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Top 10 Sessions Robotics Engineers Can’t Miss at RoboBusiness 2018
August 16, 2018      

While both Robotics Business Review and our annual RoboBusiness event serve the global automation ecosystem, it’s no secret that much of our core audience consists of robotics engineers. Why should you care about next month’s conference in Silicon Valley?

In response to attendee requests, we’ve beefed up the technical content at our flagship show, including a Design and Engineering Forum. Whether you’re building robots, evaluating or integrating them, or running them in real-world applications, here are 10 sessions at RoboBusiness 2018 that robotics engineers won’t want to miss. Register now!

1. Keynotes about deep learning and robots

Pieter Abbeel will address robotics engineers in his RoboBusiness 2018 keynote.

Keynote speaker Pieter Abbeel has advised numerous AI and robotics startups.

Programming robots to do anything more than a single task remains challenging, so deep reinforcement learning promises to speed up this process. In his keynote address on “Advances in Deep Reinforcement Learning for Robotics,” Pieter Abbeel, a professor at UC Berkeley and founder of Embodied Intelligence, will describe how enabling robots to learn is helping them walk, fly, and manipulate objects.

He’ll also discuss covariant.ai, which is working to combine artificial intelligence with robots in manufacturing and supply chain operations.

The other keynote in the Design and Engineering Forum continues the deep-learning theme, focusing on “The New Wave in Robotic Grasping Technology.” Ken Goldberg, distinguished chair in engineering at UC Berkeley, will examine the two waves of innovation in making robots more dexterous. He will present emerging results from his own research and show how modeled data can be used instead of physical data for training.

3. Synthetic Lubricants as Critical Design Components of Mechanical and Electromechanical Products

Moving from software to hardware, robotics engineers can look forward to a discussion of the importance of oils, greases, and other lubricants to robots. While you won’t get dirty, you’ll come away with a deeper understanding of something that’s not often covered in school but is still critical to device function and longevity.

4. Using Infrared Proximity Sensors for Close 2D Localization and Object Size Recognition

While several vendors have claimed that cameras alone are sufficient for safe navigation, we’ll look at how another technology works. From mobile platforms in warehouses to self-driving cars being tested on roads, robotics engineers will want to see how a linear array of interlaced IR lasers and photodetectors can be useful. But it’s not dry theory — Richard Berglind, senior optical engineer at Neonade, will demonstrate the sensor with a RoboCup soccer league robot!

RoboBusiness 2018 tag

5. Accelerating Computer Vision Applications

Computer vision is becoming a major source of data for all sorts of AI and Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and Intel will explain how its OpenVINO™ toolkit can transform visual data into business insights. It will also show how hardware acceleration can be used for performance optimization.

6. Reducing and Eliminating Downtime in Robots Using Predictive Analytics

A major application of IoT in manufacturing is avoiding costly production-line shutdowns by monitoring throughput and the wear on machinery. FANUC, in partnership with Cisco, has developed the ZDT (Zero Down Time) solution, which has already connected more than 17,000 robots and saved automotive customers over $100 million. FANUC will explain how to maximize maintenance and avoid unplanned downtime.

7. Performance Optimization Using Slotless Motors and PWM Drives

Smooth and precise motion control is essential to robot function, and pulse width modulation and slotless brushless motors are ways to reduce torque ripple. This session will discuss approaches to optimizing performance.
Robotics engineers and end users can visit the RoboBusiness 2018 expo hall.

8. Collaborative Robot Risk, Assessment, Identification, and Reduction

Moving from components to cobots, this session will talk about the need for proper risk assessments for safe operations.

There are international standards for power and force limiting, but users of collaborative robot arms still need to understand their unique environments and processes. Fortunately, there are tools and best practices to help.

9. Smart Feedback Systems in Modern Robotics

This session, intended for robotics engineers at component suppliers, will look at the state of smart feedback systems, current and predicted market trends, and case studies on the use of such systems in autonomous systems on roads, underwater, and in the air.

10. The Explosion in Strain Wave Gearing

Why have delivery times for strain-wave gearing increasing quadrupled, even as worldwide demand has risen? Jim Ness, an applications engineer at Nidec-Shimpo, will explain how his company has entered the market to try to respond to this demand, as an example of how robotics suppliers can scale up manufacturing capacity.

More for robotics engineers at RoboBusiness

In addition to these sessions, there’s the Expo Hall, Pitchfire startup competition, and the Fourth Annual C. Walton Musser Industry Cocktail Reception! Our other conference tracks will cover topics such as cybersecurity, new applications for robotics, and ROS Industrial.

The Tech Forum at RoboBusiness 2018 will present case studies on robotic arms and end effectors, sensors, imaging, and motors. From big data and AI to cavity-protection tech, robotics engineers will have lots of subjects to learn about from Sept. 25 to 27 in Santa Clara, Calif.! Register now to join the conversation!