Updated: Jul 15, 2021
NAME: MARITA CHENG
Founder of Robogals, CEO of Aubot and co-founder of Aipoly
Scale of Notoriety as a Secret Asian...Asianish:
Marita Cheng was featured in Forbes’ 30 under 30 in 2016 and was also named one of the world’s top 50 women in tech by Forbes magazine in 2018. She is well known across the world for her robotics and regularly travels the world delivering TED talks and conference lectures, attending board meetings, and appearing on TV shows.
Scale of Influence as a Secret Asian...Asianish:
Marita Cheng is currently the youngest member of the Order of Australia (AM). From a young age, she’s made a commitment to helping others, having been awarded Young Australian of the Year in 2012 for her volunteer work, and, in 2019, she was awarded an Order of Australia “for significant service to science and technology, particularly to robotics”, through her robotics. All in all, she is an inspiration to many and has brought a lot of positive change.
Alive and living in San Carlos, California, USA.
Born in Cairns to a single mother, the main provider for her and her younger brother. A high achiever from a young age, she graduated from high school in the top 0.2 per cent of the nation, with awards in Mathematics, Japanese and Piano.
While Marita Cheng was studying engineering and science at university, she and four other female students, after noting how little women there were in their degree, were inspired to found Robogals, to encourage more girls to take up STEM. The initiative proved to be successful and, since then, Robogals has taught more than 100,000 girls from 11 different countries.
Marita Cheng is Chinese Australian (specifically, both parents are Hong Kong Chinese immigrants) and grew up participating cultural community events.
Marita Cheng received much of her drive from her mother, her greatest inspiration. Marita Cheng’s mother, Judy Cho, singlehandedly raised her and her brother while working several jobs to support them. Seeing how hard her mother worked drove her to work as hard as she did to succeed and get to where she is now.
Marita burst into the world on 5 March 1989.
Positivity - Marita Cheng has a can-do spirit!
Resourcefulness - She created her first robot in a garage, which ended up being the model for Teleport. Likewise, while trying to build robogals, Marita Cheng reached out to others to advise her on how to make her robotics better and create a community where everyone could share and collaborate on ideas.
Compassion - Marita Cheng built her robotics with the intention to help people. Aside from helping thousands of girls find and nurture their passion for science, she co-developed an object recognition app, Aipoly Vision, to help blind and visual impaired individuals in everyday life.
None - Marita Cheng grew up in poor household and was taught to work hard by her hardworking mother. Aside from possibly having too many ideas to work with, she has no weaknesses because she knows how to tackle them.
Special Talents: The Bagrat Team expects more AI wonders from this Robogal and wonder when she'll be cloned?
Marita Cheng is multilingual! She can speak three languages, English Cantonese and Japanese.
Nadya Labiba is an Indonesian-Australian currently in her fourth year of Journalism and Languages and Cultures at University of Technology Sydney. Aside from interning at Captain Bagrat, Nadya is an avid community volunteer and a published contributor at Central News.
Bevin Liu is an ABC (Australian-born Chinese) in every sense of the word. Thinking that her life was set on a law degree, she is now going into the third year of her undergraduate degree in Journalism and International Studies (Majoring in China). On top of occasionally dropping into Captain Bagrats, she is working as a journalist for a regional newspaper, as the planning editor for Central News and trying to balance it with her new responsibilities as a member of UTS’s Academic Board. She would dabble in her love for animals and strange things through the university’s Cat Society and StartUp Link in her spare time.