Robo Madness Boston in One Month: iRobot, BiOM Join Program

While Greater Boston is reeling from the effects of one snowstorm after another, I’d like to paint a more hopeful picture for you. Imagine it is one month from today. Not quite spring, but close. Not getting warm yet, but at least the worst of the snow and cold should be behind us.

And then there are robots. Lots of them.

On March 11, we are gathering at Google in Kendall Square for an unprecedented robotics event in the area: Robo Madness Boston. The half-day forum is a who’s who of commercial robot expertise, from the founders of iRobot, Rethink Robotics, CyPhy Works, Kiva Systems, and Vecna, to the chief executives of Jibo, Harvest Automation, VGo, and BiOM. We’re still working on getting someone involved from Google and/or the venerable Boston Dynamics (hello Marc Raibert), which released footage of a new walking robot this week.

It’s a crucial time for robotics and artificial intelligence. Startups, big companies, and investors are all trying to solve real problems and cash in. We’ll talk about strategy, solutions, and societal issues across a wide range of robotics, from drones to manufacturing to consumer.

Here are a few recent additions to the program:

Steve Chambers, the new CEO of Jibo, maker of a social robot for the home. Jibo recently raised a $25 million venture round after a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Charles Carignan, CEO of BiOM (formerly known as iWalk), developer of a powered prosthetic ankle and foot.

Paolo Pirjanian, CTO of iRobot, the godfather of commercial robotics. These days, iRobot is working on everything from healthcare telepresence to automated lawnmowers.

Jacob Rosen, Co-founder of ExoSense, maker of an exoskeleton for rehabilitation. Rosen is also a professor of medical robotics at UCLA.

These luminaries join an all-star program that includes Rod Brooks, Helen Greiner, Mick Mountz, Daniel Theobald, Peter Vicars, John Kawola, Eric Paley, Rudina Seseri, Ben Einstein, Holly Yanco, and many more. And did I mention beer pong? There will be beer pong. (Detailed agenda coming soon.)

See you all on March 11. You can still get a few discounted tickets here.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and Editor of Xconomy Boston. E-mail him at gthuang [at] xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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