The Robotics Summit & Showcase is a multifaceted educational forum and showcase dedicated to addressing the technical issues involved with developing commercial robotics and intelligent systems. The inaugural event takes place May 23-24 in Boston, one of the world’s leading cities for robotics, and is packed with live demos and discussions about cutting-edge robots and intelligent systems.
The Conference Program of keynotes and general sessions are specifically designed to impart to technical professionals the information they need to successfully develop the next generation of commercial robotics system. The Showcase provides attendees with hands on access to the latest design and development solutions for producing robotics and intelligent systems products and services.
Here is a sample of robots that attendees will meet and/or learn about at the Robotics Summit. Many other robots will be demoed and discussed at length during the two-day event.
Boston Dynamics SpotMini
SpotMini is one of the most recognizable robots on the planet, and Robotics Summit attendees have the chance to get up close and personal with this four-legged masterpiece. In his closing keynote “Building Dynamic Robots,” Boston Dynamics founder and CEO Marc Raibert will give attendees an update on the company that makes those viral YouTube videos and go under the hood of its biped and quadruped robots that jump, run, balance and even do backflips.
Raibert will also conduct a live demo of SpotMini, which can handles objects, climbs stairs, and opens doors.
Agility Robotics Cassie Bipedal Robot
Damion Shelton, co-founder and CEO of Agility Robotics, will take us behind the scenes of the company’s Cassie bipedal robot. Developers of mobile robotics systems have a choice of technological approaches to support ground-based locomotion – wheels, tracks, and legged systems, among them. But only one class of locomotion – bipedalism – movement using two feet, is optimized for existing environments designed for human occupation and movement.
In his keynote “Bipedal Locomotion and Autonomous Mobility,” Shelton will describe the advantages of bipedal locomotion for autonomous mobility in unstructured, human populated environments. Possible use cases for bipedal robotics, as well as specific design, development and testing requirements for bipedal systems, will also be discussed.
Meca500 6-axis Industrial Robot Arm
Mecademic’s Meca500, the world’s smallest 6-axis robot arm, will be demoed in Harmonic Drive’s booth (#214). Based in Montreal, Mecademic designs, develops and manufactures the most compact and accurate small six-axis industrial robots on the market.
Built with precision machined aluminum and zero-backlash gearboxes, the Meca500 is the most precise six-axis robot arm, boasting a repeatability of 5 μm. Not only is the Meca500 more than twice as small as other small industrial robots, but its controller is embedded in its base, instead of hosted in a bulky external cabinet. The Meca500 is a plug‑and‑work automation component, so you can spend more time innovating your product or optimizing your production line.
Ava Video Collaboration Robot
Leveraging a deep technical heritage from iRobot, Ava Robotics designs and builds autonomous robots that comfortably coexist with humans in workplaces and other large spaces. Ava is a new video collaboration solution that offers users what we call “practical teleportation.”
Ava transforms the experience of remote collaboration by combining autonomous mobility with high definition Cisco video conferencing, enabling users to easily and safely move around a distant location, as if they were physically there.
Ava will be featured by Cirtronics in booth #212. Cirtronics, a contract manufacturer located in the greater Boston area, uses DFx to support optimizing product cost and quality from design reviews through production, testing, and aftermarket support tailored specifically to the needs of each customer.
Ava will also be discussed and demoed during the panel “Wheels, Treads or Fins? DFx Optimizes Robot Manufacturing” that 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.
Endeavor Robotics UGVs
Endeavor Robotics is the world’s leading supplier of battle-tested Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs). Endeavor will be featured at the Robotics Summit in partnership with Cirtronics. The company’s latest UGVs will be discussed on the “Wheels, Treads or Fins? DFx Optimizes Robot Manufacturing” panel.
Endeavor will also be highlighting its uPoint Multi-Robot Control System uPoint Multi-Robot Control System that is used by its latest UGVs. uPoint reduces operator training time by leveraging IOP technology and a familiar tablet user-interface. Through the integration of mesh networking radios and uPoint controllers, operators can control and observe multiple UGVs – of different type – simultaneously, and at far greater range. To drive and move a robot, users simply drag their finger across the screen.
The uPoint System consists of an Android-based, ruggedized controller and Persistent Systems MPU5 Radio network. uPoint and the MPU5 network have been integrated across Endeavor’s family of ‘man-transportable’ products, including its FirstLook, SUGV and PackBot robots.
Locus Robotics LocusBot
Locus Robotics builds autonomous mobile robots for warehouses and e-commerce fulfillment. Brad Powers, Principal Roboticist, Locus Robotics, will be speaking on the panel “Innovations in Sensing and Robot Vision” that will discuss the latest advances in sensing products and technologies, including use cases highlighting important trends and examples of the latest sensing trends and techniques. Powers will conduct a demo of LocusBot during the session.
Tega Social Robot
Tega is a research platform developed by MIT Media Labs and Cooper Perkins. Tega is a research tool for teams to study the social interaction between humans and robots, extending into teaching at schools and helping the sick heal in hospitals. The development of the platform required the integration and parallel development of robot cognition, animation art, industrial design, software engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering.
Tega leverages smartphone technology to not only graphically display facial expressions but also for computation, which includes behavioral control, sensor processing, and motor control to drive its five degrees of freedom: head up/down, body-tilt left/right, body-lean forward/back, body-extend up/down, and body-rotate left/right.
Tega wil be discussed as part of the panel about “Developing Cognitive Robotics Systems” that features Harald Quintus-Bosz, CTO and Co-Founder, Cooper Perkins, and Jin Joo Lee, Character AI Engineer, Jibo.
Waypoint Robotics Vector Mobile Robot
Waypoint Robotics, a NH-based startup formerly known as Stanley Robotics, will be exhibiting in booth 305 at the Robotics Summit and Showcase. Waypoint Robotics will be demoing its ROS-based Vector mobile robot, its EnZone wireless power solution, Dispatcher software development kit and Dispatcher fleet management software.
Vector is an easy to use, industrial strength, high quality, omni-directional, fully autonomous, mobile robot. It’s designed for the workforce of today, so they can set it up and they can put it to work immediately. Vector is small, agile, and ROS-Native, so it’s customizable and future-proof.
Waypoint Robotics co-founder and CEO Jason Walker will also be speaking on the “Autonomy & Opportunity” panel on Wednesday, May 23 from 3:00 pm – 3:45 pm. Alongside Jason Derenick, VP of Technology at Exyn Technologies, and Tim Rowland, CEO of Badger Technologies, the panel will cover the gradual increase in the levels of autonomy and the the capacity for systems to move or perform tasks without human intervention. It is important for developers of robotics and automation technology to understand the various forms by which autonomy can be manifested, and what currently is technically possible or soon will be.
Innovations in Soft Robotics
George Whitesides, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University;
Principal Investigator, Whitesides Research Group, Harvard University, will give an update on the state of the industry about soft robotics.
In his keynote on May 24 from 10:00 am – 10:45 am, Whitesides will describe ongoing soft robotics research at Harvard’s Whitesides Research Group, as well as commercial class soft robotics systems currently on the market or nearly so. Topics related to materials, sensing, control and actuation will be discussed, along with how inherently flexible soft robotics systems can be engineered to provide for novel capabilities and support task versatility.
You’ll also hear about Cambridge, Mass.-based Soft Robotics’ soft robotic grippers, including the company’s new SuperPick system. Soft Robotics CEO Carl Vause will be speaking on the “Advanced Grasping & Manipulation” panel that will dive into the latest grasping and manipulation technologies and techniques commercially available, as well as solutions emerging from the lab that will allow for whole new classes of robotics applications.
Universal Robots UR10
Universal Robots will be displaying its industry-leading collaborative robot arms in booth #100. Unlike traditional industrial robots that stay hardwired in a cage, the lightweight UR Robots can be moved around, automating high mix low volume production runs.
Programming is intuitive; simply grab the robot arm to teach the desired movement, or use the touch screen. The Polyscope GUI runs on a Linux OS platform for easy customization of specific tasks and tools. Product portfolio includes the UR3, UR5 and UR10 robot arms named after their payloads in kilos, they all feature 0.1 mm repeatability and span in reach from 19.7” in to 51.2”.
Zachary Tomkinson, Sales Development Manager, East, Universal Robots, will also be featured on the “Advanced Grasping & Manipulation” panel.
Boston Engineering BIOSwimmer Unmanned Underwater Vehicle
Boston Engineering, exhibiting in booth #202 will have an AR demo of its BIOSwimmer unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). The BIOSwimmer, which features a design inspired by tuna, is built for high maneuverability in harsh environments, with a flexible aft section and appropriately placed sets of pectoral and other fins.
The BIOSwimmer, which is battery-powered and designed for long-duration operation, can inspect the interior voids of ships such as flooded bilges and tanks, and hard to reach external areas such as steerage, propulsion and sea chests. It can also inspect and protect harbors and piers, perform area searches and carry out other security missions. It uses an onboard computer suite for navigation, sensor processing, and communications.
Boston Engineering co-founder and CTO Mark Smithers will be giving a talk called “Using AR Technologies to Overcome Robotics Development Uncertainty.” Smithers will will describe how AR and other technologies can be used to reduce the uncertainty when developing new, innovative, robotics systems. Topics include:
- AR as a robotics system development tool
- Introducing AR into the product development lifecycle
- Meeting requirements and demonstrating compliance
- Case studies demonstrating AR as a development enabler
A division of Jabil, Badger Technologies has developed a fully autonomous robot that will initially be rolled out for the grocery retail environment to address out-of-stock, planogram compliance, price integrity, and audit and compliance issues.
Badger can operate safely alongside shoppers and employees while scanning shelves. Technologies on the robot include LiDAR to map and navigate stores, high-resolution and 3D depth cameras, ROS and more. Badger Technologies CEO Tim Rowland will be featured on the “Autonomy & Opportunity” panel.
RightPick from RightHand Robotics is another piece-picking solution you’ll learn about at the Robotics Summit. RightPick is a hardware-enabled software solution that can pick individual items in a variety of workflows within e-commerce order fulfillment centers, distribution centers and other warehouse and production environments.
RightPick handles tens of thousands of different items using a machine learning backend coupled with an intelligent gripper that works in concert with industry-leading robotic arms. RightHand Robotics co-founder Leif Jentoft will be speaking on the panel “Advanced Grasping & Manipulation.”