Empire Robotics Inc.


Empire Robotics is a Cornell University technology spinout. The company has an exclusive license to IP developed at Cornell, and is commercializing a platform robotics technology through its first product, a universal robot gripper. This gripper solves a fundamental problem in the $25B industrial automation market of gripping and manipulating varied objects. Manufacturers in food processing, auto, consumer goods, and more are the end customers.

Video Pitch

Management Team


Bill Culley

The President, Bill Culley, is a 2012 MBA graduate from Cornell’s Johnson School, with experience raising Seed and Series A funding for previous startups and working in as well as running previous startup companies. Bill was formerly a management consultant with Oliver Wyman, and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Cornell University.


John Amend

The CTO, John Amend, is a 2013 PhD student with the Creative Machines Lab at Cornell, with publication in top robotics journals, and ten years of robotics design research experience. John is the recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and is the primary inventor on the patent this company is formed around.

Director of Research and Development

Nadia Cheng

The Director of Research and Development, Nadia Cheng, holds a PhD from MIT, with a focus on tunable stiffness mechanisms and materials for soft robotics. Nadia was a National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellow and has published in top robotics conferences and journals.

Director of Engineering

Patrick Dingle

The Director of Engineering, Patrick Dingle, holds a BS degree from Cornell in mechanical engineering and has thirteen years experience developing robotics including as the tenth employee of Kiva Systems growing it to a $775M acquisition by Amazon for their mobile warehousing robots.