Wolfram Burgard

Professor and IEEE RAS President
University of Freiburg

Wolfram Burgard is a professor for computer science at the University of Freiburg and head of the research lab for Autonomous Intelligent Systems. His areas of interest lie in artificial intelligence and mobile robots. He and his group has developed a series of innovative probabilistic techniques for robot navigation and control. They cover different aspects including localization, map-building, SLAM, path-planning, exploration. Wolfram Burgard has published more than 300 publications. He is Fellow of the AAAI, EurAI and IJCAI. He received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, the most prestigious German research award, and an Advanced Grand of the European Research Council.

Simon DiMaio

Director of Research
Intuitive Surgical

Simon DiMaio leads Applied Research projects at Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Sunnyvale, California), makers of the da Vinci Surgical System – a telerobotic system for minimally-invasive surgery. Simon holds a Ph.D. in robotics and control systems from the University of British Columbia, Canada, where he explored haptics and teleoperation technologies, and then went on to develop some of the very first needle insertion models and novel robotic needle steering methods for medical applications.Prior to moving to Intuitive Surgical, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship and later held an appointment as Instructor of Radiology at the Harvard Medical School, as a member of the Surgical Planning Laboratory (SPL) at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. At the SPL, he developed systems for MRI-compatible medical robots, as well as methods for navigated endoscopy and interventional guidance. In addition to R&D projects at Intuitive, Simon is involved in the development of academic relationships and programs, as well as the exploration of future platforms and applications of robotics and technology in medicine.

Scott Dresser

Director of Product and Systems
Amazon Robotics

Scott (EE ’89) joined Amazon Robotics in 2012 as part of the acquisition of Kiva Systems, a Massachusetts based start‐up focused on developing robotics automation solutions for e‐commerce fulfillment. His strategic leadership has guided the organization through the initial automation of Amazon's fulfillment centers to today where Amazon has deployed over 100,000 robots in its fulfillment network. Scott led the software architecture team that developed the strategy and architecture for the migration of Kiva’s software to a scalable service‐based architecture for managing and optimizing large fleets of robotics and automation. In his current role at Amazon Robotics, Scott leads teams in systems engineering, systems research, product strategy/management, program management and solutions design for new innovative industrial robotics systems.

Scott draws from his experience as part of a founding team in three pre‐IPO ventures to implement his hands‐on approach to hire and develop the infrastructure required to build and grow new engineering teams. Prior to his role at Amazon Robotics, Scott was with Airvana Inc., where he led engineering teams to develop robust and scalable products that are at the core of cellular data networks throughout the US and much of Asia. Scott holds a Degree of Engineer and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Stanford University, Graduate School of Engineering and received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s School of Engineering. Scott is a published author and accomplished patent holder.

Tom Fuhlbrigge

Manager
ABB US Corporate Research Center

Tom Fuhlbrigge is the Department Manager of the USCRC Windsor Group which is composed of personnel in the Mechanics and Sensors research areas. He received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from MIT in mechanical engineering in 1988 and 1989 respectively.  After MIT, Tom spent 5 years in the US Navy (3.5 years at sea) as an officer on nuclear submarines.  Tom joined ABB in 1994 in the Robotics Systems business and performed various robot product development, project management, engineering management and R&D management roles both in the US and in Sweden. He joined corporate research in 2003 and has been the manager of the group in Windsor since 2006.

Robert D. Howe

Professor
Harvard University

Robert D. Howe is Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Engineering in the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Dr. Howe founded the Harvard BioRobotics Laboratory in 1990, which investigates the roles of sensing and mechanical design in motor control, in both humans and robots. His research interests center on manipulation, the sense of touch, and human-machine interfaces. A major focus is the development of image-guided and robotic surgical applications. Dr. Howe earned a bachelors degree in physics from Reed College, then worked as a design engineer in the electronics industry in Silicon Valley. He received a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University in 1990, and then joined the faculty at Harvard. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and AIMBE.  Lab web site: http://biorobotics.harvard.edu

Chris Jones

CTO
iRobot

Dr. Chris Jones is the Chief Technology Officer at iRobot Corporation. He joined iRobot in 2005 and his responsibilities are centered on long-term technology planning and strategy and fostering strategic partnerships to advance the state-of-the-art in practical robotics. Prior to joining iRobot, he was involved in robotics research and development at the Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems at the University of Southern California, the Intelligent Systems and Robotics Center at Sandia National Laboratories, and the Robotics Research Lab at Texas A&M University. Dr. Jones received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California and his B.S. in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Dean Kamen

Founder and President
DEKA Research

Dean Kamen is an inventor and holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents, many of them for innovative medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide. While still a college undergraduate, he invented the first wearable infusion pump, which rapidly gained acceptance from such diverse medical specialties as oncology, neonatology, and endocrinology. In 1976, he founded his first medical device company, AutoSyringe, Inc., and working with leading diabetes researchers, Dean pioneered the design and adoption of the first portable insulin pump. He also founded DEKA Research & Development Corporation to develop internally generated inventions as well as to provide research and development for major corporate clients. Kamen led DEKA's development of many innovative systems, including the HomeChoiceTM peritoneal dialysis system, which quickly became the worldwide market leader, the iBOTTM mobility device, and the Segway® Human Transporter.

Kamen has received many awards for his efforts. Notably, Kamen was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2000. Presented by President Clinton. Kamen was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1997.  He was awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2005.  He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering, as well as many other national and international engineering organizations. In 2010, Dean hosted the Planet Green television series Dean of Invention.

In addition to DEKA, one of Dean's proudest accomplishments is founding FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Founded in 1989, this year FIRST® will serve more than 1,000,000 young people, ages 6 to 18, in more than 86 countries around the globe. Last year, high-school-aged participants were eligible to apply for more than $50 million in scholarships from over 200 leading colleges, universities, and corporations.

Laura Major

CTO
CyPhy Works

Laura Major is the CTO at CyPhy Works, the leading tethered UAV company.  Previously she was a Division Leader of 100 engineers at Draper Laboratory where she developed the first Human-Centered Engineering capability and expanded it to include Machine Intelligence and AI.  At Draper Laura led the research program under which ATAK, an Android app used by the troops, was developed.  During her tenure at Draper she was honored with the annual Innovation Award and Mentoring Award.

Laura was honored by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) with the Emerging Leader Award in 2014.  Mass High Tech honored Laura as one of its 2014 “Women to Watch”.  Laura has an MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT and a BS from Georgia Tech.  She has over 20 technical publications and is currently working on a book on the coming age of human-robot partnership. 

Dan Mantz

CEO & Chairman of the Board
Robotics Education & Competition Foundation

Dan Mantz is an executive leader with over 25 years of engineering experience solving complex problems in the software, electrical, and mechanical fields. He has a proven track record of building high performance teams, while managing product development, business operations, marketing, and strategy. Dan is a respected innovator in the highly technical robotics industry with an unrelenting passion for the world of educational and competitive robotics. 

Dan’s industrial robotics career took shape at FANUC Robotics where as a Sr. Controls Engineer, he developed and implemented controls systems at manufacturing facilities globally. As Product Development Director, he oversaw the development of industrial painting robots, paint application equipment, linear rail and electrical products. Dan left FANUC to become President of Rack Solutions, developing hundreds of new IT infrastructure products.

Now as CEO and of the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, Dan is committed to making robotics-engineering programs accessible to all schools and communities.

Daniel Patt

CEO
Vecna Robotics

Daniel Patt, PhD, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Vecna Robotics, a leader in robotics and automation solutions. He is a technology executive with extensive in operationalizing artificial intelligence, robotics, logistics, unmanned vehicles, and distributed systems. Vecna Robotics is a full-spectrum automation provider, with fielded solutions addressing distribution, warehousing, e-commerce fulfillment, and other logistics roles.

Prior to joining Vecna Robotics, Patt managed nearly half a billion dollars in annual technology investments at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. He oversaw and enabled the maturation of technology from conceptual and seed stage levels all the way through successful operational, financial, technology, and commercial transitions.

Dr. Patt also serves as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis (CSBA), leading national security think tank located in Washington, DC.
The mission of Vecna Robotics is to empower humanity through transformative technologies.

Al Rizzi

Chief Scientist
Boston Dynamics

Dr. Alfred Rizzi is currently the Chief Scientist at Boston Dynamics where he directs research and product development based on novel locomotion and mobile manipulation systems. Prior to joining Boston Dynamics, in 2006, he was an Associate Research Professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University where he directed research projects focused on hybrid sensor-based control of complex and distributed dynamical systems.  Before attending graduate school Dr. Rizzi worked for the Northrop Corporation as a test equipment design engineer. Dr. Rizzi received the Sc.B, degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986. He received the M.S. and Ph.D. from Yale University in 1990 and 1994 respectively. He has authored over 50 papers in academic journals and conferences and is a co-inventor on more than 10 patents. Dr. Rizzi is a co-recipient of the Nakamura Prize for best paper at the International Symposium on Intelligent Robots and Systems in 2001.  He is a member of the IEEE and serves on the advisory boards of the robotics programs at John's Hopkins University.

Tom Ryden

CEO​
MassRobotics

Thomas Ryden is the Executive Director of MassRobotics.  MassRobotics is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the robotics community and help grow the next generation of robotics and connected device companies.

Prior to joining MassRobotics Mr. Ryden was the founder and CEO/COO of VGo Communications, Inc.  Mr. Ryden oversaw the development and launch of the VGo telepresence robot. The VGo is used by hospitals, eldercare facilities, schools and other organizations.  

Previously, Mr. Ryden was Director of Sales & Marketing at iRobot Corporation.  Under his leadership iRobot secured over $300M in contracts and revenue from its government and industrial products increased from $2M to over $80M annually.   In addition Mr. Ryden held roles in program management, overseeing the development of some of iRobot’s most successful products. 

Mr. Ryden is the co-chairman of the robotics cluster of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council and serves on the Mechatronics & Robotics Engineering (MRE) Education Advisory Board and the Robotics Technical Advisory Panel for ASME.   He also is an advisor to a number of robotics start-ups. Mr. Ryden has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Bentley University.

Youssef Saleh

CEO and Founder
Ava Robotics

Youssef Saleh is an entrepreneurial leader with a passion for turning ideas into profitable and growing businesses. He is Founder and CEO of Ava Robotics, an iRobot spin-off focused on autonomous intelligent navigating robots for enterprise, commercial and industrial environments. Previously, Youssef was SVP and GM of the Remote Presence Business Unit and emerging businesses at iRobot, where he was responsible for iRobot’s industry-leading autonomous intelligent mobile robots for commercial applications. Prior to iRobot, Youssef was VP/GM of Telepresence & Vertical Solutions at Polycom where he successfully incubated and established growing businesses from the ground up. He started his career as a software engineer and has a BSEE in Computer Science Engineering from Northeastern University.

Youssef is a passionate soccer player and coach. He holds a USSF national “B” coaching license. He has coached highly competitive youth teams for the past 20 years.

Lakmal Seneviratne

Director of Robotics Institute         
Khalifa University

Lakmal Seneviratne is Professor of Mechanical Engineering, the founding Director of the Khalifa University Centre for Autonomous Robotic Systems, and Associate VP for Research at Khalifa University, UAE. He is also the Technical Director of the Mohammed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC). Prior to joining Khalifa University he was Professor of Mechatronics, the founding Director of the Centre for Robotics Research and the Head of the Division of Engineering, at King’s College London. His main research interests are centered on robotics and automation, with particular emphasis on increasing the autonomy of robotic systems interacting with complex dynamic environments. He has published over 350 peer reviewed publications on these topics.

Shiekegi Sugano

Professor and Dean of School of Creative Science and Engineering
Waseda University

Shigeki Sugano received the B.S., M.S., and Dr. of Engineering degrees in Mechanical engineering in 1981, 1983, and 1989 from Waseda University. Since 1990, he has been a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Waseda, where he is currently a professor. Since 2014, he has served as the Dean of the School/Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering, Waseda University.

His research interests include human-symbiotic anthropomorphic robot design, dexterous and safe manipulator design, and human-robot communication. He received many awards, and he is a fellow of the IEEE, SICE, JSME, and RSJ.

He served as an AdCom member of the IEEE RAS from 2008 to 2013. He served as the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Advanced Robotics from 2007 to 2012. He served as the President of the SICE in 2017. He served as the General Chair of the IROS2013 in Tokyo.

Roberto Valenti

Senior Robotics Research Scientist ​
MathWorks

Roberto G. Valenti is currently a Senior Robotics Research Scientist at MathWorks. His research interests include Robotics, robotics sensing for navigation, sensor fusion, mobile autonomous robots (self-driving cars, unnamed aerial vehicles), inertial navigation and orientation estimation, control, computer vision, and deep learning. Previously, he worked as a Research and Development Engineer within the Autonomous Driving team at Nvidia. He obtained a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the City University of New York, The City College, NY, USA where he focused his research on state estimation and control for autonomous navigation of micro aerial vehicles. Dr. Valenti received his M.Sc. in Electronics Engineering from the University of Catania, Italy.