Invest, Innovate, Implement

October 15-17, 2014

Hynes Convention Center
Boston, MA


Keynote: What Are We? Where Are We Going?

Dan Kara

Chief Research Officer

Myria RAS

October 24


By any measure, the robotics industry is expanding rapidly. This growth can be quantified in terms of increased sales and installations and projections for the future can be made by extrapolating from current trends. The pitfalls of this type of prognostication are well known, so other measures, often less quantifiable but no less valuable, can be used to increase the accuracy and diminish the imprecision of a robotics sector analysis. This, in turn, can be used to uncover opportunity, inform decision making and reduce risk. Using the RoboBusiness themes invest, innovate and implement as guideposts, and incorporating discussions of business, technology and philosophy, this keynote session will seek to answer the questions, “What Are We?” and “Where Are We Going?”

Session Code
KN01: Keynote: What Are We? Where Are We Going?

Keynote: The Road Ahead for U.S. Robotics

Henrik Christensen

KUKA Chair of Robotics

Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing

October 24


Updated for the first time since 2009, the US National Robotics Roadmap —developed with input from 160 experts from industry and academia— was revamped and reformulated in 2013. Looking out over 5 to 10 to 15 years “down the road”, the 2013 robotics roadmap examines and forecasts the future of key business drivers, main technology gaps, as well as expected, emerging technologies. In this compelling and actionable keynote presentation, Henrik Christensen, chair of the U.S. National Robotics Roadmap project, will outline the main business drivers and technical application areas  for robots in the manufacturing, services, healthcare/medical, security/defence and space industries.

Session Code
KN02: Keynote: The Road Ahead for U.S. Robotics

Keynote: Big Data Meets Big Agriculture - UAV Solutions for Modern Farming

Brandon Basso

Senior Research and Development Engineer

3D Robotics

October 24


Precision farming is a Big Data problem without enough Big Data. As farms get bigger, it is becoming more difficult for farmers to monitor the entire crop, and thus they tend to overspray chemicals to avoid disease outbreaks and to address other production problems that they cannot monitor. One novel solution to the problem involves the use of small autonomous crop surveying drones, which can do daily or weekly aerial imaging of an entire farm. This presentation will discuss the latest applications of such vehicles, as well as the data and data analysis opportunities in this exciting new market.

Session Code
KN03: Keynote: Big Data Meets Big Agriculture - UAV Solutions for Modern Farming

Keynote: Why Drive (Autonomously) When You Can Fly (Autonomously)?

Sanjiv Singh

Research Professor at the Robotics Institute

Carnegie Mellon University

October 24


Now that the question of self-driving automobiles becoming commonplace is one of "when" rather than "if", we might ask if the age of autonomous personal aviation is close also.  While the logistics and safety issues associated  with autonomous flight are complex, in many cases, "slipping the surly bonds of earth"  simplifies the  problem of autonomous aviation.  I will illustrate this point with results from series of  experiments that  have demonstrated  autonomous  flight  close  to the ground, between wires, trees and buildings on platforms   spanning sub-meter scale  to full-sized helicopters.   I will also try to answer the question  of what it will take  to get to the  Jetson's age  in which it will sometimes make sense to fly your car  autonomously rather than to drive it.

Session Code
KN04: Keynote: Why Drive (Autonomously) When You Can Fly (Autonomously)?

Keynote: Deploying 20 Autonomous Mobile Robots in a Hospital

Aldo Zini

President and CEO


Ken King

Chief Administrative Services Officer

El Camino Hospital

October 24


The Aethon TUG autonomous smart robot was highlighted on 60 Minutes as a solution at El Camino Hospital in  Mountain View, CA.  El Camino has 20 TUG robots performing a wide variety of tasks such as moving laboratory specimens, delivering meals, delivering clean linen and removing waste.  These 20 TUG robots coordinate as they move through the hospital and work among the staff.  In this session you will learn how robotics in healthcare improves service levels, employee safety and the bottom line.  You will also hear directly from an executive champion and end user of the technology who will discuss how his hospital justified the decision, approached the cultural issues, addressed technical considerations and quantified the benefits.

Session Code
KN05: Keynote: Deploying 20 Autonomous Mobile Robots in a Hospital

Keynote: Where the Robot Meets the Road: Realizing Self-Driving Vehicles

Chris Urmson

Director, Self-Driving Cars


October 25


Self-driving vehicles hold the promise of saving lives and reshaping our relationship with the automobile.  The Google Self-Driving Car project was created to rapidly advance this technology.  Building from the foundation of decades of research and the DARPA Grand Challenges, Google has developed a small fleet of autonomous self-driving vehicles. In this enlightening keynote session, Chris Urmson, Director of Google's Self-Driving Car program, will provide an overview of the work Google has been doing in advancing the state-of-the art in autonomous vehicles.  Topics include mapping, on-line sensing, position estimation, object tracking and motion planning. He will also describe the adventures he has had along the way, and Google’s vision of a future replete with self-driving vehicles.

Session Code
KN06: Keynote: Where the Robot Meets the Road: Realizing Self-Driving Vehicles

Keynote: Robots and Thermostats: More in Common Than You'd Think

Yoky Matsuoka

VP of Technology

Nest Labs

October 25


The first industrial robots were created as a tool for assembling cars, but in recent years, they’ve evolved to take on ever more important roles – including replacing parts of the human body – and capabilities, such as the ability to be controlled by the human brain. Similarly, the traditional thermostat started out as a simple switch on the wall. Using similar approaches to the creativity and intelligence applied to the field of robotics, Nest has transformed the thermostat into a sexy, energy-saving device that gives us a glimpse into the home of the future.

Session Code
KN07: Keynote: Robots and Thermostats: More in Common Than You'd Think

Keynote: The Workplace Revolution: Robotics, Compliance and the Law

Garry Mathiason


Littler Mendelson

October 25


The robotics revolution is profoundly changing the workplace and the way work is performed. The impact of robotics on employers will be as profound as the Internet. The technological advances entering the global workplace are inevitable, yet decades-old workplace laws threaten to fill this journey with legal landmines and uncertainty. 

In this compelling presentation,  Garry Mathiason, Chairman of the Board of Littler Mendelson, the largest U.S.-based law firm exclusively devoted to representing management in every aspect of labor and employment law, will unmask hidden employment and labor law compliance requirements of a robotized workplace (e.g., laws and regulations on safety, data storage, privacy, disparate impact on protected categories of employees such as older workers, layoff notification, severance, union organizing and retraining). He will also explore recommended practical legal compliance steps for both the robotics industry and the users of robotics. In addition, he will discuss anticipated future regulatory and legislative requirements.

Session Code
KN08: Keynote: The Workplace Revolution: Robotics, Compliance and the Law

Keynote: Freeing Robots: 3D Perception, Mapping, and Localization

Michael Bruenig



October 25


In this session, Michael Bruenig, Director of Australia’s largest field robotics research center, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s (CSIRO) Autonomous Systems Lab, will describe ongoing work directed at the development of robust, commercially viable autonomous robotic systems.  Recognized as a leading global research organization, the Autonomous Systems Lab focuses on the development of systems that are equipped with a variety of sensors and mapping abilities, capable of making decisions and navigating in non-static and challenging natural or built environments.

In this session, attendees will learn how CSIRO is pioneering new techniques for 3D mapping, 3D perception and localization.  Attendees will also hear how CSIRO works with industrial partners, solving the hard problems involving their autonomous systems in fields such as mapping buildings, caves or manufacturing sites, digital cultural heritage, agricultural and mining automation, agile manufacturing, mobile sensing, environmental monitoring, and tracking of animals.

Session Code
KN09: Keynote: Freeing Robots: 3D Perception, Mapping, and Localization

Lunch and Keynote: The Disruptive Force of Robots in the Home and Beyond

Dr. Paolo Pirjanian

Chief Technology Officer


October 25


Dr. Paolo Pirjanian, iRobot’s Chief Technology Officer, will provide insight into how robots are disrupting industries, changing the world and impacting our lives. He will discuss why it is important to ignore fictional stereotypes, hype and false promises, and focus instead on making practical robots that integrate seamlessly into people’s lives – robots that deliver unquestionable value. Pirjanian will share his vision with respect to emerging technologies and trends that will shape the robotics industry, make the automated home a reality and ensure the continued proliferation of robotics around the globe.

Session Code
LN02: Lunch and Keynote: The Disruptive Force of Robots in the Home and Beyond