Our Team


Carl Vause

Chief Executive Officer / Director

Carl is CEO of Soft Robotics Inc. Prior to Soft Robotics, Carl held a variety of senior positions in technology and medical device companies, most recently as Vice President of Marketing at OmniGuide Surgical. Carl served as the Global Franchise Leader for the Joint Repair business at Smith & Nephew, with $500 million in annual revenues and also as Vice President of Global Marketing and Director of Strategy and Business Development for the Endoscopy Global Business Unit. Carl served as Manager of Strategic Planning at 3M and as Division Operations Process Manager at Nestle Waters North America. He began his career a Naval Flight Officer in the United States Navy, retiring from the Naval Reserve in 2013.



Mark Chiapetta

Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Chiappetta is a high energy technology leader with over 20 years of experience in high growth, start-up and mid-size companies. He is an established inventor with over 30 issued and numerous additional pending patents in the field of robotics and automation, and remains proficient in the design, development, and manufacture of revolutionary products utilizing the latest in robotics technologies. Before joining Soft Robotics, Inc., Mr. Chiappetta spent 2.5 years at BIONX Medical Technologies as Senior Vice President of R&D where he oversaw the development of the BiOM robotic ankle-foot prosthetic and 15 years at iRobot Corporation in a variety of technical and leadership roles with his last being Vice President of iRobot's Advanced Systems and Technology group. Earlier in his career, Mr. Chiappetta worked for Joseph F. Engelberger who is known world-wide as the "Father of Robotics."



Ryan Knopf

Director of Hardware Development

Ryan is a veteran systems integrator and designer that specializes in blending embedded electrical, mechanical, software/firmware, and control system design experience to rapidly iterate highly functional prototypes of complex robotic systems.   As the Director of Hardware Development at Soft Robotics he is responsible for supporting design and fabrication of novel soft robotic actuators and integration of those actuators into custom industrial pneumatic control systems.  He holds a B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.  While studying as a mechanical engineer, he worked with Prof. Daniel Koditschek in the Kod*Lab to develop three new mobile robotic platforms: X-RHex, X-RHex Lite, and the Canid bounding robot.



Dan Harburg, PhD

Director of Business Development

Dan is the director of business development at Soft Robotics Inc.  He has served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at North Bridge Venture Partners, working with scientists at Harvard, MIT, and the University of Illinois to commercialize technologies at the intersection of materials, medicine, and advanced manufacturing.   Dan completed a post-doctoral fellowship with John A. Rogers at the University of Illinois and was a visiting scholar in the laboratory of Prof. Whitesides at Harvard University. He completed a PhD in Electrical Engineering at Dartmouth and was one of Dartmouth's first Innovation Fellows.



JoshUA Lessing, PhD

Director of Research & Development

Josh joined Soft Robotics Inc. after working as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Whitesides at Harvard University. As the Senior Scientist at SRI, Josh is responsible for the design and fabrication of a fundamentally new class of chemically inspired robotic actuators. He holds a Sc.B. in Chemistry from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His unique perspective on robotics has allowed for the creation of soft and adaptive robotic actuators through a novel combination of materials and fabrication methods. 



Board of Directors




Chairman / Co-Founder

Carmichael Roberts is a long-time commercial and scientific collaborator of Dr. George Whitesides at Harvard University. In addition to Soft Robotics, Dr. Roberts and Dr. Whitesides co-founded Surface Logix, a drug optimization company, Arsenal Medical, a medical device company and Diagnostics For All, a 501c3 nonprofit. Dr. Roberts has served in a board and/or executive capacity for each of these organizations.  Dr. Roberts serves on the advisory boards for MIT’s Deshpande Center for Innovation, Harvard’s Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, and Dukes’ School of Biomedical Engineering.



George Whitesides, PhD

Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor, Harvard University / Co-Founder

Prof. George Whitesides joined Harvard’s Department of Chemistry in 1982 and served as department chairman from 1986 to 1989. From 1963 to 1982, he was a faculty member at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Whitesides held advisory positions on the National Research Council, National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and the American Philosophical Society, among other organizations.



Adam Sharkawy, PhD

Independent Director

Adam Sharkawy is currently a Sr. Vice President of the Medicines Company and Head of their Pain Management Business.  Prior, he helped establish the headquarters of Smith & Nephew’s Emerging Market (EM) and International Market (IM) divisions in Dubai where he served as a member of their executive leadership team and as Sr. Vice President of Product Development.  Dr. Sharkawy received his Ph.D. from Duke University where he researched methods of growing small blood vessels around long term implants.  He also holds a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Design Methodology from Texas A&M University andhis Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the American University, Cairo.  Dr. Sharkawy remains affiliated to Duke University by serving on its Biomedical Engineering Advisory Board and to Texas A&M University by serving on its Bioengineering Advisory Board.



Yuquan Wang

Haiyin Capital / Founding Partner

Yuquan Wang is a respected mentor in the venture capital industry in China.  He lectures frequently on tech market trends, and on Sina, Tencent and tech media within China. Prior to Haiyin, Wang founded Consultech in 1995, which was acquired by Omnicom Group.  At 1998, he founded Frost & Sullivan China and served as President.



Work Here

Soft Robotics is always looking for talented engineers, designers, and business professionals. If you are interested in pursuing a future at Soft Robotics, send us your resume.