Realtime Motion Planning

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

3:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Robotic arms that operate in flexible or unstructured environments need to plan collision-free motions as rapidly as possible. While great strides have been made in the 40 years since the first research papers were written, cycle times of 5 to 15 seconds are common even today, prompting system designers to continue to invest heavily in structuring workspaces to reduce this cycle time, increasing implementation cost, and limiting the range of applications which are economically viable.

Further, true real-time motion planning is needed to enable use of robotic arms for tasks in dynamic work environments where co-workers, other robots, and transport systems may share the workspace, and participate in such flexible workflows common to over 95% of all industrial, logistic, and service tasks. While collaborative robots have cleared the safety hurdle to operate in these environments, the motion planning challenge remains.

Existing approaches for robot motion planning rely on general-purpose CPUs or computationally faster but more power-hungry GPUs. In this session, Realtime Robotics CEO Peter Howard will discuss the company’s breakthrough special-purpose processor that enables a robotic arm with, for example, six or more degrees of freedom to plan an optimal path in less than a millisecond, using less than 10 watts of power.


Peter Howard, CEO, Realtime Robotics

Peter Howard is CEO of Realtime Robotics. He has a particular passion and interest in business formation and the process of creating order and value out of formative chaos. His roles have included entrepreneur-CEO, investor, and board director. As CEO, Peter has founded and successfully grown five companies, leading two to IPOs, one to strategic sale, and another to major technology license.

In its first year of operations, Peter has led Realtime Robotics in raising $2m in seed funding, landing several important contracts with global 100 firms, and launching its initial product. He has also been integral in the creation and launch of hundreds of innovative products as an industry leader in outsourced R&D and manufacturing services businesses based in the US, Japan, France, the Netherlands, Singapore, and China. Peter holds an MS degree from MIT in Management, and a Professional Director Certification from the American College of Corporate Directors.