World-renowned Computer Vision Researcher Joins Leading Retail Technology Innovator

Grabango appoints UC Berkeley Professor Trevor Darrell as Chief Scientist

BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Grabango, the leading provider of checkout-free technology for brick-and-mortar grocery stores, announced the appointment today of Professor Trevor Darrell as its Chief Scientist. Darrell is a senior faculty member in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) at UC Berkeley and one of the nation's leading experts in artificial intelligence. Darrell has stepped up from a more traditional advisory role to become deeply involved in Grabango's day-to-day product development.

With an expertise in computer vision, machine learning, and perception-based human computer interfaces, Darrell presently leads UC Berkeley's top-ranked Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, which has produced a great deal of fundamental work including contributions to the Convolutional Architecture for Fast Feature Embedding (Caffe) framework. Caffe was released in 2014 and quickly became the preferred deep-learning framework used by computer vision researchers around the world.

"Adding Trevor has had a serious force multiplier effect on our development efforts. We were already moving fast, but his intellect and knowledge are accelerating our progress," said Will Glaser, CEO of Grabango. "He works with members of our computer vision team, giving each guidance that makes the best use of the latest science. The result is our saving valuable development time and rapidly overcoming technical obstacles."

Darrell is joining Dr. Mark Nitzberg to anchor Grabango's visionary brain trust. Nitzberg holds a Ph.D. from Harvard and was the founder and CEO of Blindsight, the company that commercialized computer vision to aid the visually impaired. Like Darrell, Nitzberg also splits his time with UC Berkeley, where he is the Executive Director of the Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence.

"Grabango is not just another Silicon Valley startup," said Darrell. "There is a sophistication in the way they apply technology development to enhance their customers’ businesses. Grabango’s technology transforms the way people shop and will soon become one of the most significant ways computer vision impacts peoples’ daily lives."

Around these two leaders, Grabango has amassed an incredible team to build the technology. Over 70% of the company's developers hold a Ph.D. or other advanced degree; and more than 40% come from the top tech entrepreneurial schools of Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, Cornell, Harvard, or Carnegie Mellon. Smart attracts smart, as some of the best and brightest are leaving established positions at larger tech giants to join Grabango. This virtuous cycle is helping Grabango scale wisely in an employment market where others have had to sacrifice quality in order to grow at all.

The company announced earlier this year that it had signed four separate agreements with multi-billion-dollar retail partners, presiding over a combined 29-million sq. ft. of shopping space. Since that time, Giant Eagle has disclosed that it is one of those partners. Grabango has quietly been deploying its systems and already has more sq. ft. of shopping space installed than all other technology providers combined, including Amazon Go.

About Grabango

Grabango is the leading provider of checkout-free technology for existing, large-scale store chains. Grabango delivers a next-generation shopper experience and is the only enterprise-class, checkout-free solution on the market today. The Grabango platform is a fault-tolerant, edge computing network that accurately processes millions of simultaneous transactions. The system places no limits on who can enter the store, what can be sold there, or how the shelving is configured. Grabango was founded in 2016 by Will Glaser, who was also a co-founder of Pandora Media.

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About Professor Trevor Darrell

Professor Darrell is a full professor in the Department of EECS at UC Berkeley. He is the co-director of the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) lab, leads Berkeley's Deep Drive (BDD) Industrial Consortia, and is faculty director of PATH. Professor Darrell was also instrumental in the development of the Convolutional Architecture for Fast Feature Embedding (Caffe). He previously led the vision group at the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley and directed the Vision Interface Group while on the faculty of MIT. He earned his Ph.D. at MIT. In addition to acting as Chief Scientist at Grabango, he formerly served as a technical consultant to Pinterest.


Jack Song