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Nuro: Redefining the Power of Thoughtful Robotics


We are living in an era where artificial intelligence has become the new normal. Since its introduction, a major portion of society noticed the need to automate countless manual processes and facilitate human living through a robotic touch.

Field experts Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu founded Nuro with the same mission in mind - to simplify and accelerate the use of robotics in everyone’s life!

Considering artificial intelligence almost essential, Dave and Jiajun’s Nuro implements smart robotized methods that will soon play a detrimental role in shaping society, mobility, and delivery as we know it. Initially proclaimed the first unmanned and self-driving delivery vehicle, Dave and Jiajun’s brainchild, Nuro, introduces a staggering market innovation that trusts the power of robotics in order to help solve a variety of issues globally, including local goods transportation.

Interested in how Dave and Jiajun took Nuro to a whole new game-level and raised the bar of quality for intuitive technologies worldwide?

Different Backgrounds, Same Passion

Although driven by the same passion, genius minds Dave and Jiajun had two completely different life stories and journeys. Nevertheless, every decision they made along the way, fuelled by their undying love for science, brought them together to create one of the most impactful platforms in today’s tech-crazed world.

Like most children their age, Dave and Jiajun loved playing with robot-like toys. What began as an innocent child’s play turned into a real-life vision later on in life, with both Dave and Jiajun both understanding the need for robotics and creating one of the most innovative and futuristic designs of today - Nuro!

Jiajun Zhu was born and raised in Shanghai, the Republic of China. As a child, he was fascinated with stories of technology and dreamt of becoming one of the leading inventors in his country and wider. After earning a Bachelor’s degree at Fudan University, Jiajun moved to the USA to pursue a Master’s in computer science. He earned his degree from the University of Virginia, following which he worked as a principal engineer at no other mogul but Google.

Dave, on the other hand, was born and raised in New Zealand and showed an early interest in science and robotics whilst boasting a strong sense and knowledge of computers and all things technology. Dave attended the University of Otago, where he scored a Bachelor’s in computer science and mathematics.

Later, whilst still in his 20s, Dave also moved to the USA to pursue an MS and a Ph.D. in computer science and robotics at the Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh. His initial employment after graduating was first at Intel and then, at Two Stigma, where Dave got busy developing robotic themed projects and corroborated machine learning strategies.

Consistent efforts and a large experience in maneuvering algorithms took Dave to work as part of NASA’s Mars Rovers project, after which he also joined Google, where he worked as a principal engineer of the platform’s self-driving program.

The Trigger

As young tech entrepreneurs, both Dave and Jiajun dedicated their lives to introducing innovative projects that had to do with machine learning and AI.

They have dedicated their careers to creating possibilities, building meaningful technological advancements, and presenting solutions to a variety of robotic challenges. Given their skills and practice, it is no wonder that Dave and Jiajun did beyond well at Google.

Trusted by their project managers, Dave and Jiajun were assigned to create a monumental project - a self-driving robotic vehicle. Part of the larger Google Engineering team, it would actually be Dave and Jiajun that would lead the task as Google’s principal engineers. The challenge at hand brought Dave and Jiajun together for the first time. Soon enough, they were sharing professional backgrounds and skills and put these into practice in various fields, including machine learning and robotic optimization for vehicles of all sorts.

After years of working at Google, the dynamic duo was able to dive into the world of imagination and return to their childhood dreams of working with robotics and smart technology.

Dave and Jiajun became very close friends through collaborating on this project and gained mutual respect for one another, both professionally and personally. Throughout their business venture, Dave and Jiajun learned society was desperate for a technological revolution and required a wholesome robotic revamp.

Creating the first self-driving vehicle was not an easy mission to pull off, but for them, it was a ripe challenge to tackle, one that would deliver a cooler, safer, and more productive world for humanity. Triggered by the concept itself, Dave and Jiajun began working on the creation of Nuro, although none of them fully realized its potential at the time.

Robotics at Their Finest

Making the most of the beneficial world of artificial intelligence, Dave and Jiajun soon found themselves fed up with working at Google. As a result, both decided to leave the company and initiate a new project that would revolve around the same intelligent concept. The pillar idea was for Dave and Jiajun to create a self-driving vehicle that could do more than the regular car or lorry, thus impressing society with a much simpler and revolutionized product that could largely facilitate their lives.

Nuro’s journey officially began in 2016, the same year of its launch. As a newfound product, Nuro aimed to be different and ultimately delivered, when Dave and Jiajun accomplished the creation of a prototype vehicle known as R1. The difference and the uniqueness in their product were easily seen in this self-driving robotic vehicle.

As a design, the vehicle was not meant for passengers and commuting, but for storing and delivering products and goods! Nuro was the first unmanned delivery type of autonomous robot and harnessed the power of artificial intelligence, whilst aiming to solve roadside challenges through the introduction of modern e-commerce tools.

The focus of the platform is to improve technology on a global scale and faster than any other rival. Nuro uses a combination of cameras, sensors, artificial intelligence, and radars, all of which enable safe traveling, and efficient and smooth arrival of goods to their respective destination - all on its own and without needing a designated driver!

A vehicle driving on its own accord would be an unimaginable concept decades ago, but Dave and Jiajun knew that what they accomplished with Nuro would leave a permanent stamp on technology and the further growth of AI.

Nuro Today

As the latest invention, Dave and Jiajun’s Nuro needed no time to gain worldwide popularity and recognition. With a mission to accelerate and improve the benefits of using technology and robotics daily, Nuro has attracted potential investors worldwide, who were eager to have their say - even if only financially - in the creation of this groundbreaking platform.

Located in Mountain View, since its launch, Nuro has raised $1.5 billion in total funding from 9 investors, the most recent of which are Chipotle Mexican Grill and Woven Capital.

Nuro’s team has expanded up to 1,000 employees, many of whom are experts in the field of technology, and are tirelessly working to refine and improve the R1 vehicle and advance it to a sophisticated R2 model.

The company is also the first to receive transport exemption and permission, courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

To ensure its longevity on the market, Nuro has partnered up with countless mogul names, including Domino’s, Kroger, CVS, Walmart, and others, thus ensuring the delivery of groceries, clothing, food, and pretty much everything else - easier, more functional, and downright efficient!