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Society, Robots and Us: Prosthetics, Exoskeletons & Powered Clothing

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Our next 'conversation that matters' is on prosthetics, exoskeletons and powered clothing. Join us at 6pm PDT on Tuesday March 23rd 2021

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Following our "COVID-19, Robots and Us" series, we're continuing the conversation about important robotics topics and socio-technical issues. We'll be inviting domain experts and interesting thinkers to discuss topics relating to robotics innovation, commercialization and inclusivity. Mainly, we're inviting YOU to share your thoughts about inclusive robotics, what is it? why do we need it? and what do we do to get it? or problems for robotics and pathways forward!

Moderated by Andra Keay of Silicon Valley Robotics

Guest speakers this week:

  • Ken Goldberg, artist and roboticist

Catch our previous episodes on Silicon Valley Robotics youtube channel

    • Henry Evans, Robots4Humanity
    • Aaron Edsinger, Hello Robot
    • Daniel Seita, UC Berkeley
    • Adriana Mallozi, Puffin Innovations

Acknowledgement: Your hosts are speaking from the traditional lands of the Mewukma Ohlone People, who remain unrecognized in US Federal Law.


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Henry Evans, Founder of Robots for Humanity

Robots for Humanity (R4H) is about using technology to extend our capabilities, fill in our weaknesses, and let people perform at their best. Henry Evans is the inspiration and instigator of R4H. Henry suffered a tragic stroke when he was 40 years old, rendering him mute and quadriplegic. Through robotic technology, Henry continues to find ways to explore and interact with the world. Devices developed by members of Robots for Humanity thus far range from an interactive laser mounted on his glasses, to a very expensive humanoid robot (PR2) which serves as Henry's body surrogate, to various flying quad rotors. This site tells the story of Henry’s quest to inspire engineers the world over to devote part of their time developing innovative ways for disabled people to interact with the world. Early and consistent collaborators and co-founders include Dr. Kemp from The Healthcare Robotics Lab at Georgia Tech, Steve Cousins/Willow Garage, and Henry's wife, Jane, without whom R4H would not have been possible.


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Aaron Edsinger, CEO and cofounder of Hello Robot

Aaron is a recognized expert in robots and a proven entrepreneur. He has founded four companies focused on bringing human collaborative robots to the consumer, manufacturing, healthcare, and research markets. Two of these companies, Meka Robotics and Redwood Robotics, were acquired by Google in 2013.

As Robotics Director at Google Aaron led the business, product, and technical development of two of Google’s central investments in robotics. He worked closely with SVP and C-level executives to define the overall robotics strategy.

Edsinger is an innovative thinker with a broad understanding of the entire robot product design stack, including: machine learning, user experience, human-robot interaction, industrial design, mechanical design, design for manufacture, industrial design, SW architecture, real time control, and design of force-controlled arms, actuators, hands, and humanoids.


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Daniel Seita, Computer Science student at UC Berkeley

Daniel Seita is pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on robotic manipulation, imitation learning, and reinforcement learning, particularly in the contexts of deformable object manipulation and surgical robotics. Daniel received Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from Williams College. Daniel’s research is supported by a Graduate Fellowships for STEM Diversity.


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Adriana Mallozi, Entrepreneur, Innovator & Disability Advocate

Combining my entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for technology and empowering people with disabilities led me to create my first venture, My’deas, LLC, which soon became the parent company of myXpressions and My'Empowerment. Under My'Empowerment, I provide consulting services for caregivers and individuals with disabilities - helping them find the necessary resources to reach their full potential. In 2017, I formed Puffin Innovations - an assistive technology startup creating an innovative mouth-operated input device that incorporates machine learning, artificial intelligence, and IoT connectivity to give people with disabilities greater opportunities to lead more inclusive, independent lives.

I have been a guest lecturer/speaker at Northeastern University and Boston University PT and OT/AT classes respectively for over 10 years, and have participated on numerous panels covering topics ranging from assistive technology, disability advocacy/inclusion, to entrepreneurship for venues including HUBweek, ATIA, MIT, Olin College, and SXSW.

In the past, I have worked as a program manager for a non-profit human service agency that provides residential, day, employment and individual support services to adults with developmental disabilities.


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Ken Goldberg, Professor, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and William S. Floyd Jr. Distinguished Chair in Engineering, UC Berkeley and Director of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute People and Robots Initiative

My students and I pursue research in Robotics. Automation. Medical Robotics. Art. Networked Robots and Cameras. Social Information Filtering. Algorithmic Automation. New Media. Algorithms for Feeding, Fixturing, Grasping, and Assembly. Game-Based Learning. Automation for Public Safety and Security. Design of Parts, Devices, and Systems for Automation. https://citris-uc.org/people-and-robots/


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Andra Keay, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, Secretary General of International Alliance of Robotics Associations and Visiting Scholar at CITRIS People and Robots Lab

Silicon Valley Robotics is the non-profit industry group supporting innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies. Andra is also the founder of the Good Robot Awards, Robot Launch global startup competition, Robot Garden maker space, Women in Robotics and is a trained futurist, mentor, investor and advisor to startups, accelerators and think tanks, with a strong interest in commercializing socially positive robotics and AI. She is also a Visiting Scholar with the UC’s CITRIS People and Robots Research Group.

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