Award (2011)
  • Global Engineering Deans Council Diversity in Engineering Award (2014)
  • International Youth Foundation’s YouthActionNet Fellowship (2011)
  • Engineers Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Engineers in Australia (2015)
  • Australia’s 60 Most Innovative Engineers (Young Engineers Category) (2016)

Ashton Kutcher wasn’t the only star attraction Lenovo had at its ‘TECHMyWay’ presentation today. He was preceded by Marita Cheng, the wildly inspirational and very impressive 2012 Young Australian of the Year winner, founder of Robogals and now CEO of Aubot.

IT Wire, 13 February 2015, on Marita's Lenovo#TechMyWay event with Ashton Kutcher

And finally engineer Marita Cheng stole the show with her enthusiasm for robots and passion for wanting to be at the forefront of things and how there was no reason why the next Google or Apple couldn’t come from Australia. It was inspiring stuff and it is this that will galvanise public support for science funding and which government ignores at its peril.

The Australian16 September 2014, on Marita's Q&A appearance


Monika Bielskyte

Monika Bielskyte

Paul Romer - Nobel Prize winner - Economist - - Sustainability

Paul Romer


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