Agenda

Tracks

Wednesday, June 5


Deepu Talla
VP and GM, Autonomous Machines, NVIDIA

Artificial intelligence is the most powerful technology of our time, giving machines the ability to sense, perceive, and interact with the world. AI is driving an exciting new era of robotics and high-performance computing platforms are critical to the creation of tomorrow’s machines — both big and small. And with new tools powering the future of autonomous machines, there’s no limit to what’s possible.

During this keynote presentation, Deepu Talla, VP and GM, Autonomous Machines, NVIDIA, will dive into the elements required to bring a product to life — embedded hardware, flexible software, and a strong ecosystem. He will also review some of the latest advancements in robotics research and provide examples of commercially successful robotics systems. Examples include cobots that can work alongside humans in manufacturing, last-mile delivery robots that bring food and products to consumers, and agricultural robots that will help feed Earth’s growing population. Talla will also describe how it is now faster and easier than ever for companies, researchers, developers, and makers to get up and running with robotics.


Roger Barga
General Manager, AWS Robotics and Autonomous Services, Amazon Web Services

In this presentation Roger Barge, General Manager, AWS Robotics and Autonomous Services, Amazon Web Services, will discuss the role that cloud services will play in the future of robotics, allowing developers to partition functionality between their physical robot and the cloud, in particular compute intensive functionality such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. He will also describe how artificial Intelligence can enhance collaborative, consumer and personal assistant robot capabilities, with examples including face and object recognition, as well as voice command and response. Examples of using machine learning and simulation in the cloud to successfully train a robot to navigate through a new environment without writing a line of code will also be provided. In addition, drawing upon robotics experiences in fulfillment centers, he will discuss the role of the cloud to monitor, control and manage fleets of robots in production.


Dawn Tilbury
Head of the Directorate for Engineering, National Science Foundation and Professor University of Michigan

Robots are moving into workplaces, replacing some people while helping others to accomplish their goals. NSF has been funding research in The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier, with a goal of ensuring that the robots of the future are beneficial for both people and jobs. One of NSF’s Ten Big Ideas, the Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier will require cross-disciplinary and convergent research, as well as collaborations between universities and industries. Through these collaborations that will define and develop new technologies, we foresee significant progress being made on many important societal challenges.


Doug Olson
President & CEO, Harmonic Drive

Track: Technologies, Tools and Platforms


Di Le
Robotics Product Designer, Brain Corporation


Hamid Badiozamani
Software Engineer, Brain Corporation

Track: Systems, Design and Development
In robotics, one key to a truly collaborative approach is a socially conscientious designed user experience (UX). UX allows for the holistic understanding of how humans can effectively interact with technology. We, as the robotics & AI community, have a responsibility and obligation to create products that truly benefit humanity vs. putting us at odds with innovation. There is a vital need to have an understanding of the symbiotic relationship that influences the building process of creating a robotic product. This presentation covers the importance of UX as the driving factor of conversation on how robotics gets integrated into an industry, what that reception is like, and what is needed for that adoption to take place. Attendees will learn:

  • How to research and build interfaces and applications that make the human/robot connection possible.
  • How to leverage field testing and voice of the customer data to develop a true “co-bot”.
  • Best practices and considerations when introducing new technologies to traditional industries.


Bradley Sauln
Technical Services Engineer, Onshape

Track: Manufacturability, Production and Distribution
The design of robotics systems provides a unique engineering challenge and one that requires the right design tools for the job. Much design work has converged around one class of product – CAD systems. But traditional CAD is just the beginning. Modern design shops are now looking for an end to end process, a design platform, that does not control how they work but instead enables their creative workflow. Data management, communication, and collaboration are also significant steps in this process often overlooked by the tools used.
In this informative session, Bradley Sauln will describe what he has learned firsthand from robotics designers after working with numerous companies and helping them select design tools that ensure that robotics teams can work closely and react swiftly in an iterative environment.

  • Modern companies need modern tools
  • CAD is a small part of a much larger, multidisciplinary design process
  • Real-time collaboration and feedback are paramount


Dan Kara
Vice President, Robotics, WTWH Media LLC


Andra Keay
Managing Director, Silicon Valley Robotics


Fady Saad
Co-Founder and Partnerships Director, MassRobotics

Track: Bonus
It is well documented that robotics clusters, groups of regionally localized robotics companies, enthusiastic investors, universities and research institutions, and other supporting organizations, act as facilitators and accelerators for robotics innovation, new business formation, job creation and regional wealth generation. For companies developing robotics solutions – both large and small – awareness and understanding of the outsized role robotics clusters play in the growth of the overall robotics sector, particularly as it relates to business planning and partnership opportunities, is critical. In this panel session, representatives from some of the world’s leading robotics clusters will describe their local clusters, as well as how they create a self-reinforcing, beneficial web of robotics innovation and promotion, whose total impact greatly exceeds the sum of its individual parts.


Brian Mason
West Coast Business Development Manager, Elmo Motion Control

Track: Technologies, Tools and Platforms
Technological advancement combined with creative design allows for the development of very powerful, highly integrated full motion control systems of increasingly smaller size. These novel systems are challenging common system design practices by combining the simplicity and high power of centralized control, with the small size and flexibility of decentralized servo architectures. In this session, Elmo Motion Control’s Brian Mason will describe how all-in-one miniature motion control systems can precisely coordinate the complex multi-axis motion of commercial class robotics systems. Moreover, he will describe how these new technologies can simplify programming and system design, cut costs and reduce time-to-market.


David Mindell
CEO, Humatics

Track: Systems, Design and Development
AGVs are essential to the Industry 4.0 ideal of smart, flexible factories and logistics centers, but the deficiencies of legacy navigation technologies are limiting their benefits. Magnetic tape and fiducial-based systems are inflexible and damage-prone, while LiDAR systems are expensive and restricted to indoor, structured environments. Vision-based navigation has come a long way but still fails in numerous industrial settings.
So, what’s the solution? There is no “one size fits all” solution across all AGV applications. Industrial AGV applications, in particular, require precise, robust and cost-effective positioning that can only be achieved with sensor fusion. This includes sensors such as LiDAR, vision, IMUs as well as a new category of microlocation products that use radio-frequency-based technology that synthesizes time-of-flight measurements with inertial sensors to determine the 3D location of AGVs. This talk will discuss microlocation in relation to other more well-known navigation-based solutions.


Parag Batavia
President, Neya Systems Division, Applied Research Associates

Track: Bonus
In this presentation, Neya Systems’ president Parag Batavia will describe how his company used non-dilutive defense funding to build a core set of outdoor off-road autonomy capabilities, and then adopted a platform model to transition it to commercial OEMs. A brief overview of the technologies will be provided, but emphasis will be placed on the business model that was adopted, along with the requirements necessary to take defense-funded solutions efforts and make them truly useful in commercial markets. Topics include:

  • Defense funding can be used to build core technology that is valuable to commercial customers
  • However, internal funding is usually required to customize and “harden” work done for defense RDT&E customers
  • The DoD will often pay for R&D but selling them products is hard; OEMs rarely pay for R&D but are amenable to buying / licensing good products


Eugene Demaitre
Senior Editor, Robotics, WTWH Media LLC


Greg Zancewicz
VP, Business Development, Motus Labs


James Klassen
CTO, Genesis Robotics

Track: Technologies, Tools and Platforms
‘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 is that makes robotics systems ‘robotic’, and it is advances in motion control technologies that have spurred robotics innovation, with the result that there has been a dramatic increase in the use of robotics technologies and products around the globe. 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.


Roland Angst
Head of ASUS Robotics and AI Center, ASUS

Track: Systems, Design and Development
The combination of autonomous decision making and interaction with the physical environment sets robots apart from other devices and machines. A robot is therefore very similar to an intelligent agent as considered in artificial intelligence. In this presentation, Roland Angst, Head of ASUS Robotics and AI Center at ASUS will highlight the close connection between robotics and artificial intelligence. The major paradigms in robotics and artificial intelligence will be presented, including reactive agents, subsumption architectures, automated planning, machine learning, and probabilistic models. In addition, he will provide an overview of our efforts at ASUS to develop smart robots. Specifically, he will outline the major ingredients that were required to develop Zenbo, an Android-based commercially available home service robot. The session will also include a description of the remaining challenges in robotics and artificial intelligence, as well as several promising areas of active research that will likely have an impact on the evolution of robotics.


Rob Coneybeer
Co-Founder and Managing Director, Shasta Ventures

Track: Manufacturability, Production and Distribution
2019 will be the year that cloud robotics becomes vital to industrial automation. From start-ups to world-class organizations like Google and Amazon, there will be a surge of companies launching new services aimed at cloud-based development, deployment, and/or management of robot applications. The advantages are significant – computational power, storage, and communications, to name a few. Cloud connected robots can communicate with each other as well as operations teams – seamlessly. But what does it take to build a RaaS company? In this session, Rob Coneybeer, the first investor in the Nest Thermostat and Fetch Robotics, among other emerging platform companies, will discuss the benefits of a cloud-first approach to robotics, how to build to scale and why you will not see any resistance RaaS in the coming year.

  • Benefits of a cloud-first approach to robotics
  • How to build to scale
  • Why you will not see any resistance RaaS in the coming year


Dikai Liu
Distinguished Professor, Co-Director, Centre for Autonomous Systems, University of Technology Sydney

Track: Bonus
While substantial progress in core robotics research is continuously being made, the pace of delivering intelligent and autonomous robots for real industry applications lags. Outside a few niches, relatively few intelligent/autonomous robotic systems have been practically deployed or are available in the market. In many cases, researchers and entrepreneurs do not fully appreciate the many challenges related to developing and deploying commercial robotics systems. This presentation will discuss those challenges, along with strategies that facilitate the transition of research systems to practical, commercial class robots. Case studies describing the development and practical deployment of autonomous and intelligent human-collaborative robots for civil infrastructure maintenance will be presented.


Ricardo Tellez
CEO, The Construct

Track: Technologies, Tools and Platforms
In this session, Ricardo Tellez, CEO of The Construct, will describe one of the key roadblocks preventing robotics innovation to proceed more quickly, namely, the lack of benchmarking when developing different robotics solutions. It is often impossible to reproduce results that others have achieved or compare results. Even if the code is published on a Git, comparison of results is very difficult because the testing conditions for each robotics system is different. In this presentation, attendees will learn how the use of ROS, Gazebo simulator and the cloud can boost robot development by providing a common ground to test and reproduce any robotics solution and compare it with other solutions.


Tim Rowland
CEO, Badger Technologies, a product division of Jabil

Track: Systems, Design and Development
While mobile robots first may have gained attention for their brawn, typically moving goods and products through warehouses and manufacturing centers, an increasing number of organizations today are taking advantage of their brains too. From warehouse floors to retail aisles, autonomous robots are gaining traction as rolling IT infrastructure—invaluable assets capable of capturing, aligning and delivering business-critical data. This session will highlight the cerebral side of robotics, providing real-world examples of how robots’ mobile data collection capabilities can help companies improve their operations, ordering practices, overall efficiency, safety and customer convenience. By robots automating data collection, the resulting predictive analytics can yield meaningful and actionable business insights.

  • Robots are capable of more than just heavy lifting
  • Mobile data collection
  • Automated data collection yields meaningful business insights


Michael Hansen
Investment Manager, Invest in Odense

 


Oliver Mitchell
Founding Partner, Autonomy Ventures


Sana Fathima
Investment Manager, Lockheed Martin Ventures

Track: Manufacturability, Production and Distribution
Investment is one indicator of an active market and an unambiguous affirmation of potential commercial viability of individual companies. By reviewing robotics investments, for example, it is also possible to determine which industry segments and technologies can attract funding. Analysis of robotics investments can also provide an understanding of the specific tools, technologies, and applications that have found commercial success or has the potential for doing so. In this panel session attendees will be provided with analyses of recent robotics investment trends, and how they provide for meaningful interpretation and speak to robotics business development, particularly for new commercial launches.

Thursday, June 6


Henrik Christensen
Qualcomm Chancellor’s Chair of Robot Systems, UC San Diego and Director, Institute for Contextual Robotics

Over the last decade we have witnessed tremendous progress on robotics. Collaborative robotics has come of age, vision is finally viable as a feedback modality, grippers have moved beyond parallel kinematics, and so on. We have also seen major advances in modern machine learning techniques, modern control theory and human-robot interaction. But what does the future hold for the robotics sector, and where can opportunities be found? To answer exactly those questions, governments and business development groups often turn to technology roadmaps – formal documents generated every few years by a combination of experts from business, academia and government that systematically describe goals for research, technology, products, applications and industries, and outline the most efficient and economic path to those goals, including hurdles that must be overcome. In this keynote session, Henrik Christensen, Qualcomm Chancellor’s Chair in Robot Systems and Director, Contextual Robotics Institute at UC San Diego, will describe the development of the current US National Robotics Roadmap, and discuss both emerging robotics business cases and significant R&D challenges.


Lou Amadio
Principal Software Architect, Microsoft


Cyra Richardson
General Manager, Microsoft

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been transformational to many businesses. The insights gained through instrumentation and digitization are improving efficiency and increasing margins. The next step is to close the loop through robotics and autonomous systems. In this keynote presentation, Microsoft’s Lou Amadio, Principal Software Architect, and Cyra Richardson, General Manager Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Incubation, will describe how a host of cloud and edge IoT solutions can be used collectively to bring your robotics and automation solutions to market.


Russell Toris
Director of Robotics, Fetch Robotics

Track: Technologies, Tools and Platforms
People working with robots want them to move in a “human” way. To do so, they must gain a semantic understanding of the environment — similar to how humans recognize things such as people and equipment — in order to make natural movements and predict where the object or person is going. Traditionally, engineers create motion-planning algorithms, focusing on optimization and efficiency. Without further semantic understanding of the environment, these algorithms lead to over optimization for the robots, resulting in jerky and unnatural movements. Russell Toris, Director of Robotics at Fetch Robotics, will lead a session on machine learning for human-like behavior. Topics include:

  • Defining Sole Agent Syndrome and how to reconcile pre-conceptions from the human to create more human-like behavior of the robot.
  • Identification of the new techniques, such as deep learning and convolutional neural networks, used to assist in object identification, and answering the question, “What are some of the benefits and challenges to these new techniques?”
  • A discussion of machine learning techniques that can be used to generate prediction models that are fed into motion planning and obstacle avoidance algorithms, addressing such topics such as feeding data models from sensor streams.


Carsten Horn
Business Development Engineer, Maxon Precision Motors

Track: Systems, Design and Development
The robotic market is booming. There’s a trend of miniaturization for ambulatory and stationary bots, allowing for new classes of cobots, wearable bots and robots working in areas where it is impossible for humans. There is also an increased emphasis on more functionality, greater portability and self-powered devices. These drivers are having a major impact on the efficiency of systems, as well as influencing the operation time, weight and size of systems.
With the availability of smaller components and drive systems, custom solutions can be developed that deliver on OEM’s next big idea. During this session, technologies that enable miniaturization will be discussed, along with Outside In / Inside Out design and best practices that make miniaturization possible, and impacts assembly, robustness and cost factors. Other topics include:

  • Design aspects and how to get started using the inside-to-outside design approach
  • Proof of mathematic models
  • Off-the-shelf products versus off-the-shelf technologies
  • The impact of technologies on size, efficiency and costs
  • Design aspects to replace tolerances by elasticity, divide functions, and reduce interfaces


Steve Crowe
Editor, The Robot Report


Justine Kasznica
Shareholder, Babst Calland Clements & Zomnir


Rian Whitton
Research Analyst, ABI Research

Track: Manufacturability, Production and Distribution
One general trend among technology providers – including robotics companies – is the migration away from selling products to selling services. For some types of robotic firms, a business model that relies on largely on hardware sales is simply untenable. As such, service-oriented business models are becoming more common in the robotics sector where the high upfront capital expenditures for systems and risk aversion to new technologies on part of protentional customers can impede growth. In this panel, business, technical and operational aspects of the Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) business model will be analyzed and discussed. Examples of companies embracing and successfully employing a RaaS approach will be provided.


Rachel Emsley
Associate, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner

Track: Bonus
In the cross-disciplinary field of robotics, inventions are often implemented in software. Since 2012, software patents have taken judicial criticism, leaving innovators to wonder where the “line” for patent eligibility lies for software inventions. This presentation will explore (1) where the boundary line lies today for software patent eligibility; (2) best-practices for identifying patent eligible software inventions; (3) best-practices for articulating software inventions in patent applications to avoid rejection at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; (3) considerations for choosing between patent or trade-secret protection; and (4) intellectual property considerations for engineers and developers using Open Source software. “- Learn to identify software patent inventions eligible for patents

  • Learn best practices for drafting software patent applications to avoid rejection at the USPTO
  • Learn how to decide whether to protect a software invention with trade secrets or patents


Massimiliano Versace
CEO, Neurala

Track: Technologies, Tools and Platforms
Despite early successes with robotics deployments, the question remains, “What does it look like when robots are working closely with humans to solve problems? What does the robot need to perform its role effectively?” On the technology front, robots must be equipped with AI that will help them continuously learn and adapt to new scenarios they encounter in real-time, to better inform their human counterparts on the task at hand. To achieve continuous learning at the edge and on-device, robotics developers are beginning to take new approaches to training AI – such as lifelong DNN (L-DNN) – that will enable robots to learn incremental knowledge in the field, rather than needing to be retrained for new scenarios it may encounter. In this session, Massimiliano Versace will discuss the technical needs for human-in-the-loop robotics use cases, while sharing an example of what an effective robot/human workflow could look like. Use cases, including robots in a retail setting, will be used to illustrate successful human-in-the-loop robotics workflow.


Ryan Braman
Test Engineering Manager, TUV Rheinland

Track: Systems, Design and Development
As innovation continues to advance in robotics and new technologies are deployed in industrial and commercial facilities, the danger robots pose on humans grows as well. Addressing safety risks in the design phase is key to insure the final product will not fail standard testing procedures. In the presentation, TUV Rheinland will discuss the standards to be considered for robots and what needs to be additionally considered to safely deploy collaborative type robots, including the concepts of power and force limiting and speed and separation monitoring that manufacturers need to implement into their initial designs. Some of the topics he will discuss are the following:

  • What standards to consider in the industry today and major safety implications of each
  • How to test and validate a power and force limiting collaborative application. A preview of RIA/TR 15.806
  • Review the basics of speed and separation monitoring. What it is, how to accomplish it, and how to test
  • A discussion on the types of tasks that are suitable for collaborative operation, and the types that are not


Scott Stropkay
Partner, Essential Design

Track: Manufacturability, Production and Distribution
Robots are typically smarter than most can imagine… and dumber than most expect. They are also typically feature-rich and considered hard to use. While robots typically require sophisticated combinations of hardware, software, AI, networks, etc., most design teams do not approach their robot design as the holistic hardware, software, and service offering that is required for market success. This presentation will describe good design process thinking using case study examples to illustrate good in-process deliverables to mitigate market risk. Attendees will learn:

  • How to use design thinking techniques to gain deeper insights into all stakeholders needs and goals.
  • How to define value for each stakeholder in terms of design requirements.
  • How to balance technical capability, usability, and your positioning story to achieve market success.


Joe Gelzhiser
Supervisor, Safety Application Specialists, Sick

Track: Bonus
Current industrial robot safety standards are mature with respect to the application of 2D LIDAR to provide safety and protective measures according to ISO 10218-2 and ANSI/RIA R15.06. Still, these current industrial robot standards are not sufficient to support some types of applications employing collaborative robots, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), service robots, and AGVs/AGCs in sectors such as agriculture, mining, healthcare, retail, as well as in public spaces. Thankfully, new sensor standards are emerging that provide guidance for the detection of people and providing critical information to users. It is important, however, to select the appropriate 2D LIDAR solution for both safety and navigational aid in a single device that meets the requirements for the safe detection of persons. Topics in this session include:

  • The proper application of 2D safety LIDAR for both navigation and the safe detection of persons according to current North American and International consensus safety standards.
  • Use of an iterative Risk Assessment process for the correct application of 2D LIDAR technology for both safety and navigation in indoor and outdoor environments.
  • Application examples / case studies.


Jack Schorsch
CEO, Innovative Mechatronic Systems

Track: Technologies, Tools and Platforms
Much of the attention in robotics today tends to focus on the aspects of development where software is poised to make huge leaps forwards. But this single-minded focus neglects the less sexy, but equally vital improvements in hardware that make robotics motion and movement possible. Advances in hardware have democratized robot development by creating physical platforms which have more in-built abilities, and less flaws, and reduces the specialist knowledge required to produce an impressive robotic experience. In this session, Jack Schorsch, CEO, Innovative Mechatronic Systems describe how investment into, and development of, key robot infrastructure elements has resulted in an expansion of robotics use cases. Other topics include:

  • Hardware & Software are a codependent development loop
  • ‘Good enough’ robotics platforms
  • Disruptive hardware platforms


Dominick Vanthienen
VP Technology Innovation, Intermodalics

Track: Systems, Design and Development
Vision-based positioning, including techniques such as vision-based simultaneous localization and mapping (VSLAM), have matured and are increasingly used in commercial applications such as AR/VR headsets, phones and consumer robots. Toolboxes such as Google’s ARCore/ARKit and Google VPS have paved the way for a number of solution providers in the market, including those providing support for visual positioning for commercial robotics. In this presentation, Dominick Vanthienen is VP, Technology Innovation at Intermodalics, will provide an overview of existing commercial applications utilizing vision-based positioning in the market today. Furthermore, he will outline the substantial benefits of vision-based positioning, including the synergies with other vision technologies to create robot awareness, and its ability to scale. Lastly, he will provide an overview of what is possible today and describe what challenges remain.


Marcio Macedo
Co-Founder and VP of Product and Marketing, Ava Robotics

Track: Manufacturability, Production and Distribution
Mobile Service Robots are experiencing significant acceptance in warehouses and industrial applications. But what will it take for robots to be found in every workplace and in public spaces, performing a variety of tasks that increase productivity, safety and quality of life? Clearly, these robotic systems must be more than autonomous, they must be intelligent. In this session, Marcio Macedo, VP Product and Marketing at Ava Robotics will describe how AI and cloud-based platforms can augment and empower traditional autonomy with layers of intelligence that allow robots to perform their tasks more efficiently, and as a result, gain more acceptance from the humans they are designed to support. Topics include:

  • The state of the art in autonomous, intelligence robots for workplaces and public spaces
  • Case studies describing the use of mobile robots in the field (offices, hospitals, hospitality and retail)
  • How AI in robotics will shape what we consider autonomous in the coming 5-10 years


Dev Singh
Director of Business Development, Qualcomm Technologies

5G is being described as a once-in-a-generation technological advent. The massive capacity, ultra-low latency, and high reliability of 5G communications will enable entire new ecosystems of connected technologies to flourish. In the field of robotics, this will mean everything from highly precise industrial robots that can be controlled wirelessly or even remotely, to coordinated fleets of small consumer robots in the household. With the introduction of 5G into robotics technology, our robots can become smarter, more capable, and more efficient than ever before. Dev Singh, Qualcomm Technologies Inc.’s Director of Business Development for Robotics, will discuss just how 5G will enable this new generation of connected robots.