The Robotics Summit Conference Program

The Westin Boston Waterfront

May 23 - 24, 2018

The Robotics Summit & Showcase emphasizes the design and development of commercially viable robotics and intelligent systems products – wholly new products and services that are to be used outside of laboratory environments and sold at a profit.

Dedicated tracks provide technical professionals with the information they need to develop the next generation of commercial class robotics and intelligent systems products and services.

Robotics Summit Tracks

Technologies, Tools and Platforms Track

The development of robots and robotic technology requires the mastery of multiple disciplines – primarily software development, mechanical and electrical engineering. Robotics development is made even more difficult as it is limited by embedded and real-time constraints. But real-time concerns are only the beginning, especially as robots and robotic technology become more prevalent in the home, the workplace, in public places and on the battlefield. The next generation of robots and robotic devices must also be integrated with other systems in their environment.

Solution providers have responded to these difficulties by providing a whole host of robotics design and development tools, as well as ready-made robotic ‘platforms’, that dramatically simplify the job of designing, developing, testing and manufacturing robots and robotic products. Although robotics technology in the various types of robotics systems can differ radically from each other, their areas of commonality greatly outnumber their differences. That is, enabling technologies suitable for one class of products are appropriate and applicable for other types of as well.

Sessions in the Technologies, Tools and Platforms Track will cover the latest advances in the ‘core’ technology that are common to most classes of robots and intelligent systems:

Sensors and Sensing

  • Sensor Fusion
  • Touch / Haptics
  • Data Acquisition
  • Advanced Materials
  • Vision / Imaging Systems
  • Communications / Networking
  • LiDAR, Radar, Sonar, and GPS
  • Human-Machine Interfaces / HRI

Thinking and Cognition

  • Cognitive Robotics
  • Image/Object Recognition
  • Robot Control Architectures
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Motion Planning and Scheduling
  • Cloud / On Device Machine Learning
  • Localization, Navigation and Mapping
  • Microcontrollers / Microprocessors / SoC

Actuation and Mobility

  • Mobile Platforms
  • Arms / Manipulators
  • Batteries / Power Systems
  • Actuators / Motors / Servos
  • Soft Robotics Technologies
  • End Effectors (Grippers and Tools)
  • Wheeled, Tracked and Legged Systems
  • Research Robots & Development Platforms

Design and Development Track

The Robotics Summit & Showcase focuses on the design and development of commercial robotic systems. Commercial viability adds additional burdens for robotics designers, engineers, business managers and more. The resultant systems must be innovative, robust in the extreme, work as advertised and yet be competitively priced.

Clearly, success requires a thorough understanding of systems, systems engineering, design goals (and the clear delineation of such), a rigorous development process and an adherence to both de jure and de facto standards whenever possible.

Topics covered in the Design and Development Track include:

  • Development Tools / SDKs / Libraries
  • System Integration / Programming
  • Prototyping, Simulation and Testing
  • Robotics Engineering Methodologies
  • Bases, Frames and Cognitive Platforms
  • Simulation and Testing Tools
  • CAD/CAM Tools For Robotics Development
  • Languages and Libraries
  • Robot Operating System, MoveIt! and Open Source Solutions
  • Operating Systems: Linux, Windows, VxWorks, QNX, Others
  • Software Development Kits and Modeling Tools
  • COTS Solutions for Robotics
  • 3D Printing / Prototyping Solutions

Manufacturability, Production and Distribution

Optimizing design, development and other engineering processes are necessity, but not sufficient, to produce commercially viable robotics systems. Issues related to supply chains, manufacturability, and fulfillment are also critical.

In some cases, systems will be offered as services, or via distributors and other partners, while in other cases, such as with consumer systems, sold through retailers. In all cases, success will first be determined by the overall market opportunity, as well as by the availability of qualified engineers and developer communities.

Sessions in the Manufacturability, Business Models and Business Development Track address these issues (and more) including:

  • Design and Engineering Services
  • Contract Fabrication and Manufacturing Services
  • Supply Chain and Fulfillment
  • Commercial Robotics Opportunity Landscape
    • Consumer Systems
    • Commercial Systems
    • Industrial Systems
    • Industries and Markets
  • Robotics-as-a-Service
  • Robotics Innovation Clusters
  • Workforce Development
  • Distributors and Wholesalers
  • Fostering a Developer Community
  • Legal Services / Protecting IP
  • Selling Robotics: Retail, OEM, and VAR Options
  • Global Partnering Opportunities

Investment and Opportunity Track

There is a wide range of technologies, applications, and markets where the adjective ‘robotic’ can be applied. Examples include robotic vacuums and lawn mowers (consumer electronics), self-driving cars (automotive), unmanned underwater systems (oil and gas), articulated arms (manufacturing), mobile robots (logistics) and on and on.

Enabling technologies used to develop and operate robotics systems such as sensors, power supplies, arms and grippers, advanced materials, communication technologies and more, are also part of the robotics sector value chain.

The wide range of companies producing robotics solutions provides for a large number of investment options, and with the rapid expansion of the robotics sector in recent years the investment opportunity has never been better. Sessions in the Investment and Opportunity Track will focus on the many robotics sector investment options available including individual publicly traded robotics companies, via Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and in early stage funding of start-ups.