May 10–11, 2023 · Boston, MA
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

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  • May 10, 2023

  • May 11, 2023

  • Turning a technology developed inside a lab into a successful robotics company is no easy task. Howie Choset has done this several times with companies such as Medrobotics (surgical robots), Hebi Robotics (modular robots) and Bito Robotics (robot software). Choset will share insights about the robotics startups he founded and best practices for taking technological innovation from an idea to reality.

  • Laura Major, Chief Technology Officer at Motional, will discuss the company's approach to developing SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicles (AVs) that can safely navigate complex road scenarios. As part of the discussion, Laura will cover the core challenges of AVs, deep learning advancements, and Motional’s innovative Machine Learning-first solutions.

  • Commercialization is the impact point where all expectations for your product are tested – right when it hits the market. Successful commercialization is good for the individual company and the Robotics industry as a whole. Success leads to more products ­– whether they are follow-on, derivative, or brand-new new ideas. Learn from three Robotics industry experts about developing strategic partnerships to expedite commercial expansion and the steps required to succeed in this process. Gain insights on navigating the non-linear road to commercialization as these executives share their experience and thoughts on the need for precision and detail-oriented partners.
    Manufacturability, Production and Distribution

  • Commercial depth sensors have been a tremendous asset to kick-starting and developing robot platforms; however, off-the-shelf sensing can constrain your project through a variety of means. Whether it is the software integration that falls short or the initial hardware offering falls outside the scope of critical performance requirements, users often find themselves left wanting on a number of different axes. As a result, more robotics companies are choosing to “roll their own depth” by combining off-the-shelf components with available compute and software to create and maintain a depth stack that fits with the evolving needs of their platform. In this talk, we’ll cover what we've learned it takes to build depth, from optics and compute selection to industrial design considerations and software requirements.
    Design and Development

  • With the rapid acceleration of robot deployments, the need for heterogeneous fleet management will become standard. In this session, Intrinsic will share recent developments in the Open-RMF platform and present use cases where it has been deployed. Intrinsic will also present a roadmap about the future of Open-RMF and interoperability and some of its latest tools and capabilities, including:

    - Multi-agent planning framework - Mapf is a library for cooperative path finding
    - Task Management - the latest improvements including a flexible task framework to allow custom task definitions, multi-phase tasks, prioritization and more
    - Site Editor - a desktop or web utility to visualize and edit large deployment sites
    - Crowd Simulation - a plugin to simulate human actors with multiple behaviors
    - Obstacle Detectors - packages that infer the presence of obstacles from sensor inputs including LIDAR or 2D/3D cameras
    Design and Development

  • Force and torque sensing play key roles in enabling surgical robotics, including at the tip of the instrument, trocar location/tissue contact, surgeon collaboration and the surgeon interface. During this session, attendees will learn about 13 core specifications for haptic sensors and the current state-of-the-art of what’s possible. This talk will detail best practices for implementing haptic sensors into surgical robots, including:

    - Thermal compensation and considerations under surgical drapes
    - Grounding & shielding inside ultra-compact robotic joints
    - Engineered cable assemblies for high-flex, multidimensional, tight-bend application
    Healthcare Robotics Enabling Technologies

  • Collaborative robots and AI are becoming increasingly important for surgeons who must perform extremely precise, often highly repetitive tasks. But surgical applications have unique performance and certification requirements that are not widely understood or available in the current cobot market. In this presentation, we will provide guidance on how to address these barriers. We will also explore critical engineering considerations when specifying surgical application needs regarding collaborative features, AI integration in the surgical flow, and certification requirements. Join us for answers to these questions:

    · What are the unique requirements for cobots in surgical applications?
    · How do key components such as frameless motors determine performance?
    · How do cobots and AI-enabled vision impact surgical flow?
    · How customized design can impact performance, development cycle, and certification
    Healthcare Robotics Design & Development

  • Autonomy and perception systems are built on the core components of sensor calibration, localization, and mapping. Calibration requires targets and trained personnel and maintenance. Localization and mapping only works in certain areas with expensive sensor systems. These issues drive higher robot cost, restrict robot deployments and constrain business growth. This talk will detail three innovations that solve these problems.
    Manufacturability, Production and Distribution

  • In modern robotic applications, space comes at a premium. Power density continues to be a leading factor in robotic applications, although it is often compromised by the cabling and hardware needed to implement the power and control systems. In this session, we will explore how to simplify the design of a robotic joint without compromising performance, reliability, or advanced motion control features that normally come at the cost of bulky cabling and electronics.
    Technologies, Tools and Platforms

  • New hardware, sensors, algorithms, and AI technologies have opened up the ability to rethink how robots are developed for use in unstructured environments. Using a first principles approach, Apptronik has used the same platform to develop a range of robots from exoskeletons to humanoids. This has resulted in reactive, compliant, lightweight, and affordable robots that can perform a variety of tasks in existing human environments. In this session, you will about Apptronik’s approach to developing a platform for general-purpose robots, their use cases, and the future viability of these systems
    Design and Development

  • Across the globe, we are living older for longer than ever before. This is creating huge demands on caregivers, healthcare systems and societies overall, where many regions are already experiencing a labor shortage crisis. Robotics can play a significant role in helping people live more independently for longer.

    To achieve this, robotics has to transform in at least two major ways. First, we need to develop robots that can scale to be affordable for personal, 1-to-1 use, which is a dramatic change from most commercial robots today. Second, making functional robots operate autonomously in homes requires solving for much greater complexity, with far more diverse and challenging settings and use case scenarios.

    In this presentation, Labrador Systems will walk through the design and development of Retriever, a personal robot built from the ground up to operate in the home, lighten the load of daily activities, extend the impact of caregivers, and ultimately help us live more independently as we age.
    Healthcare Robotics Design & Development

  • What is the best architectural approach to use when building medical robots? Is it ROS, ROS 2 or other open-source or commercial frameworks? The answer is, “it depends.” In this presentation, we will explore engineering questions concerning the level of concern, risk, design controls, and evidence on a couple of different applications of these frameworks. Looking at three hypothetical robotic systems, we will explore these approaches:

    1. An application based on the da Vinci Research Kit through regulatory clearance
    2. ROS as test tools to verify the software requirements for a visual guidance system
    3. Commercial off-the-shelve robot arm used for a medical application

    Attending this session to learn how to create trade-offs with these different architectural approaches and how to validate the intended uses of these architectural approaches to ensure a successful submission package for your FDA, EMA, or other regulatory approval.
    Healthcare Robotics Enabling Technologies

  • When it comes to new product development in robotics, there is no silver bullet. But there are common and predictable bottlenecks and inefficiencies that prevent engineering teams from operating at maximum productivity that can be eliminated.

    In this presentation, attendees will learn strategies to overcome these barriers and accelerate development. Through inspiring success stories from industry-leading companies, including Honeywell and Gecko Robotics, this talk will detail how robotics teams shaved weeks and months off development cycles to drive improved quality, speed and time-to-market outcomes. Ultimately, attendees will leave with a clear plan of action on how they can transform new product development.
    Manufacturability, Production and Distribution

  • Robotics for large-scale fabrication or processing has relied on the ability to realize what is referred to as "coordinated motion." This enables a robotic arm to work beyond its reach envelope by precise coordination with external axes. These external axes may be linear rails, or rotational axes to extend the working envelop of the combined robotic solution. Mobile robots have also gained in adoption and use, but, even in fairly complex mobile manipulator solutions, coordinated motion is only realized through the connection of the manipulator and the base via an external monitoring device. These solutions also normally make use of a "stop and go" approach in which the mobile base positions itself in a static pose first before the industrial manipulator begins its operation, thus not demonstrating true coordinated motion.

    Southwest Research Institute seeks to pursue a coordinated motion solution that will enable richer continuous processing beyond the standard reach of the manipulator without the need to tie together the base and manipulator with an external tracking device, therefore opening a new frontier of industrial mobile robots that currently are not available in industry.
    Technologies, Tools and Platforms

  • Although human factors engineering touches many facets of overall system design, at its core, the practice facilitates the interaction between humans and technology; it aligns a system’s design with individuals’ cognitive and physical capabilities and limitations to produce a safe and satisfying user experience. Despite the level of autonomy healthcare robotics technologies might offer, there is always a human element that requires consideration.

    During this talk, the presenters will discuss human factors implications and considerations related to the design of robotic healthcare technology used in clinical and non-clinical environments. The talk will describe how robotics disrupts the four key aspects of design analyzed when supporting product development: the system’s touchpoints, intended users, intended use environment(s), and its intended users’ tasks with the system. We will illuminate how such aspects can and should influence design decisions, as well as best practices when conducting research within the regulated medical device industry.
    Healthcare Robotics Design & Development

  • Healthcare robots are quite different from their industrial counterparts. They do not work in fenced-off areas, but rather side by side with their operators. With this in mind, safety, accuracy, and size requirements have become more critical in today's applications. Reliable control of the robot's position, alignment and movement is essential. Rotary and linear encoders enable the position feedback of the motor and send vital information to the control.

    This talk will illustrate different measurement principles (magnetic, glass, inductive) and explain the advantages of magnetic measurement. It will differentiate between absolute and incremental systems and will discuss the different interfaces from basic incremental TTL to absolute interfaces like CANopen or BiSS-C. Attendees will also learn about trends and requirements for compact designs and highly integrated solutions.
    Healthcare Robotics Enabling Technologies

  • Traditional sensors and navigation stacks have enabled AGVs and AMRs to bring tremendous value to a finite set of indoor material handling applications. But a much broader set of additional applications remains unsolved due to limitations in more challenging environments, including outdoor, indoor/outdoor, spaces with dynamic or repetitive features and where mobile robots must interact seamlessly together with humans. The panelists will discuss how recent technology advances are setting the stage for the next wave of innovation mobile robots and share examples of exciting new applications that will be unlocked.
    Technologies, Tools and Platforms

  • Robotics and automated systems used in many industries still lack sufficient standard specifications for interfaces, test methods for performance comparison, and practices for implementation. These gaps can stifle industry adoption and innovation.

    The ASTM F45 Committee on Robotics, Automation, and Autonomous Systems is working to fill these gaps through the development of standard terminology, practices, classifications, guides, test methods, and specifications applicable to these systems.

    This talk will include an overview presentation on the committee’s recent and upcoming activities, as well as an interactive discussion session to gather industry feedback on recommendations for future standards developments to ensure alignment with the needs of the community, both from a developer and user perspective.

    Manufacturability, Production and Distribution

  • The robotics industry is at an inflection point because software advancements can offer a full paradigm shift in how to scale a successful robotics business. At MongoDB, Horowitz’s data platform was the foundation for dozens of $1B+ high-growth software companies. That same style of software infrastructure advancement is now coming to robotics to support a wave of high-growth robotics companies.

    In this session, Viam and MongoDB co-founder Eliot Horowitz will detail why this is the best time to launch a robotics business and how a modern approach to software can get you from paper to prototype to production to successful, scaled business faster than ever.
    Design and Development

  • In this presentation we will provide an update on recent developments in motion control technologies, applications, and products that are especially important for designers of medical analytical instruments and operating room equipment.

    The emphasis will be on mobile & surgical robotics, patient therapy equipment, and advances in actuators and position sensors that are driving the next generation of motion control applications that deliver more accuracy, lower treatment costs, and improved medical outcomes.

    Prabh Gowrisankaran, VP of Engineering and Strategy at Performance Motion Devices, Inc. (PMD), will share his extensive experience in electronic motion control and will lead this discussion designed to be interesting for both engineers and medical practitioners alike.
    Healthcare Robotics Enabling Technologies

  • MassRobotics, FESTO, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, MITRE, Novanta and other key players in the healthcare and robotics space recently initiated the Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst Program. The goal is to advance healthcare robotics companies by providing the connections, guidance and resources they need to grow and succeed.

    During this session, attendees will hear pitches from the following seven healthcare robotics startups currently in the catalyst program: Able Human Motion, Acumino, Andromeda, Maestro Surgical, Robot on Rails, Unlimited Robotics and Zeta Surgical
    Healthcare Robotics Design & Development

  • This fireside chat with Marc Raibert will discuss opportunities for the robotics industry and the most important and difficult challenges facing the creation of advanced robots. It will also describe how the new AI Institute is pushing the limits of technological innovation to solve these challenges.

  • Johnson & Johnson, one of the world’s leading healthcare companies, gives an inside look at the end-to-end development of its Monarch and Ottava robotics platforms, as well as strategy and innovation cadence across surgical robotics for MedTech.

  • Based on years developing numerous robots for companies across the world, Ted Larson, CEO of OLogic, a Silicon Valley-based robotics design and development services firm, will outline the steps in his guerilla product development program, a novel engineering approach for developing robots. The talk will discuss the concepts underlying the product development technique and provide specific examples of how the process has been used for the development of various robotic and consumer electronics products. He will use specific case studies to detail how various commercial robotics companies.
    Manufacturability, Production and Distribution

  • Battery decisions for mobile robots are critical for achieving power autonomy, but they can be complex:

    · How much capacity is needed?
    · Where can I put the battery?
    · What is the best charge method?

    In this session, attendees will learn the answers to these questions and more. Detailed information for designers who need reliable portable power for mobile robots will be provided. Additional topics covered include system considerations such as non-motive loads, battery placement issues, and how to design for re-generative braking charging. Also discussed will be wired and wireless charging pros and cons, plus the trade-offs between short, quick charging and once-per-shift charging methodologies.
    Technologies, Tools and Platforms

  • Warehouse logistics and advanced manufacturing are increasingly using robotics as a critical part of their automation strategies. They can improve operational efficiency, improve safety, and help companies address the persistent labor shortages that are being observed across the globe. Developing these intelligent robotic systems, however, is a complex, challenging, and costly undertaking. Thankfully, advanced simulation tools are available to engineers that can speed the design, development, and testing processes.

    This talk will describe the many ways NVIDIA Isaac Sim can be used to accelerate the development and deployment of robots, including advanced AI and computer vision. Specifically, attendees will learn how simulation can test robot applications in photo-realistic, physically accurate digital twin environments. In addition, the robots can be placed in increasingly complex simulations involving digital humans and fleets of robots to optimize operational KPIs. This session is designed as an introduction to photo-realistic 3D simulation for robots and is appropriate for all levels.
    Design and Development

  • Robotics is all about leading change. To realize the true potential of robotics requires a bold vision driven top-down that aligns R&D teams, operations, finance, and global IT, while also requiring a deep focus on the details of successful individual deployments. In this talk, Brad Porter will share his perspective on how soon collaborative robots, with more human-like capability and a greater ability to collaborate with humans, are coming and the new challenges and opportunities they will present in healthcare.
    Healthcare Robotics Enabling Technologies

  • For individuals with and without a disability, participation in everyday activities is essential to health and well-being. Achieving functional independence enables a person to engage fully in everyday life situations that are purposeful and meaningful. However, individuals with severe motor impairments may experience physical, social, and environmental barriers limiting their ability and access to participate in their activities more independently. I'll present a study that explores how the Stretch mobile manipulator, created by Hello Robot Inc., was operated by Henry Evans, a non-speaking older adult with quadriplegia, in his home to perform meaningful everyday activities to promote autonomy, independence, and social participation while reducing the level of assistance required from his wife and care partner, Jane Evans. I will also present how using Stretch can enrich the personal needs of care partners, such as Jane, by assisting her caregiving demands and enabling her engagement in activities that promote health, well-being, and quality of life.

  • For a long time, robotics software development has been forced to make the choice between safe software and fast software. Early on, Scythe Robotics chose a third path: Rust, the new programming language that promised a break from that dichotomy. It was a lonely and bold choice at the time but has paid huge dividends.

    Scythe Robotics, a developer of commercial autonomous lawnmowers, will discuss its decision to use Rust and some learnings along the way. It will discuss how it benefited from Rust’s strengths to build a robot software platform that is both reliable and performant, while still enabling high-velocity development. For example, leveraging the best parts of both ROS and Rust is possible with the mature rosrust crate, which allows engineers to make use of existing ROS tools as well as the wider package ecosystem. Further, directly integrating with other existing C/C++ software is straightforward as well, enabling reuse of proven libraries and device-specific features like compute accelerators and other C/C++ platform SDKs.

    Scythe’s rapid progress is, in no small part, due to the strengths of Rust and the confidence it has unlocked for developers to move fast and build things reliably. This talk will be a guide for others looking to oxidize and accelerate their software development process.
    Technologies, Tools and Platforms

  • Spot, Boston Dynamics' quadrupedal robot, can reliably walk nearly anywhere a human can, but what does it do? While legged mobility is necessary for many use cases, it’s not the only requirement for value-producing applications. This talk will focus on the work we have done to develop Spot for remote and autonomous sensing applications:
    - Encapsulating Spot’s mobility in an extensible API
    - Building an autonomous capability
    - Making it easy to add sensing to build value-producing solutions
    Design and Development

  • It is a long road with numerous hurdles to take a medical robot from an initial idea to a certified product. To achieve this, some important questions must be answered, such as:

    - What is the intended use?
    - What is the legal framework?
    - What are the main risks?
    - Which methods can be used to evaluate concepts, to develop prototypes and to verify the final product?

    This session will give an overview of the essential steps required to turn a product idea into a market-ready healthcare robot. Attendees will be provided with practical advice on how to implement these steps, as well as a European perspective on the regulatory aspects of the product life cycle.
    Healthcare Robotics Design & Development

  • Compared to industrial and consumer motion control technologies, solutions for healthcare applications typically have different, and often very stringent, functional requirements in areas such as safety, reliability, tolerances, sterilization and more. In this panel session, attendees will learn how the latest products and technologies support the development of advanced robotics systems and allow for new capabilities and new applications.
    Healthcare Robotics Enabling Technologies

  • Data is the lifeblood of modern robotics development, yet many companies struggle with the unique challenges of robotics data, such as compute-constrained logging, upload and bandwidth, access & security, retention, governance, and visualization. Solving these challenges is the key to unlocking rapid development in any robotics organization.

    In this session, Adrian will walk through the most important elements of a successful robotics data strategy. He will uncover uses of robotics data, stakeholders, design considerations, and review open-source and commercial software being used to streamline logging, ingestion, access, and visualization at leading companies today.
    Manufacturability, Production and Distribution

  • Motion in the physical world, whether in the form of changing place, position or posture, is perhaps the greatest differentiator between robotic systems and all other classes of engineered products. It is motion that makes robotics systems ‘robotic’ and it is advances in motion control technologies that have spurred robotics innovation. In this panel session, attendees will learn how support for robotic motion control has improved with the introduction of new products and technologies, and how they allow for new capabilities, new applications, and entry into new markets. Case studies and product examples will be used to highlight salient points. Topics include:

    Motion and Movement
    Motion Control Products and Technologies
    Robotic Motion Control Trends
    Applications and Vertical Markets
    Motion Control and Robotics Opportunities
    Technologies, Tools and Platforms

  • Emulation is a concept that will be familiar to anyone engaged in the development of computing systems (or fans of retro gaming), but did you know research & development groups around the world are leveraging the approach to develop more personalized and advanced prosthetics, orthotics, exoskeletons, wearable robotics, and more?

    Wearable systems are costly to prototype and difficult to perfect, so it is crucial for this burgeoning industry to reimagine R&D processes to unlock greater efficiency, throughput, and more wildly successful products. Learn more about the opportunities, challenges, and innovative approaches being explored towards developing technology that augments human biomechanics and could one day be accessible to anyone looking for a boost to their physical performance.
    Healthcare Robotics Design & Development

  • From vacuums to quadrupeds to self-driving cars, robots are becoming increasingly physically capable, intelligent and cost-effective. As with any emerging industry, the earliest innovators didn’t have the luxury of decades of fundamental knowledge and best practices available to them. They built from the ground up and learned the hard way what not to do.

    Today, we’re entering a new era of robotics. The most successful robotics companies of the next decade won’t be the ones building from scratch. They’ll build on existing platforms that have been hardened to solve very specific problems, including problems in autonomy, fleet management, simulation, and more throughout the robotics stack.

    In this presentation, the audience will learn how robotics development has been done recently, what is changing, and what is coming in the next decade from an expert with fifteen years of experience in robot development and deployment across a variety of industries. Market expectations surrounding robotic capabilities, security and privacy, and robustness and safety are becoming increasingly difficult for new entrants to match. Nevertheless, a variety of market forces are making building robots cheaper and easier than ever before, and demand for robotics has never been higher!

    Just as a new software company today wouldn’t build its own cloud computing platform, and instead would use AWS, the next generation of robotics companies are not going to start with a hodgepodge of ROS nodes and custom circuit boards. It is highly likely that some of the world’s largest robotics companies haven’t even been founded yet!
    Design and Development

  • Robotics has the potential to democratize healthcare by complementing a surgeon’s skills and guaranteeing consistent quality of care. With the aim of reducing pain, discomfort and limiting disruptive interaction with the anatomy, soft magnetic robots are a novel, emerging solution. This technology can guarantee remote actuation, which equates to smaller size and softer devices. This talk will introduce the potential for magnetic soft robots in overcoming the main limitations of alternative approaches, such as minimally-invasive surgery which is difficult to scale due to the need for highly skilled personnel. The session will discuss a range of applications magnetic robots can cover in healthcare, with a focus on diagnosis and surgery. The main challenges and future research goals are introduced and reviewed.
    Healthcare Robotics Enabling Technologies

  • Space is commonly referred to as the “final frontier.” But Nicolaus Radford and the team at Nauticus Robotics believe the world’s oceans are of the utmost near-term priority (and largely unexplored) final frontier. Founded by former NASA engineers, Nauticus is leading the way by developing novel ocean robotic platforms for unprecedented ways of working in and exploring the aquatic domain, while challenging the less-than-desirable and archaic paradigm of the legacy industry. The company’s vision is to become the most impactful ocean robotics company and to disrupt the current ocean services paradigm through the integration of autonomous robotic technologies. The deep sea is vast, full of potential, and yet remains largely as uncharted as space itself – and Nauticus is at the forefront of unlocking its possibilities.

    This keynote will chart Radford’s journey from developing humanoid robotics for space and leveraging that experience to form Nauticus and its revolutionary ocean robotics portfolio. His work at NASA heavily influenced the advancements at Nauticus as the company develops robots capable of aiding in national security, repairing oil pipelines, and inspecting windfarms -- all while significantly reducing emissions and hazards to human counterparts. During his keynote, Radford will provide insights about both environments, discuss the business and technology of Nauticus’ current work and explain his vision for the future of ocean technology and robotics.


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