Advanced Grasping and Manipulation Panel

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

4:30 pm – 5:15 pm

Grasping and manipulation, the ability to directly and physically interact with and modify objects in the environment, is perhaps the greatest differentiator between robotic systems and all other classes of automated systems. Many types of robots require the ability to coordinate tactile, vision, and proprioceptive sensing to pick-up and operate on all manner of objects, with goals ranging from providing human-like dexterity and autonomous manipulation, to high precision repeatability, and on to super human strength and endurance.

During this panel session, attendees will learn of the latest grasping and manipulation technologies and techniques commercially available, as well as solutions emerging from the lab that will allow for whole new classes of robotics applications.


Tom Ryden, Executive Director, MassRobotics;
Co-Founder and Former COO, VGo Communications

Tom is an experienced senior executive who has devoted his career to creating viable businesses based on technology, covering domains ranging from factory to battlefield to healthcare. He has overseen the development and introduction of leading mobile robotics products. Executed product development and marketing contracts with major automotive, telecommunications and healthcare companies. Has strong, street savvy business and financial acumen. Active in the robotics community, helping lead trade associations and advising numerous start-ups.


Leif Jentoft, Co-Founder, RightHand Robotics

Leif Jentoft is a co-founder at RightHand Robotics, a company creating accurate, scalable order-picking robots. The technology spun out of a DARPA program at the Harvard Biorobotics Lab, and their products are used in over 15 countries in a variety of applications. He holds a B.S. from Olin College and a PhD from Harvard.

Mark Chiappetta, Chief Technology Officer, Soft Robotics

Mark Chiappetta, CTO of Soft Robotics, is a high energy technology leader with over 25 years of experience in high growth, start-up and mid-size companies. He is an established inventor with over 30 issued and numerous additional pending patents in the field of robotics and automation, and remains proficient in the design, development, and manufacture of revolutionary products utilizing the latest in robotics technologies. Before joining Soft Robotics, Inc., Chiappetta spent 2.5 years at BIONX Medical Technologies as Senior Vice President of R&D where he oversaw the development of the emPower robotic ankle-foot prosthesis and 15 years at iRobot Corporation in a variety of technical and leadership roles with his last being Vice President of iRobot’s Advanced Systems and Technology group. Earlier in his career, he worked for Joseph F. Engelberger, who is known world-wide as the “Father of Robotics.