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MassTLC Summit: The Future of Robotics

Mass Technology Leadership Council

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (EST)

MassTLC Summit: The Future of Robotics

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 Future of Robotics Summit
Microsoft New England Research and Development Center
One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA
Tuesday, December 8, 2009, 8:30-4:30pm


Join New England’s leading robotic research institutions for an unprecedented look at the future of robotics. The summit will begin with remarks from the Massachusetts Secretary for Housing and Economic Development Gregory Bialecki. Our research briefing will include a dozen labs and culminate with a presentation on technology transfer opportunities. For those interested, there will be tours of seven Robotics Labs at MIT following lunch. Attendees from academia, government, and the private sector will learn firsthand about the latest research coming down the pipeline and opportunities for partnership and commercialization.



8:30am - Registration, networking, and lab tour sign-ups

9:00-9:30am - Opening Remarks

Tom Hopcroft, President & CEO, Mass Technology Leadership Council

Gregory Bialecki, Massachusetts Secretary for Housing and Economic Development

Tom RydenFounder and COO at North End Technologies; MassTLC Robotics Cluster co-chair (moderator) 


9:30-12:30pm - University Research Lab Presentations:

Biomimetic Underwater Robot Program --  Joseph Ayers, Northeastern University Marine Science Center -- We are developing neurotechnology based on the neurophysiology and behavior of animal models. We developed two classes of biomimetic autonomous underwater vehicles.

Hybrid and Networked Systems Lab -- Calin Belta, Boston University -- We are interested in phenomena that occur when continuous dynamics, described by systems of differential equations, are combined with discrete dynamics, modelled as automata or state transition graphs (examples range from man-made systems such as mobile robots, to naturally occurring systems such as biochemical networks).

WPI Robotics Engineering Program -- Mike Gennert, WPI – WPI boasts the only undergrad robotics degree program in nation. Research areas include: surgical robotics, human-robot interaction, swarm robotics, and robotics systems engineering.

Laboratory for Perceptual Robotics -- Rod Grupen, UMass Amherst – Our lab studies computational systems that solve sensory and motor problems. Experimental platforms include sensor networks, mobile manipulators, and integrated bimanual humanoids.

Robotics, Learning and Autonomy Lab -- Chad Jenkins, Brown University – We explore problems in human-robot interaction, robot learning, robot perception, autonomous control, dexterous manipulation, and game development. 

Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering -- Jim Kinsey, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) -- Projects include the development of in-situ calibration techniques for navigation sensor calibration, dynamic model-based nonlinear state estimators for underwater robot navigation, and exploiting advances in underwater vehicle navigation to obtain fine spatial resolution gravity maps.

Surgical Navigation and Robotics Laboratory -- Hata Nobuhiko, Brigham and Women’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School – Our unique approach, where imaging, computing and robotics are integrated into one unit to enhance the capability of image-guided therapy, aims to advance a minimally invasive therapy and ultimately develop new treatment methods.

Biomimetic Devices Laboratory -- Barry Trimmer and Jason Rife, Tufts University -- The overall goal of the laboratory is to develop devices based on the highly adaptive mechanisms of animal movement. These devices will have direct applications in robotics (e.g., manufacturing, emergency search and retrieval, repair and maintenance of equipment in space) and in medical diagnosis and treatment (e.g., endoscopy, remote surgery).

MIT Robotics Labs -- Seth Teller, MIT CSAIL – Seth will provide a brief overview of research in the following MIT Robotics Labs (tours available after lunch): Distributed Robotics Lab, Robot Locomotion Lab, Robust Robotics Lab, Humans and Automation Lab, Personal Robots Group, Aerospace Controls Lab, Robotics, Vision, and Sensor Networks Group.  

Robotics Lab @ UMass Lowell – Holly Yanco, UMass Lowell -- Research focuses on human-robot interaction (HRI), ranging from visual displays to evaluation methods to a new HRI architecture for robots. Application domains include assistive technology, urban search and rescue (USAR), explosive ordinance disposal (EOD), and hazardous materials (HAZMAT) response.  


12:15-12:30 pm - Technology Transfer Briefing: How to Effectively Work with Universities

Commercial Ventures & Intellectual Property – William S. Rosenberg, PhD, Executive Director, Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP), UMass President's Office. The CVIP oversees the Mass Technology Transfer Center, an organization run by Abi Barrow that facilitates the activities of all technology transfer offices in the Commonwealth by providing services to support their work with Massachusetts-based companies and investors.

12:30-1:30 pm - Lunch


1:30-4:30 pm - Tours of the following MIT Robotics Labs

Distributed Robotics Laboratory - Daniela Rus, MIT CSAIL - spans areas including modular and self-reconfiguring robots, distributed algorithms and systems of self-organizing robots, networks of robots and sensors for first-responders, mobile sensor networks, animals and robots, cooperative underwater robotics, desktop robotics, and forming, moving, and navigating sparse 2D and 3D structures.

Robot Locomotion Laboratory - Russ Tedrake, MIT CSAIL - The goal of our research is to build machines which exploit their natural dynamics to achieve extraordinary agility and efficiency.

Robust Robotics Laboratory – Nicholas Roy, MIT CSAIL - Our research goals are to build unmanned vehicles that can fly without GPS through unmapped indoor environments, robots that can drive through unmapped cities, and to build social robots that can quickly learn what people want without being annoying or intrusive.

Humans and Automation Laboratory -- Mary Cummings, MIT CSAIL -- Research focuses on the multifaceted interactions of human and computer decision-making in complex sociotechnical systems.

Personal Robots Group -- Cynthia Breazeal, MIT Media Lab -- Research focuses on developing the principles, techniques, and technologies for personal robots. This lab has developed numerous robotic creatures ranging from robotic flower gardens, to embedding robotic technologies into familiar everyday artifacts (e.g., clothing, lamps, desktop computers), to creating highly expressive humanoids --- including the well-known social robot, Leonardo.

Aerospace Controls Laboratory --  Jonathan P. How -- researches topics related to autonomous systems and control design for aircraft, spacecraft, and ground vehicles.  Theoretical research is pursued in areas such as: decision making under uncertainty; path planning, activity and task assignment; estimation and navigation; sensor network design; robust control, adaptive control, and model predictive control.

Robotics, Vision, and Sensor Networks Group -- Seth Teller, MIT CSAIL -- Seth’s research focuses on Situationally-Aware Computing for Autonomous Robotics and Human Assistance.


Robotics Cluster Sponsor: Textron Systems 

Host Sponsor: Microsoft NERD

Supporting Organizations: Mass Tech Transfer Center; xconomy

Have questions about MassTLC Summit: The Future of Robotics? Contact Mass Technology Leadership Council
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When & Where

Microsoft NERD Center
1 Memorial Dr
Cambridge, 02142

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (EST)

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MassTLC Summit: The Future of Robotics
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