Director, Second Year Engineering Curriculum, Drexel University Pramod Abichandani is an academic and a technology entrepreneur. He serves as the Director of the Second Year Engineering Curriculum and an Assistant Teaching Professor at the College of Engineering at Drexel University. He is the founder of LocoRobo Inc., a technology non-profit whose mission is to advance programming education using robotics. He received his Bachelors of Engineering (B.E.) degree in 2005 from Nirma Institute of Technology, Gujarat University, India, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Drexel University in 2007 and 2011 respectively.
His research interests are centered around optimal, multi-dimensional, data-driven decision-making, through the use of techniques from mathematical programming, linear and nonlinear systems theory, statistics, and machine learning. Specific technical areas include optimal decision-making for multi-robot systems under communication constraints, sensor fusion for naval ship monitoring, cognitive bias effects in handwriting forensics, and embedded systems design for data acquisition and control. Sponsors of his research include the National Science Foundation (NSF), Office of Naval Research (ONR), Will Eye Hospital Department of Reserach, Mathworks, Drexel ExCITe Center, and Drexel University’s College of Engineering.
On the education front, he works on bringing innovation to the classroom by introducing novel course content, pedagogical methodologies, and evaluation techniques. He is leading research efforts that explore credentialing in engineering education, the scalability of engineering education innovations and technology, and engineering-specific learning theories for data analytics education. He has won several awards for his teaching, including the Continuing Excellence in Teaching (2010) award at Drexel University. In 2013, he was selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s fifth Frontiers of Engineering Education symposium in Irvine, California where he presented his Data Science education initiatives.
CEO and Co-Founder, Rise Robotics Arron Acosta is the CEO and Co-founder of Rise Robotics, a company that pio-neers new, affordable ways to design and make robotic components without sacri-ficing performance or power. Rise’s Cyclone Linear Actuator is enabled by a fun-damental breakthrough that replaces gears and screws. The patented conical dif-ferential transmission technology inside is 9x lighter and 20x more powerful than a ball screw. Acosta worked at Apple, graduated from MIT with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, started Ekotrope with the former MIT Aero-Astro Department Head, and was recognized as a thought leader by Forbes in 2015’s 30 Under 30 in Manu-facturing and Industry.
Co-Founder and CTO, Empire Robotics, Inc. John Amend leads the technical team at Empire Robotics. He is lead inventor on the company’s core patents and serves as Principal Investigator on a number of the company’s research grants. John earned his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from Hod Lipson’s Creative Machines Lab (one of PopSci’s 25 most awesome college labs of 2011) at Cornell University, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. John’s graduate research advanced robotic jamming grippers from initial concept to publication in top robotics journals, receiving coverage in over 200 popular news sources including: TIME, Scientific American, MSNBC,The Washington Post, Wired, NewScientist, MIT Technology Review, and IEEE Spectrum. John holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University at Buffalo and has publications in robotic manipulation, granular packing, learning algorithms, and machine design.
Director, Imagining the Internet Center Janna Anderson is the lead author of the “Future of the Internet” survey research series, published by Pew Research biennially, and a professor of emerging media at Elon University. She is a co-author of Pew’s 2014 report titled “AI, Robotics and the Future of Jobs” which is one of seven Pew reports on “Digital Life in 2025” released in 2014. She is the director of Imagining the Internet, Elon’s global-good research project that illuminates people’s expectations today about the future impacts of rapidly evolving communications networks. Anderson has appeared as a consultant or speaker at Institute for the Future events. She is the author of six books that reveal people’s current hopes and fears for emerging human networks, including the “Future of the Internet” series and the American Library Association’s Choice Award-winning “Imagining the Internet.” She also teaches the courses “The Future—Now” and “The Future of the Internet” at Elon University.
CEO, iRobot Colin Angle is chairman of the board, chief executive officer and co-founder of iRobot. One of the world’s leading authorities on mobile robots, Angle is an industry pioneer with more than two decades of experience. Under his leadership, iRobot is at the forefront of the growing robot industry, delivering home cleaning and military robots that are making a difference. With Angle’s guidance, iRobot has formed key strategic partnerships, building on decades of expertise from each partner to create new and innovative robot solutions. Angle’s leadership and vision for the future of robots have been recognized with numerous professional awards. He has been named CEO of the Year by the Mass Technology Leadership Council, a Mass High Tech All-Star, one of Fortune Small Business Magazine’s Best Bosses and New England Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young. Angle is a member of the board of directors at Striiv, Inc. Angle holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in computer science, both from MIT.
Director of Engineering, Acorn Product Development Jon has more than 15 years of product development experience across many disciplines and applications. The founder of Acorn’s Boston office, Jon holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds four U.S. patents. Jon started his career in robotics and prototype development for the machine design industry. Focus areas included vision-guided assembly robotics, material handling, and in-flight image capture and dynamic analysis of sporting equipment. For the past 10 years, Jon has focused on the design services field, and is a leading expert in plastics, structural and thermal analysis, and program management. He has deep expertise in manufacturing and assembly technologies and methods.
Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer, Energid David Askey is responsible for strategic initiatives, guidance, and market development of vision-based robotic systems. Energid’s Actin software drives sensor-guided manipulation, autonomous grasping and straightforward control of complex robotic systems for medical, energy, transportation, and industrial applications. For the new Energid subsidiary, Robai, David provides key product guidance for the Cyton compact robot arms, with particular focus on the industrial production and device testing markets.
David has extensive industry experience developing and deploying products for object tracking, image-based 3D scene reconstruction, and video compression, especially for autonomous systems that perform critical tasks in semi- structured and unstructured environments. David has held engineering, management and technology strategy positions at leading technology and imaging companies both in the US and Europe. David has BSEE and MSEE degrees from MIT.
Software Engineer, Watson Platform Services, IBM German works as a software engineer at IBM and focuses on software design, API design and usability and web development. His coding focus is in node, java and python.
CEO, Visual Components Dr. Axtman, a team member for Visual Components OY Finland, serves as CEO of Visual Components North America Corporation. His charter is to introduce Visual Components’ 3D Digital Manufacturing solutions into the markets and industries of the Americas, Canada and Mexico.
Dr. Axtman’s has 50+ years of experience including international business while assigned as the Asian and Pacific Rim President for a major PLM provider while residing in Japan. He has authored and published multiple articles relative to Digital Manufacturing, Digital Factory Solutions and LEAN / Six Sigma Manufacturing.
Dr. Axtman holds a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Masters degree in Engineering Management and a Doctorate in Engineering Economic Systems.
Senior Product Manager, Rethink Robotics Brian Benoit joined Rethink Robotics in March, 2013 as the Product Manager for the newly formed Research and Education product line. After launching Baxter into the world of research, he shifted focus to manufacturing challenges, and helped with defining the market requirements for Rethink’s next robot, Sawyer. Brian has held numerous product development positions in an array of industries, including biotech, pharma, and now robotics. He has a passion for articulating customer needs into pragmatic products that are laser focused on solving a real and quantifiable market problem.
Advanced Research Group, Wolfram Research, Inc. Etienne Bernard is lead developer of the Machine Learning group at Wolfram Research, where he focuses in developing automatic machine learning functionalities for the Wolfram Language. His work aims to simplify the practice of machine learning in order to spread its usage. Etienne obtained a PhD in physics from ENS Paris, where he designed Markov-chain Monte Carlo algorithms in order to solve physics problems. He also worked as a postdoctoral scholar at MIT on Monte Carlo algorithms and non-equilibrium statistical physics.
CEO and Founder, Orbotix Ian Bernstein, who grew up in rural New Mexico, has always been a tinkerer and a problem solver. As far back as he can remember he has taken apart cameras, cassette players, and other electronics to create new inventions. At the age of 12 he attended a robotics competition and his lifelong passion in the field of robotics was sparked. One night in late 2009 while playing with his iPhone, Ian wondered why he couldn’t use this amazing computing device he was holding in his hand to control the robots he had been working on. Armed with this thought and hungry to do something big, Ian and co-founder Adam Wilson started a company, Sphero, with the mission to create the next generation of toys, specifically, interactive smartphone controlled gaming robots. Their products, including Sphero and Ollie, are now sold in retail stores worldwide including the Apple Store.
President, Association for Advancing Automation (A3)
Jeff Burnstein is the President of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), the parent group of the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), AIA – Advancing Vision + Imaging, and the Motion Control Association (MCA). Together these trade groups represent some 800 global companies involved in robotics, vision, motion control and related automation technologies. Burnstein joined RIA in 1983 and has held a variety of senior positions, culminating in his promotion to President in 2007. He is a frequent commentator on issues such as the impact of automation on jobs and the future of automation beyond the factory floor.
Chief Business Development Officer, Kinova Robotics François Boucher is the Chief Business Development Officer at Kinova Inc. in Montreal, Canada. He received his MBA and a Bachelor degree in Physics Engineering from Laval University. After his graduation, he worked as the General Manager of a technology transfer and investment company before joining Kinova in its early days to develop the service robotics market. In 2014 and 2015 Kinova was listed as one of the 50 most influential public & private companies in the global robotics industry by the Robotics Business Review. Through his passion for robotics, he continues to have an eye towards identifying new opportunity and driving business growth and requirements for product development. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEO and Partner, ROBO-STOX, LLC Travis Briggs, CEO and Partner of ROBO-STOX, LLC, is a 20+ year veteran of the finance and wealth management industry. ROBO-STOX is the first and only index tracking the global robotics and automation market. In addition to managing daily operations of the firm, he is responsible for executing its business strategy and serves on the Index and Classification Committees. Prior to joining ROBO-STOX in March 2014, Travis served as Managing Director at Smith Group Asset Management in Dallas, where he created and led the firm’s Private Client Group. Before joining Smith Group, Travis served as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Business Development at Dallas-based hedge-fund Discovery Management. Earlier in his career, Travis was the Director of Investor Relations at Triton Energy and worked as an analyst at Bank of America.
Co-Founder and Director of Flight Operations, Aerocine Jeff’s experience in the film industry is very comprehensive. After having graduated with a film degree from NYU Tisch in 2011, Jeff worked as both an assistant cameraman on indie films and an electrician on big budget Hollywood movies and television shows such as The Amazing Spiderman 2 and Boardwalk Empire. He is a workflow specialist and knows not only what Directors and Cinematographers want, but also how equipment should work to accommodate those needs in midst of a chaotic film set. Jeff currently leads the AeroCine team in developing the complete, user-friendly, aerial system for filming services.
Founder, Chairman and CTO, Rethink Robotics A mathematics undergraduate in his native Australia, Rodney received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford in 1981. From 1984 to 2010, he was on the MIT faculty, and completed his service as a Professor of Robotics. He was also the founding Director of the Institute’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and served in that role until 2007. In 1990, he co-founded iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT), where he served variously as CTO, Chairman and board member until 2011. Rodney has been honored by election to the National Academy of Engineering, and has been elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association of Computing Machinery, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Founder and Managing Partner, Strategic Robotics Fund Randy Castleman is Founder and Managing Partner of the Strategic Robotics Fund. The SRF will invest globally in emerging private companies in advanced robotics, intelligent systems and related enabling technologies. He is a founding partner of Court Square Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in hardware, software and services companies that has deployed more than $200 million on behalf of institutional investors. Mr. Castleman serves or has served as a director of CSV portfolio companies including Automated Insights (acquired by Vista Equity), Bug Labs, TRAFFIQ (acquired by Talus Holdings), SNOCAP (acquired by Imeem), Labrador Mobile (acquired by Advance Publications), Grand Central, Optinel Systems (acquired by ARRIS) and Taqua Systems (acquired by Tekelec). Prior to his career in venture capital, Mr. Castleman served as technology policy advisor for a Federal advisory commission that advised the White House on Internet policy issues and at ASCAP, where he advised the CEO and board on technology issues and oversaw the development of the industry’s first license for music on the Internet. Mr. Castleman was part of the founding team with actress Jodie Foster of Egg Pictures and had management roles at Interscope Communications, Ogilvy & Mather (now WPP) and BellSouth (now ATT). He is founder and chairman of the Charlottesville Police Foundation. Mr. Castleman earned his BA from Princeton University and his MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.
CEO, Jibo Steve Chambers is a highly experienced business executive who has excelled at the intersection of high-touch, high-experience consumer technologies for much of his career. He successfully brought numerous cutting edge products to the world that enable people to communicate, retrieve and share information, in ways not possible before. Steve most recently served as the President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing and Executive Vice President at Nuance Communications, Inc.
Co-Founder and President, Empire Robotics, Inc. Bill Culley is an entrepreneur and engineer, and is cofounder of Empire Robotics, the company commercializing one of the newest technologies poised to have a significant impact across industrial robotics. He began his career as a management consultant to Fortune 500 companies, then spent four years working with several early stage technology companies. With a unique background in robotics research and product launch strategy, Bill has positioned Empire Robotics as a disruptive robotic gripping and work holding tool provider in the industrial automation industry. With a unique new approach to highly flexible, safe, and easy to use robots, Bill is helping to lead the new generation of industrial robots for anyone. Bill holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Hod Lipson’s Creative Machines Lab at Cornell University, and a MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell.
General Manager, Infranor USA, LLC
Dan is the general manager for Infranor’s North American operation. Infranor is a technology leader in motion control specializing in servo motors and drives. Infranor is known for their superior motor performance based on their slotless brushless motor technology.
Dan has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Northeastern University. He started in the motion control field in 1987 as an applications engineer with Pacific Scientific (later Danaher Motion). He went on to hold positions of field application engineer, field sales engineer, regional sales manager, application engineering manager, marketing specialist, product marketing specialist, and program manager. He joined Infranor Inc. in 2007 and is currently the general manager.
Executive Director, RoboUniverse Conference and Expo Richard Erb brings more than 15 years of experience organizing trade shows in the telecom, information technology and robotics industries. After receiving his undergraduate degree in Economics and Business Administration from Colby College, he earned his MS in Business Management from Lesley University.
Currently, Richard is Executive Director of RoboUniverse Conference & Exposition global series, a division of MecklerMedia. Previously, as General Manager of Robotics Trends Media Group and RoboBusiness, Erb lead efforts to grow RoboBusiness into an international trade show, growing the event 400% in size and revenue from 2011 to 2014. As Vice President of International Events for Pulvermedia, Inc., Richard led efforts to launch VON (Voice on the Net) events in Mexico, Sweden, Italy, Israel, Russia, Japan and China. In his current position with RoboUniverse, Richard is a catalyst for building community and introducing RoboUniverse events as end user focused open format world-class robotics business, technology and applications-focused trade shows.
Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Reliabotics Steve Evers graduated from the Ohio Institute of Technology, Columbus OH with a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology and entered the workforce as a Methods / Manufacturing Engineer at E-Systems Melpar Division in Falls Church VA. He went into the manufacturer’s rep business selling capital equipment and assembly lines for VSA, K3 Equipment Corp and MET, Inc, to manufacturers throughout the mid-Atlantic. With sales approaching 7M, he started his own manufacturer’s rep firm specializing in electronics automation. This business was sold in 2000 and he went on to become Business Development Manager for Jade Equipment Corporation, VP of Sales and Marketing at Metaphase Technologies, Director of Business Development for Macron Dynamics and now VP of Sales and Marketing at Reliabotics, a full service robot integration and engineering firm. With 25 years of experience in direct selling, business development and capital sales, a self-taught master of the integrated proposal, Steve’s passions are helping his customers understand general automation, product design and development and manufacturing related process and problem solving.
Marketing Manager, Rethink Robotics
Eric Foellmer is the Manager of Product Marketing and Marketing Communications at Rethink Robotics, a pioneer in the Collaborative Robotics space. Eric has been a member of the Rethink team since 2012, and is responsible for defining the company’s corporate and product marketing strategies, as well as developing the tools and programs needed to bring them to life.
Eric has worked in the industrial automation sector for the past 15 years. Prior to Rethink, he served as the Marketing Director of GE Fanuc’s CNC Business and as a Product Marketing Director at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC).
Partner, Lux Capital Shahin has worked with Lux Capital since 2006, focusing on technology investments. He is a Partner based in Lux’s Menlo Park office. Before joining Lux, he held technical positions at General Motors and several Silicon Valley technology startups. He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering Computer Science from UC Berkeley, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering with a Minor in Management from UCLA. Shahin sourced Lux’s investments in Silicon Clocks (acquired by NASDAQ:SLAB), SiBEAM (acquired by NASDAQ:SIMG), Planet Labs, Plethora, Brightsky Labs, Scaled Inference, and Flex Logix.
President, Robotic Technology Inc.
Dr. Finkelstein has more than 30 years of experience in: robotics and unmanned vehicles; intelligent systems; military and civil systems analysis; operations research; business development; technology assessment and forecasting. He is the President of Robotic Technology Inc. (RTI) and is responsible for technical analyses, business development, technology assessments and forecasts, operations research, and other professional services, for government and industry – nationally and internationally – in military and civil advanced technology systems, especially robotics, unmanned vehicles, and intelligent systems. Dr. Finkelstein is the inventor of the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR), developed as a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He also initiated the Military Memetics Project for DARPA and the Intelligent Vehicle Technology Transfer (IVTT) Project for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). He is currently developing an Integrated Intelligent System of Systems in a program for the Department of Homeland Security and analyzing autonomous intelligent control system architectures for individual and swarm unmanned air vehicles for a DARPA program. Dr. Finkelstein holds a Doctorate degree in the primary field of Systems Theory and Cybernetics and the supporting field of the Management of Science, Technology, and Innovation, the George Washington University (GWU, 1995)
Advisory Engineer, Watson Platform Services, IBM Nathan Friedly is an Advisory Engineer on IBM’s Watson Platform Services team. A maker and tinkerer with interests ranging from embedded systems and automation to UI/UX, his responsibilities include everything from front-end development to IoT demos. Nathan’s interest in robotics includes both the life-improving aspects that automation and smarter systems bring, and the fun side of things such as flying quadcopters. Nathan holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Sinclair CC in Software Engineering, Network Engineering, and Web Development.
STEM Program Manager, iRobot Lisa manages iRobot’s STEM initiative, focused on engaging students in STEM education across grade levels and demographics. By visiting classrooms, bringing students to iRobot and providing job shadow experiences, the program hopes to increase student enrollment in robotics and STEM fields. In 2014, 60% of iRobot’s employees participated in the STEM program, reaching over 78,000 students. iRobot is also the founder and lead organizer for National Robotics Week, which in 2014 had over 250 events in all 50 states. Lisa has been working in STEM outreach for over 20 years including 10 years as the New England Regional Coordinator for the National Engineers Week Future City Competition. She is a registered Professional Engineer and LEED Accredited Professional.
Lisa holds a Civil Engineering degree from Union College and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University. Outside of her professional life, Lisa has a son who is a junior in high school, and enjoys spending time either swimming or training her Bernese Mountain Dog.
Strategy & Product Manager,IBM – Watson Group Aadhar Garg is a Product Manager in the Watson Group, specifically focused on the Speech and Translation Services on the Watson Developer Cloud. He comes to this role with experiences in programming, consulting and sales at IBM and Google. Aadhar holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where his focus was Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, and a Masters in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
CEO, Rocketfarm AS
Halvor Gregusson got his Master of Science from the Norwegian university of science and technology in 2008 and co-founded Rocketfarm the same year. Initially making web and smartphone applications, the focus shifted in 2012 when the team decided to start a spin off company that would revolutionise the construction industry with Robots, nLink. Halvor was listed one of Norways top 100 leadership talents the same year, and since then he has led Rocketfarm to become specialists in combining existing hardware with brilliant software for the purpose of making new revolutionary robotic solutions to any industry.
CEO & Founder, Blue Workforce
Mr. Hjornet has dedicated his life to create user-driven innovation for industrial automation, and with great success!
Preben Hjornet has founded several companies including InMoTx, where the idea of platformization in industrial automation equipment was conceived. The octoMATION Platform and the invention of The Bio Mimic concept octoGRIPPER are still the foundation for making Next Generation Robotics. In 2012 he founded Blue Workforce, who this spring launches The Robot Platform Concept RAGNAR. A modular and parametric shaped and scalable design platform. Besides RAGNAR Robot a new 3D vision system for process optimization has been invented and is soon ready for sale. All products invented and produced by Mr. Hjornet are created by having three key elements in mind: They are assessable, affordable and useable.
Besides his work at Blue Workforce Preben Hjornet also works as a consultant for large corporations helping them forming new disruptive strategies in their top management teams. Mr. Hjornet teaches at The MBA at AAU in Denmark
Bio coming soon.
Education & Business Development, EZ-Robot
Dennis is the Education Liaison for EZ-Robot – a revolutionary new robot platform that makes it easy for anyone to build and program powerful robots.
A professed non-roboticist, Dennis is recognized as a leading expert on how robotics will impact all levels of the workforce over the coming decade, and what educators must do to prepare our students for the upcoming transition.
His presentation on “Preparing our Workforce for a Robotic World” has been called ‘Enlightening’, ‘Transformative’ and ‘life-changing’ by educators, government officials and the general public.
Director of the University Transportation Research Center & Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, The City College of New York
Dr. Camille Kamga is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at the City College of New York. He has been the Acting Director and Director of the Region 2 – University Transportation Research Center (UTRC) since 2009 and the Associate Director of the CUNY Institute for Urban Systems (CIUS) since 2002. A consortium of 19 major U.S. academic institutions, UTRC asserts a significant role in the region and nationally, conducting research and projects on surface transportation, carrying out training and educational programs and actively disseminating the results of its work. It is one of the few such Centers in the U.S. federally designated since 1987.
Dr. Kamga has chaired many sessions at national, as well as international conferences. Since 2010, he has continued to serve in a leadership capacity as member of the Board of Directors of the Intelligent Transportation Society of New York (ITS-NY) – a professional group providing education and outreach to foster the understanding of ITS applications and technologies. He chairs the education committee of the society. He is member of the TRB Standing Committee on Urban Transportation Data and Information Systems (ABJ30) and member of the TRB Travel Time, Speed, and Reliability Subcommittee [ABJ30(3)]. He also serves in many other professional organizations and committees.
Practice Director, Robotics, ABI Research In his role at ABI Research Dan will focus on robotics innovation across various industries including consumer, construction, security, healthcare, agriculture and education.
Prior to joining ABI, Dan Kara was Chief Research Officer for Myria RAS, a research and advisory services firm focused on automation, robotics and intelligent systems trends, and publisher of the ARISPlex.com robotics portal. Dan was also President of Robotics Trends, an integrated media and research firm serving the personal, service and mobile robotics markets. He was also developer and chairman of the RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition series, the RoboDevelopment Conference and Exposition series, the RoboNexus Conference and Exposition series, and the CES Robotics TechZone. In addition, Dan was the publisher of RoboticsTrends.com, an online portal covering the intelligent, mobile robotics market, and launched Robotics Business Review. Dan has also worked as Executive Vice President of Intermedia Group, Director of Research at Ullo International, and Chief Technical Officer of Software Productivity Group.
He holds a MS in Computer Science from Boston University.
CEO, Harvest Automation
John Kawola is the CEO of Harvest Automation. Harvest has developed and deployed an autonomous mobile robotic platform that assists workers with difficult, repetitive material handling. Target markets include agriculture and warehouse e-commerce distribution.
Prior to Harvest, John held technical, commercial and executive roles at Z Corporation, Albany International and General Electric.
John received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, MS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer and an MBA from Union College.
Professor of Operations Research & Financial Engineering, Princeton University
Prof. Kornhauser is in his 43rd year on the Princeton faculty as Professor of Operations Research & Financial Engineering. He serves as Director of the Transportation Program where he conducts research in transportation, focused on optimal system design and real-time operation. He was the Faculty Leader of Princeton’s entries the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge and 2007 Urban Challenge and continues his interest in the complete automation of the automobile with particular interest in the autonomous Taxi concept and its potential to transform mass transit and deliver ubiquitous mobility to everyone. Prof. Kornhauser is Faculty Chair of Princeton Autonomous Vehicle Engineering (PAVE) an extracurricular undergraduate Smart Driving Car research effort at Princeton, Editor of the Smart Driving Cars Newsletter and Board Chair of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA). He is currently in the process of creating a major Center for Research, Certification and Commercialization of Automated Vehicles @ Fort Monmouth. In addition to his teaching and research duties he serves as the ORFE’s Department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies.
UPS Foundation Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Vijay Kumar is the UPS Foundation Professor with appointments in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Computer and Information Science, and Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kumar received his Bachelors of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1987. He has been on the Faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics with a secondary appointment in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania since 1987.
Dr. Kumar’s research interests: are in robotics, specifically multi-robot systems, and micro aerial vehicles. He has served on the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics and the Springer Tract in Advanced Robotics (STAR).
COO, Southern Audio Visual, Inc.
Victor Lopez joined The Service Companies as Senior Vice president of Business Development in 2010 and Southern Audio Visual, Inc., as President and Chief Operating Officer in 2014 with his creative and inventive thinking has taken over the responsibilities for developing and maintaining commercially productive relationships with both new and old clients. This role follows on a 37-year career in all facets of hotel development and operation including three decades at Hyatt Hotels, where he most recently served as senior vice president for development and field operations. In his leadership roles at Hyatt, he oversaw the operations of 32 properties from South America to Hawaii, including all resort properties in North America. Lopez also formerly was affiliated with the Kor Group, a Los Angeles-based boutique hotel operator. Poder Magazine selected Lopez as part of the 100 most powerful Latinos edition, and The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) recognized Lopez’s work and presented him with their HACR Governance Award in 1993, honoring him as one of the most influential Hispanics in all of corporate America. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Ky.
General Manager, Vecna, Inc.
Alan Ludwiszewski, General Manager for Vecna’s Robotic Logistics Solutions, has over 20 years’ experience in bringing innovative, multidisciplinary technology solutions to market. A leader in developing new markets in application areas, including instrumentation and advanced sensors, industrial capital equipment, optics, medical devices, and consumer electronics, Alan focuses on creating true customer value and fostering strong, inclusive ecosystems. Prior to joining Vecna, he served as VP of Product Development for LSI where he was responsible for the advanced-sensor product strategy which led to the acquisition by a Global 200 customer. Previously, he has held executive roles in engineering, business development, and P&L management for early-stage and growth companies, resulting in an IPO and two strategic acquisitions.
Alan holds a Certificate in Special Studies in the graduate management program from Harvard University as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University. Alan is a contributing author to a number of technical books and scholarly articles, speaks frequently at events and conferences, and currently serves on the Board of Advisors to two Boston-area startups working in the areas of 3D printing and IoT.
General Manager, America’s Region Universal Robots Scott Mabie is the Danish robot manufacturers’ new General Manager of the Americas Region, overseeing the rapid market expansion of the company’s game changing, collaborative robots. He has a proven track record of more than 25 years in industrial automation; spearheading strategic leadership, building up businesses and expanding them internationally. Before joining Universal Robots, Mabie was the Business Unit Manager with Rofin-Sinar Inc., one of the leading global manufacturers of laser sources and laser-based solutions for industrial materials processing. Prior to this he was Director of Business Development with Danotek Motion Control.
Founder and Director of Engineering, RoboKind Robotics Mr. Margolin received his BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington, and studied cognitive and computational neuroscience at Trinity College, Hartford, CT. Prior to founding RoboKind he was Director of Hardware for Hanson Robotics where he designed and built the world’s most lifelike interactive robots. He also performed robotics research at The Manufacturing Automation and Robotic Systems (MARS) Lab, and the Heracleia Human Centered Computing Lab at the University of Texas at Arlington. He was also a researcher at the University of Texas Southwestern’s Biotech and Informatics laboratory, as well as University of Texas at Dallas’s Nanotech Institute where he developed nano-scale materials, actuators and sensors.
CEO and CTO, Fellow Robots
With 8+ years experience in robotics, Marco worked previously with BMW, Rolls-Royce and MINI, Singularity University, as well as in Japan to develop humanoid robots for rescue and exploration.
Chairman, Littler Garry Mathiason, Esq., is a senior partner with Littler Mendelson, the largest global law firm exclusively devoted to labor and employment law. He originated and co-chairs Littler’s Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation Practice Group, providing legal advice and representation to the robotics industry, as well as employers deploying this technology in the workplace. His robotics and AI practice includes workplace safety standards, privacy requirements, robot collaboration and human displacement, anti-discrimination law, and legislative and regulatory developments. He is widely recognized as a futurist and one of the leading authorities on employment law trends in the United States. He routinely advises Fortune 1000 employers regarding workplace law compliance, class action litigation, employee skill requirements, and retraining programs.
Mr. Mathiason has been named one of the top 100 most influential attorneys in the nation by the National Law Journal and has received the highest rankings from Chambers USA, Who’s Who Legal, and The Best Lawyers in America. In 2013, he was among ten attorneys recognized in Human Resource Executive’s inaugural Hall of Fame as one of the nation’s most powerful employment attorneys. He has argued cases before the U.S. and California Supreme Courts. Mr. Mathiason is a founder of NAVEX Global, the ethics and compliance experts, which provides superior legal compliance solutions through an array of GRC products and services.
Managing Director, Startbot
Josh McElhattan is the founder and managing director of Startbot, an early-stage robotics investing firm based in Pittsburgh. He also directs the robotics track of the AlphaLab Gear hardware startup accelerator, which he helped launch in partnership with Innovation Works. Previously, Josh led strategic M&A for Industrial Scientific. He has an AB from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from Babson College.
Manager,Elmo Motion Control, Inc. USA
John McLaughlin is the Manager of Elmo Motion Control, Inc. He has been in this position with Elmo since 2003. John started his career 1986 and has worked for Siemens, Pacific Scientific / Danaher, SemiPower Systems in positions ranging from Sales, Product and Business Management.
Co-Founder and Lead Software Engineer, Voxel8
Jack Minardi is a software developer and electrical engineer. Before co-founding Voxel8, he graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.E. in Electrical Engineering and worked as a scientific software developer at Enthought. He then joined the Lewis Lab at Harvard University as a research fellow, where he led efforts in precision machine automation and calibration and developed software for 3D printing.
Analyst, Lerer Hippeau Ventures
Julian is an analyst at Lerer Hippeau Ventures. Julian joined from Prudential Capital Group, where he focused on investments surrounding the senior debt, mezzanine and private equity markets. Julian is also an avid entrepreneur, starting multiple businesses throughout high school and college. Most recently, Julian began developing mobile applications and released his first app in the App Store in July. Julian is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
VP of Sales, Harmonic Drive, LLC
Bob started his career with Harmonic Drive® as a Sales Engineer in covering the Midwest and for the past ten years has held a management role at the company’s headquarters in the Boston area. Through this period of time, Bob has been involved with numerous applications of Harmonic Drive® products in the field of motion control including factory automation and robotics. He received his BSME from the University of Connecticut and his MBA from Illinois Benedictine University.
Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University and Director, Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue and the Center for Emergency Informatics
Robin Roberson Murphy (IEEE Fellow) is the Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M, Director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue and the Center for Emergency Informatics. She received a B.M.E. in mechanical engineering, a M.S. and Ph.D in computer science in 1980, 1989, and 1992, respectively, from Georgia Institute of Technology. She has over 150 publications on artificial intelligence, human-robot interaction, and robotics including the Introduction to AI Robotics and Disaster Robotics. Her insertion of tactical ground, air, and marine robots at 16 disasters includes the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster, Hurricane Katrina, Fukushima, and the Washington mudslides. This has led to numerous professional awards, such as the Motohiro Kisoi award and the AUVSI Foundation Al Aube award, as well as being declared an “Innovator in AI” by TIME, an “Alpha Geek” by WIRED Magazine, and one of the “Most Influential Women in Technology” by Fast Company. Dr. Murphy is a member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Administrative Committee and co-founded the Technical Committee on Safety Security and Rescue Robotics and its annual conference. She serves on several government and professional boards, most recently the Defense Science Board.
Executive Director, Lowe’s Innovation Labs
Kyle Nel is the Executive Director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs, part of Lowe’s Companies, Inc., where he is responsible for driving retail innovation through disruptive technologies. Through Lowe’s Innovation Labs, Kyle brings together uncommon partners to imagine the impossible and provide scalable solutions for problems that customers and employees face every day.
Kyle has led Lowe’s Innovation Labs to develop and introduce technologies including the Lowe’s Holoroom, an augmented reality home improvement design tool, and the OSHbot autonomous retail service robot.
Prior to Lowe’s, he was part of Walmart’s Global Insights group, where he contributed to the growth of shopper insights and innovation for the multinational retailer, and served as Research Director for Clear Channel Radio. He serves on a variety of advisory committees and boards where he further explores his passion for consumer research and innovation, including Google Consumer Surveys, Fringe Factory, and the Insights and Innovation Exchange.
Kyle holds an MBA from the AC Nielsen Center for Marketing Research at the University of Wisconsin and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Brigham Young University-Idaho.
Senior Vice President, Jetta Steve is a new product development and manufacturing specialist with over 36 years of experience in the Aerospace, Sporting Goods and Toy categories. He is the President of Impact Solutions (new product concepts and consulting since 2003), a Principal of High Team Tech (new product concepts since 2008) and a Senior Vice President at Jetta (US office) a Hong Kong/China based ODM/OEM since 2007. He also served as the General Manager of Mattel Vendor Operations Asia spending 16 years in the Toy industry.
His role at Jetta is to focus on new business opportunities assisting both existing and start up companies achieve their new product goals.
Chairman, RoboUniverse Conference and Expo Francis Rabuck is a Technology Research Analyst with a 30 year career of contributions to the industry as a consultant, thought leader and internationally recognized expert in emerging technologies in the Mobile/Wireless, RFID/Sensors/IoT, Social Media/Collaboration and Curation and Sustainability Indexes. He is a frequent speaker/writer, advisor and judge at major technology industry events.
Fran has a history of delivering leading edge research, trend tracking and innovative business solutions in various roles including: Director of Technology Research for Bentley Systems, Mobile Practice Leader at Alliance Consulting, Director –Manager of Applied Research for Towers Watson and entrepreneurial roles within multiple start-up companies.
Fran is a member of the Global Advisory Council for the World Future Society (www.wfs.org ) and one of the 100+ Experts driving future predictions through forecasting with Techcast.org. In 2006 he was awarded the first FIATECH STAR Award in recognition of his contribution for the innovative use of technology in the construction industry. Fran also worked with the Construction Industry Institute on their Breakthrough Strategy Committee. He is a long time member of the eWeek Corporate Partner Advisory Board, and past member of the Academic Advisory Council at Drexel University. Fran is also the co-author of the book – RFID for Materials Management and Productivity Improvement.
Fran became involved in 3D printing 8 years ago and shortly after that became interested in applications and STEM efforts for Robotics. Today he clearly sees the crossover of these technologies to create a new 3D Techtronic Era.
Partner, Finnegan LLP Eric Raciti is a partner in Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP’s Boston, Massachusetts office. He focuses his practice on intellectual property counseling, particularly in the fields of alternative energy, medical devices, consumer products, and electromechanical engineering including robotics and control systems. Mr. Raciti, who worked for five years as a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, works with startup and established companies to develop comprehensive and sophisticated international patent strategies, including strategic patent procurement, portfolio development, competitive intelligence and analysis, post-grant challenges, and litigation. He assists clients with understanding the competitive patent landscape surrounding their technologies, and helps identify opportunities to develop and leverage portfolios. He also provides freedom-to-operate guidance to clients introducing new products to the market, as well as due diligence for acquisitions representing both buyers and targets, as well as financing rounds for earlier-stage companies.
Advanced Research Group,Wolfram Research, Inc Gopal Sarma is a member of the Advanced Research Group at Wolfram Research, where he focuses on natural language processing and text analytics. He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Harvard University and a PhD in applied physics from Stanford University, where his thesis was on novel quantum architectures for ultra-low power, high-performance computing.
Special Counsel & Head of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Kramer Levin Brendan Schulman is head of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems group at the law firm of Kramer Levin in New York City. He defended civilian drone pilot Raphael Pirker in his landmark case against the Federal Aviation Administration concerning the commercial use of drones. Mr. Schulman also represents various Fortune 500 companies, tech startups, robotics companies, investment firms, and educational institutions in their development and use of unmanned aircraft — including Texas EquuSearch, a volunteer search and rescue organization that has used drones since 2006 to help find missing people. Frequently quoted in the media on legal issues surrounding civilian drone technology, Mr. Schulman also sits on the Board of Advisors of the international Humanitarian UAV Network and has been building and flying his own recreational drones for 20 years.
Entrepreneur, Technologist and Founder, Golem Robotics
Dr. Ofer Shochet is an entrepreneur and a technology visionary, specializing in the development and successful implementation of future technologies in various companies at various fields of technologies.
Ofer is the founder of Golem Robotics, a startup in the world of Robotics, a lecturer at the COMAS Design school, serves as a Board member at Velo 3D Inc. and is an advisory board member at RoboUniverse Expo.
Ofer served between 2009 and 2014 as EVP Products, at Stratasys (nasdaq:SSYS), the world leader in 3D printing. In his position Ofer led the company’s Products division including Systems R&D, material development and R&D product management.
Prior to Stratasys, Ofer had been the founder in parallel of several companies in multiple high-tech fields. One of which, Navajo Systems, a pioneer in SaaS security, was acquired by Salesforce.com. This followed six years at Verint Systems (nasdaq:VRNT), where he served as SVP and built the Corporate Technology Group, focusing on future technologies development in the area of speech, text and video analytics, and delivering solutions to the corporate, retail and government markets. Prior to that Ofer had been founder and EVP of Vigil Technologies which specialized in automatic business intelligence gathering and analysis from internet sources. Ofer also served as VP R&D at Silicon Graphics Biomedical, where he focused on 3D medical imaging, Computer Graphics and High-Performance Computing.
Ofer served five years at the Israeli intelligence corps and was awarded with the prestigious Presidential Israel Security award. Ofer holds a PhD and MSc (Magna cum Laude) in Physics from Tel Aviv University.
President & CEO, CoroWare, Inc. Mr. Lloyd T. Spencer serves as the President of Coroware, Inc. and has been its Chief Executive Officer since January 2008 and Chairman since August 2013. Mr. Spencer has more than 30 years experience in the computer and networking industries in engineering, product marketing, business development, and sales management. His expertise ranges across a spectrum of industries and technologies, including mobile robotics, embedded systems, and data analytics. Mr. Spencer is an active contributor to the robotics community in Seattle area through his participation in the Seattle Robotics Society, 4H Robotics Club programs through Washington State Cooperative Extension and the National 4H in Washington, DC. Mr. Spencer received his Bachelors degree from Cornell University School of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 1980.
Director Robotic Systems, Neya Systems Brian has spent the last decade developing autonomous capability for a wide range of unmanned ground vehicles from man-transportable systems to large multiple-ton platforms. His technical focus is on integrated robotic systems including real-time sensor processing, mobility planning, and intuitive robot control. Prior to joining Neya, Mr. Stancil served as a project manager at QinetiQ North America where he lead the development of automated capability and control for several of the military’s fielded robotic EOD platforms including QinetiQ’s DragonRunner, TALON, and MAARS unmanned systems. Over the last seven years, he has led research programs from a wide range of agencies in the Department of Defense including DARPA, TARDEC, TATRC, SPAWAR, NAVEODTECHDIV and U.S. SOCOM.
Co-Founder and CEO, Aerocine A true storyteller at heart, Brian is constantly seeking unique ways to explore narratives that will blend technology and the arts. Brian has produced 5 feature films, including this year’s Sundance Film Festival entry, “James White,” as well as commercials for Gatorade, Ralph Lauren, Prius, Nokia, & Samsung. His commercials have been featured everywhere from to Petapixel to Gizmodo. He misses Breaking Bad — a lot.
Sr. Manager, Global Manufacturing Solutions Sales, Stratasys
Ryan Sybrant is the Sr. Manager of Manufacturing Solutions for the Vertical Solutions Business Unit at Stratasys. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in manufacturing management from the University of Minnesota and a M.B.A from Capella University. Ryan’s background includes 8 years of manufacturing and application engineering experience at Parker Hannifin and Wair Products. He has been with Stratasys for 8 years and his current role focuses on adoption and growth of advanced manufacturing applications within aerospace, defense, automotive industries.
Co-Founder and CTO, Vecna Daniel founded Vecna in 1998 with the mission to empower humanity through transformative technologies. Without taking any outside investment, Daniel grew his company to 350 employees, an extensive network of partners and contractors, and a world-wide customer base. A true visionary, Daniel has designed and developed several robots, including the Bear disaster recovery robot and the QC Bot logistics solution, as well as advanced automation components, such a biomemetic muscle and machine perception technology. Daniel has recently spoken at WGBH Innovation Hub, MIT’s SwissNex Robotics Forum, TEDxBeaconStreet, and has been referenced in Design News, The Economist, CNN, FoxNews, and the History Channel. In addition, he is planning to establish a robotics incubator by the end of 2015.
Clearpath Robotics Bill Torrens joined Clearpath Robotics in 2014, charged with the responsibility to identify and manage opportunities in Clearpath’s industrial materials handling business vertical. Bill comes to the position with over 20 years of experience in materials handling and industrial machinery automation. Formerly the Global Director of Sales & Marketing for RMT Robotics, Bill developed working relationships with several multinational, blue chip manufacturing, warehousing and logistics companies, partnering with them to implement large scale, full integrated, robotics based materials handling solutions. During his tenure at RMT, Bill also presided over the ADAM Mobile Robot Group, successfully establishing a global installation base of one of the first industrialized autonomous mobile robots. Prior to joining RMT Robotics, Bill was a Regional Sales Manager with Dematic Corporation, helping to foster integrated conveyor, ASRS and AGV based projects for Dematic’s industrial clients.
Born and raised in Toronto, Bill is a Mechanical Engineering graduate of Ryerson University and currently resides in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada.
CEO, Soft Robotics Inc. Carl Vause is CEO of Soft Robotics Inc. Prior to Soft Robotics, Carl held a variety of senior positions in technology and medical device companies, most recently Vice President of Marketing at OmniGuide Surgical. Prior to joining OmniGuide, Carl held positions at Smith & Nephew, leading the Global Joint Repair business, with $500 million in annual revenues. Carl has also served as the Manager of Corporate Strategic Planning at 3M and held operational roles with Nestle Waters North America. Having served as a Naval Flight Officer with the United States Navy, Carl is an aerospace enthusiast; enjoying full-scale and radio control aviation, as well as high power model rocketry. He holds a M.B.A from London Business School and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Military Institute.
Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Conor Walsh is an assistant professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. He is the founder of the Harvard Biodesign Lab, which brings together researchers from the engineering, industrial design, apparel, clinical, and business communities to develop new technologies and translate them to industrial partners. His research focuses on applying disruptive technologies to the development of robotic devices for augmenting and restoring human performance. His research interests include new approaches to design, manufacture, and control of wearable robotic devices, and characterizing their performance through biomechanical and physiological studies.
Founder & CEO, Wolfram Research, Creator, Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha & the Wolfram Language and Author, A New Kind of Science
Stephen Wolfram is a distinguished scientist, technologist and entrepreneur. He has devoted his career to the development and application of computational thinking.
His Mathematica software system, launched in 1988, has been central to technical research and education for more than a generation. His work on basic science—summarized in his bestselling book A New Kind of Science—has defined a major new intellectual direction, with applications across the sciences, technology and the arts. In 2009 Wolfram built on his earlier work to launch Wolfram|Alpha to make as much of the world’s knowledge as possible computable—and accessible on the web and in intelligent assistants like Apple’s Siri.
In 2014, as a culmination of more than 30 years of work, Wolfram began to roll out the Wolfram Language, which dramatically raises the level of automation and built-in knowledge available in a programming language, and makes possible a new generation of readily deployed computational applications.
Stephen Wolfram has been the CEO of Wolfram Research since its founding in 1987. He was educated at Eton, Oxford and Caltech, receiving his PhD in theoretical physics at the age of 20.
Product Manager, Festo Corporation
Nuzha Yakoob is currently the Product Manager for the electromechanical, motion control and robotics products and solutions from Festo. A professional in motion control and mechatronics with over 18 years experience in the field of Industrial automation holding a degree in Electronics and Electrical engineering.
Nuzha is a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (MIET – UK) and the Robotics & Automation Society (RAS) chapter of the Institution of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (MIEEE-USA) Nuzha’s expertise ranges from system design, programming and system implementation to project management of systems involving motion control, mechatronic systems, Servopneumatics,
Manager, Robotics Industry Marketing, MathWorks Yanliang Zhang is a superfan of robotics and MATLAB. As a fan of robotics, he led a team to develop a few robotics systems that had been commercialized during his Ph.D. and postdoctoral research. And, as a MATLAB fan, he started the Chinese MATLAB forum iLoveMATLAB.cn in 2006; it is now the largest non-English MATLAB community, with about 1 million registered members. Yanliang joined MathWorks in 2011 as a robotics specialist to leverage his expertise in MATLAB and robotics. In his role at MathWorks, he focuses on robotics product management, product marketing, industry marketing, and business development. Yanliang is the first product manager of MathWorks Robotics System Toolbox released in March 2015.
Yanliang obtained his B.S. in computer engineering, and Ph.D. in robotics from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, in 2006 and 2010, respectively. He did his postdoctoral robotics research at University of Toronto, Canada. He holds a distinguished visiting professorship at Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Science in China. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Shanghai Normal University, and Xiangtan University in China. Yanliang authored a few books about MATLAB, and he is also an editor of 30+ MATLAB and Simulink technical books.