Agenda

May 1–2, 2024 · Boston, MA
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

All-Access Pass Holders can attend all agenda sessions and will have access to speaker presentations after the event. Agenda sessions are subject to change. Check back often for updates and additions.

Register Now

Expand All +
  • April 30, 2024

    Tuesday

  • May 1, 2024

    Wednesday

  • May 2, 2024

    Thursday

  • Step up to the plate and join us for a home run of networking opportunities at our baseball-themed reception! Connect with industry professionals, swing by for lively conversations, and hit it out of the park with new connections while enjoying the spirited ambiance of America's favorite pastime. Light food and drink will be served.
    Where
    160ABC

  • Jonathan Hurst is Co-Founder and Chief Robot Officer at Agility Robotics, the world’s leading developer of humanoid robots for commercial applications. Hurst’s keynote will explore the technological breakthroughs propelling humanoids like Digit into the real world. Learn about the ongoing challenges and opportunities and go inside Digit’s first pilots with Amazon, GXO Logistics and more.
    Keynote
    Where
    258ABC

  • Amazon has accelerated its fulfillment operations to keep up with consumer demand. In this conversation with Tye Brady, Chief Technologist of Amazon Robotics, learn how the e-commerce leader has worked internally and with partners to develop and deploy technologies including mobile robots, automated storage, AI, and humanoid robots. Amazon will discuss its criteria for success and how it is striving to continually innovate.
    Keynote
    Where
    258ABC

  •  
    Where
    Exhibit Hall C

  • This panel will feature top robotics experts who represent different markets and models. They will discuss how developing strategic partnerships can expedite commercial expansion and the steps required to succeed in this process.
    Development
    Where
    257B

  •  
    Enabling Technologies
    Where
    257A

  • Asensus Surgical changed the surgical industry with its intra-operative Augmented Intelligence technology that's approved for use in operating rooms around the world. Recognized as a leader in digital technology, Asensus is committed to making surgery more accessible and predictable with consistently superior outcomes. Based upon the foundations of digital laparoscopy and the Senhance Surgical System, the company is developing the LUNA Surgical System, a next-generation robotic and instrument system as a foundation of its digital surgery solution.

    This session will explore the development and introduction of cutting-edge technologies, sensing modalities, and real-time data collection capabilities of the LUNA Surgical Platform and the practical implementation of those capabilities. By harnessing these innovative technologies and investing in a multi-year development effort to cohesively integrate them, Asensus is poised to deliver on the promise of Performance Guided Surgery.
    Healthcare Robotics
    Where
    51

  •  
    Automated Warehouse
    Where
    50

  • Struggling to calibrate and localize your robots? Wrestling with sensor fusion and perception problems? Unable to drive close to walls or obstacles? Delocalizing in highly-aliased environments with other movers? Delocalizing when GPS is intermittent? Unable to deploy without GPS + RTK? Looking for a scalable solution to deploy more bots in more locations with fewer technicians? William Sitch at Main Street Autonomy feels your pain.
    Enabling Technologies
    Where
    257B

  • Nathaniel Czarnecki, lead test engineer and head of the testing squad at Scythe, will share the philosophy behind and framework for building highly effective robotics testing programs that can grow in scope and impact without becoming burdensome to the business. This involves prioritizing which facets of the product need the most in-depth testing, identifying meaningful metrics to measure them by, and using the findings to rapidly iterate on and improve the product – all with typically limited resources and an eye toward seriously expanded testing operations.

    Resulting in six generations of its mower in less than six years, Scythe’s testing program has driven step-change product and performance improvements with each iteration of M.52, as well as significant updates between them. Through stories from the test fields at Scythe (along with plenty of destructive testing videos), Nathaniel will also share best practices for testing hardware and software in tandem, creating progressive testing programs, and building the rapport needed to collaborate with teams across an organization, offering insight relevant to any robotics company.
    Development
    Where
    257A

  • Unleashing the full potential of robotic performance hinges on a delicate balance between motion control component selection and robotic design. With a range of joint sizes and demanding applications, choosing the right combination can be challenging. Join us as we demystify the complexity and illuminate the path to optimized motion control.

    Crack the code on Motor Selection: Dive into the critical factors impacting motor selection across joint sizes, from high-torque motors replacing hydraulics to miniature motors for smooth and precise end-effector motion. Navigate the Integration of Motors into Your Robotics System: Uncover the secrets to seamless communication from feedback devices, ensuring optimal feedback and precise control. Real-World Case Studies: Witness the power of optimized motion control system partnerships in action, from collaborative surgical robots to humanoids.

    Innovation Spotlight: Discover the latest technologies in motion control, empowering you to build the next generation of robots that will disrupt the markets in need.

    Join us as we unlock the hidden potential of your robotic systems. Learn how to engineer an optimized motor system and create robots with industry-leading performance.
    Enabling Technologies
    Where
    256

  • You’ve heard about artificial intelligence (AI) and have probably seen many companies touting how their products use AI to help your warehouse. We’re going to dive deep into separating the facts from fiction when it comes to AI in the warehouse.

    Attend this session to learn about the impact, benefits, and considerations of implementing AI in your warehouse. In this presentation, we’ll discuss:

    - Embodied AI and what it is
    - What’s AI and what isn’t AI
    - The benefits of AI

    Understanding these perspectives and the true reality of AI helps warehouse managers separate the fluff from the facts and learn how to use AI for good.
    Automated Warehouse
    Where
    50

  •  
    Ai
    Where
    257B

  • Behavior trees are a mechanism for representing and abstracting complex behavior for autonomous agents. While they originated in the video game industry, they have been steadily gaining popularity in robotics over the past several years. In contrast to other widely used approaches such as finite-state machines, behavior trees offer several benefits in the structure they enforce, including a relatively concise standard modeling language, ease of modification and extension, and verification guarantees. This presentation will begin with an introduction to behavior trees, which covers the formalism, basic mechanics, and common idioms for robotics applications. We will then contrast behavior trees with alternative approaches and detail the main software packages and resources available for getting started. Finally, we will present some lessons learned from experience applying behavior trees in various robotics projects, spanning a range of application areas and academic versus commercial uses.
    Development
    Where
    257A

  • The ARM (Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing) Institute is the nation’s leading robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Since its inception in 2017, the ARM Institute has catalyzed over 150 technology and workforce projects to strengthen U.S. manufacturing. One-third have employed AI and machine learning to enable robotic manufacturing capabilities previously not available commercially, with more in the pipeline. The capabilities apply to fabrication, finishing, assembly, and inspection of new equipment. Advanced robotics transform sustainment operations from largely manual repair and refurbishment tasks to robotics, extending equipment lifetime in field operations.

    This presentation will share updates on current projects, technical approaches, best practices, and lessons learned, plus steps to make the technology more broadly accessible to manufacturers large to small and facilitate technology transition via system integrators.
    Ai
    Where
    256

  • Image-guided surgery is a paradigm wherein instruments or therapies are precisely placed at specific locations within the body based on medical imaging, and often localized by intraoperative tracking systems. Conventionally, an MRI of a patient guides a thorough pre-operative planning effort, and at the time of surgery that plan is registered to the patient. However, the inherent mobility of soft tissue targets during surgery poses a significant challenge, rendering intra-operative imaging ‘stale’ and potentially unknowingly compromising the alignment of instruments with respect to the actual anatomical locations.

    This presentation addresses this critical issue by exploring the potential of intra-operative MRI to actively track soft tissue targets and instruments in real-time. The incorporation of traditional robotic systems into the MRI environment has historically been challenging, limiting the feasibility of this approach. The talk will delve into innovative solutions devised to ensure precision motion safely within the MRI scanner without compromising image quality. By overcoming these challenges, a new era of “closed loop medicine” emerges, wherein instrumentation, anatomical targets, and other structures are dynamically tracked, allowing for interactive optimization of motion planning and instrument delivery.

    Compelling case studies will be presented, including an MRI-compatible cooperative surgical robot designed for image-guided prostate biopsy that autonomously steers the needle tip based on live imaging, accommodating unmodeled motion and enhancing the accuracy of the procedure. Additionally, the talk will showcase an MRI-compatible stereotactic neurosurgery robot capable of accounting for brain shift during surgery and facilitating precise delivery of neurostimulation leads, drug delivery catheters, and needle-based ablation instruments for conformal brain tumor ablation, leveraging real-time MR thermometry.
    Healthcare Robotics
    Where
    51

  • The robot revolution won’t happen if everyone needs engineering degrees to install, operate, and service them. This panel will explore the challenges and opportunities of making robotics accessible to more users. Learn about how advancements made in ease of use, affordability, interoperability, and flexibility will bring robots to the masses.
    Automated Warehouse
    Where
    50

  • Learn how tactile sensors can enable a gripper to apply the optimal grip force to hold any object and respond to dynamic loads. With this tactile feedback, the gripper will never grip too hard and break an item, nor will it grip insufficiently and drop an object. The gripper doesn’t even need prior knowledge of the object’s size, shape, weight, or packaging. The tactile sensors also enable complex robotic manipulation such as turning a handle and opening a door or inserting a USB cable. These tactile sensors could be the difference between a robot with the dexterity of a skilled person and a robot that is all thumbs. Come see for yourself how this crucial technology can help take robotic dexterity to the next level.
    Enabling Technologies
    Engineering Theater
    Where
    Engineering Theater

  • MassRobotics is the world’s first and largest independent non-profit innovation hub focused on growing robotics technology companies, scaling solutions and championing robotics adoption. The MassRobotics Accelerator, Powered by Mass Tech Collaborative, empowers the next generation of robotics startups through non-dilutive funding, custom tailored curriculum, and personalized mentorship. In this session the first accelerator cohort, a diverse group of startup technologies from across the United States, will showcase their technologies and businesses. Investors are encouraged to attend.
    Development
    Where
    257B

  • This talk will explore the driving forces behind the creation of depth sensors, which are now ubiquitous in robotics. We will discuss how the limitations of many popular 3D sensors have spurred the need for new hardware and approaches. Attendees will gain insights into the sensor design and algorithms that underpin depth sensor capabilities, such as self-calibration and depth precision metrics. This theoretical foundation will set the stage for a discussion of real-life sensor experiences obtained through use by partners and customers.
    Enabling Technologies
    Where
    257A

  • Robotics companies have to contend with a flood of log data that robots generate. Even a small number of deployments can quickly produce thousands of log files that contain complex, multi-modal sensor data. When managed incorrectly, this data quickly becomes a burden and can hide issues affecting system reliability and safety. Many companies are unable to answer simple questions like: “have we seen this problem before?

    In this talk, we'll cover key lessons learned from productizing robots at Amazon, and show how you can leverage AI to search, transform and analyze robotics data at scale in the cloud. We’ll also highlight how getting this data under control can unlock the use of exciting new transformer models in robotics.
    Development
    Where
    256

  • Touch is a key enabling modality in many surgical procedures. Recreating, amplifying, and augmenting the surgeon’s sense of touch in surgical robotics relies on innovations in compact, high reliability, scalable force-torque sensing technologies.

    This session will give an overview of the roles of force and torque sensing in surgical robotics; including tip of instrument sensing, trocar remote center of motion/tissue contact, surgeon collaboration/leading/tool insertion, and surgeon-console interfaces.

    We’ll dive in core specifications and the state-of-the-art of what’s possible with force-torque sensing technologies, along with best practices for implementing force-torque capabilities into your surgical robot, including:
    - Thermal compensation and considerations under surgical drapes
    - Grounding & shielding inside ultra compact robotic joints
    - Engineering cable assemblies for high-flex, multidimensional, tight bend applications
    Healthcare Robotics
    Where
    51

  • This panel discussion will feature logistics industry leaders who will explore the current state of warehouse automation. Learn about best practices, emerging trends, and how the latest robotics innovations are helping supply chain operators overcome major challenges.
    Automated Warehouse
    Where
    50

  •  
    Where
    258ABC

  •  
    Where
    259AB Pre-function

  •  
    Where
    259AB

  •  
    Where
    259AB

  • Over his 25-plus-year career, Kumar has successfully scaled businesses at major multinationals including General Motors, General Electric, and Honeywell. In this keynote, he will share some lessons he has learned and how they can be applied to accelerate the transformation of industry with robotics.
    Keynote
    Where
    258ABC

  • Join us for an interactive exploration into Disney's innovative use of robotics. Disney researchers Mortiz Baecher, Morgan Pope, and Tony Dohi will demonstrate Disney’s latest robots and explain how imagination and engineering are bringing some of Disney’s beloved characters to life.
    Keynote
    Where
    258ABC

  •  
    Where
    Exhibit Hall C

  • Recreating intelligence in machines has been one of computer science’s grand challenges since Alan Turing. He proposed imitating the human mind and envisioned a symbolic approach. Today, AI has followed a different path, relying on vast datasets and compute in an attempt to brute-force cognition. This approach is based on a loose understanding of the brain, but does it represent the end point for machine thought or a stop on the journey? In this talk, Prof. James Marshall will propose that the structural limitations of deep learning and technologies such as SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) prevent them from robustly solving the problem of "thinking" in a way that would satisfy Turing. Far from being "all about scale," standard approaches are already presenting diminishing returns, he said. Marshall will present an alternative approach, based on understanding whole-brain function, not of humans to begin with, but simple organisms such as insects. He will explore how solving the problem of ‘solving’ thinking most likely has its roots in solving the problem of moving autonomously in the world. In addition, Marshall will tie theory with practice by showing the short-term payoff of this approach: substantially more efficient and robust autonomy for robots in the real world.
    Enabling Technologies
    Engineering Theater
    Where
    Engineering Theater

  • Generative AI is revolutionizing the software industry, but how can this breakthrough be applied to robotics? This panel will discuss the applications of large language models (LLMs) and text generation applications to robotics. It will also explore fundamental ways generative AI can be applied to robotics design, model training, simulation, control, human-machine interaction and more.
    Ai
    Where
    257B

  • The Robot Operating System (ROS) is gaining popularity in the robotics industry because it is an open-source platform that solves a common problem: trajectory calculation for complex, multi-axis machines. However, users are faced with the issue of sending the trajectory information in a reliable, deterministic way. Software libraries that handle the low-level EtherCAT and CANopen communications can bridge the gap between the controller and the drive, simplifying the overall development of complex motion control applications. If the method of trajectory transmission is unreliable, undesired behavior may occur, such as choppy motion, damaged payloads, and error conditions. The DS402 Protocol for Motion Control has defined Interpolated Position Mode as a means of standardizing the control of multiple coordinated axes through the transmission of synchronization (SYNC) pulses and process data objects (PDO’s). High-resolution trajectories result in high data rates that must be handled by both the controller and drive. Some controllers use real-time operating systems to deal with the high data rates. Another approach utilizes data buffers in the firmware of both the controller and drive to provide forgiveness for controller latency. In either case, engineers designing robotic systems will find that low-level software to process the data is necessary to achieve reliable, high performance motion control. Processing libraries such as the Copley Motion Library (CML) provide easy implementation that integrates seamlessly with the MoveIt2 API and utilizes the DS402 Protocol to deliver smooth, synchronous motion over the CANopen or EtherCAT networks.
    Enabling Technologies
    Where
    257A

  • Our mission is to give drivers time back during their journeys and revolutionize travel for enhanced safety, reduced stress, and make driving enjoyable for all. Join this session to stay informed about how automated driving is playing a pivotal role in reshaping the future of road travel. Explore the significant challenges currently faced in the realm of autonomous mobility and understand their impact on public perception. Gain insights into Latitude AI's efforts to develop a robust automated driving product through testing and performance tracking.
    Development
    Where
    256

  •  
    Automated Warehouse
    Where
    50

  • The winners of the second MassRobotics Form & Function Challenge will be announced. All participants will be exhibiting their prototypes on the showfloor. Learn more about the Form & Function Challenge here.
    Engineering Theater
    Where
    Engineering Theater

  • Commercials typically require multiple types of sensors to capture information about the physical world, which following fusion and further processing allows them to orient themselves, avoid obstacles, navigate, and provide additional information. Thankfully, solution providers continue to release low-cost, increasingly powerful products, and new sensing technologies are always emerging. In this panel, attendees will learn about the latest sensor advancements, including use cases highlighting important trends and techniques.
    Enabling Technologies
    Where
    257B

  • Whether fixed in place or free to roam, driving in factories or flying through the skies, robots have become increasingly capable. They are now able to adapt, analyze, navigate, and execute complex missions - autonomy is becoming ‘solved’! But, with robotics and automation being rapidly transformed by new developments in AI, there is immense potential to unlock entirely new horizons in the field. On top of this, many related fields are going through similar evolutions. In this talk we will take a look at how companies and organizations can take advantage of these trends to shape their futures.
    Development
    Where
    257A

  • 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.
    Development
    Where
    256

  • MassRobotics, FESTO, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, MITRE, Novanta and other key players in the healthcare and robotics space are hosting the 3rd annual 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 seight healthcare robotics startups currently in the catalyst program: Able Innovations, AiM Medical Robotics, Cobionix, Dopl Technologies, Healthic, Limber Technologies, REEV and RIF Robotics . Each of these startups embodies the innovative spirit and potential to transform the healthcare industry with their unique robotic solutions.
    Healthcare Robotics
    Where
    51

  • AI is being used in perception, control, and human robot interaction. Simulation has proved a pivotal tool in training and testing these AI models for robotics. This presentation delves into the cutting-edge trends and challenges at the intersection of AI and simulation. From synthetic data generation to robotics learning gyms, this talk covers the technical aspects of why the simulation-first approach is revolutionizing how robots are developed.
    Development
    Where
    257B

  • While robot arms have seen great adoption in manufacturing, we believe we have just begun to scratch the surface of applications in other industries and domains. In these semi-structured and unstructured environments, the technical challenges of reliably applying robot arms are much greater. But the need is enormous. This talk will highlight how PickNik has been using advanced software approaches to lead the robotics industry in applying manipulation and grasping to some of the toughest challenges. From farm fields to ghost kitchens, subsea to outer space, we will discuss our strategies to leverage modern software (including ROS) to make robotic arm hardware more intelligent.
    Development
    Where
    257A

  • Since the COVID-19 pandemic, funding to early-stage robotics startups has dipped. High interest rates have slowed orders, and investors are wary of solutions in search of problems. However, the demand for automation is continuing to grow across industries, and capital is available to companies that can demonstrate value and a realistic timeline. This panel will share tips from experienced investors and robotics companies on what they're looking for. Learn how organizations can navigate the challenging path to commercialization.
    Development
    Where
    256

  • The Robot Operating System (ROS) has changed how engineers entering our workforce learn robotics. These engineers had a shared toolbox to bootstrap their robot projects or research. They could start working on a robot and immediately solve real-world problems. ROS 2 addressed architectural problems that made it difficult to turn an R&D robot into a viable product. ROS 2 can scale up or scale down to meet the needs of the specific robot product. Safety is always a concern with robotics. In the past, robots were placed in work cells to operate safely away from humans. Industries with safety and risk concerns have created versions of ROS that allow systems to be more easily certified safe for use. Some examples are Apex.OS (automotive self-driving car safety standard 26262) and Space ROS (aerospace safety standards DO-178C and NPR7150.2D). ROS is not currently the de facto standard for surgical robotics and robotics in medical devices, but maybe it should be. In this presentation, we will explore the potential benefits from a version of ROS that is tailored to address the standards needed for the medical device industry, such as IEC 62304 and ISO 60601.This presentation will identify the possible features a medical ROS would support and compare potential benefits to actual benefits reported by users of Apex.OS and Space ROS. We will examine all possible paths that we as an industry can take to achieve a medical certifiable ROS, ensuring its success and sustainability to maximize industry-wide advantages.
    Healthcare Robotics
    Where
    51

  •  
    Keynote
    Where
    258ABC

  •  
    Where
    Level 2 SE Lobby