Photo by World Economic Forum, courtesy Wikimedia Commons
A leader in the field of personal robotics, Sebastian Thrun was born in Solingen, Germany, in 1967 and immigrated to the U.S. after completing his education at the University of Bonn. He created the first interactive robot guides in the world and also worked for DARPA to create reconnaissance robots for search and rescue as well as law enforcement and military uses. Afterward, as a research professor at Stanford University, Thrun began his pioneering work on the driverless car. Inspired by the death of a friend, he continued this work at Google, envisioning a safer future for road travel. He also founded Google X, a branch of the tech company that aims for its most radical innovations. He is currently the CEO of Udacity, a company that seeks to democratize education. Fast Company named Thrun the fifth most creative person in business in 2011.