Wheels, Treads or Fins? DFx Optimizes Robot Manufacturing

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

3:00 pm – 3:45 pm

A panel of three senior executives from robotic companies will share their perspectives on taking a robot into outsourced production, with a focus on DFx and lessons learned. Although the three companies design and sell robots for very different markets, all of them rely on DFx to optimize product design, supply chain and assembly processes to simplify, accelerate and reduce the cost of manufacturing. This session will define DFx in the context of manufacturability. It will include presentations by each of the executives and an opportunity for the audience to ask questions of the panel. Some of the robots discussed in the session will also be available.


Andy McMillan, Chair of the Cirtronics Advisory Board, Cirtronics

Andy McMillan is an experienced executive with a history of strategic innovation in products, technologies and business models. He has founded several companies, holds a dozen patents, has been an invited speaker on automation and open systems around the world. In addition to strategy consulting assignments, Andy is currently Chair of the Advisory Board for Cirtronics Corporation as well as President of a global data communications trade association. His formal education includes engineering and business degrees from the University of Michigan.


Derek Daly, Chief Operating Officer

Most recently Derek Daly served as COO at Aquabotix Technology Corporation to oversee, build and grow operational capability across the business in support of a family of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles. This included rapidly building manufacturing and supply chain capacity. Prior, Daly was President and COO at Comark LLC, a defense facing ruggedized industrial computer manufacturer. Previously, at QinetiQ North America (QNA) in varying roles, he launched a manufacturing and operations capability focused on Unmanned Ground Systems for both MIL and Commercial applications. At QNA, he grew manufacturing capacity tenfold comprising multiple unmanned platforms and their after sales sustainment. Daly also held responsibility for Operations in QNA’s Survivability business line in which products that provide protection from RPG’s, IED’s and other ballistic threats for air, ground and human platforms are designed and built. Daly’s appointment to Vice President of Land Systems combined his Unmanned & Survivability business experience giving him full P&L responsibility for Robotic & Protection Systems at QNA. In this capacity he led program management, global business & product development, and group financial performance.

Daly received a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Technology, magna cum laude, from Northeastern University, Boston, and spent his early career at Northrop Grumman Corp. and American Semiconductor working on fiber optic based gyroscope (FOG) technology, and development of high temperature superconducting (HTS) wire respectively.

Tom Frost, President, Endeavor Robotics

Tom Frost is President of Endeavor Robotics, with direct responsibility for the day to day operations of the business. His oversight extends across the whole customer and product experience- from new product development, through sales and marketing, to customer service and support. Prior to assuming his current role, Tom served as General Manager of iRobot’s Defense & Security Unit. Other assignments at iRobot included Vice President of Strategy (with a focus on new markets, new products and M&A), Program Manager of Maritime Systems, Program Manager for PackBot, Director of Engineering of Government and Industrial Robots, Project Manager for the DARPA project that developed PackBot and Software Developer. Tom holds a B.S. and M.S. in computer engineering with a focus in robotics from Lehigh University and an M.B.A. from MIT’s Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership.

Youssef Saleh, Founder and CEO, Ava Robotics

Youssef Saleh is Co-Founder and CEO of Ava Robotics, a recent spin-off of iRobot focused on autonomous navigating robots for enterprise, commercial and industrial environments. Previously, Youssef was SVP/GM of Remote Presence Business Unit at iRobot, where he was responsible for the iRobot’s industry-leading autonomous robots for commercial applications. Prior to iRobot, Youssef was VP/GM of telepresence at Polycom. He holds a BSEE from Northeastern University.