Osborn, Siewiorek Lead Assistive Robotics Track at RoboBusiness Summit-Quality of Life Technology Center - Carnegie Mellon University

Monday, November 5, 2012

Osborn, Siewiorek Lead Assistive Robotics Track at RoboBusiness Summit

QoLT Demos for RoboBusiness:  (top) Reid Simmons introduces Gamebot to industry executives; (bottom) Elaine Houston and Garrett Grindle demo PerMMA2 for a delegation of Danish hospital representatives [photo credits: Kristen Sabol and Michael Lain]
QoLT Demos for RoboBusiness: (top) Reid Simmons introduces Gamebot to industry executives; (bottom) Elaine Houston and Garrett Grindle demo PerMMA2 for a delegation of Danish hospital representatives [photo credits: Kristen Sabol and Michael Lain]

A primary objective of the RoboBusiness Leadership Summit is to accelerate the commercial advancement of the robotics industry. This year, the Quality of Life Technology Center inspired a new conference track and symposium at the event focused on growth opportunities in assistive robotics.

Held in “RoboBurgh” (Pittsburgh, PA) on October 22-24, the RoboBusiness Leadership Summit is the leading business development event for the global robotics industry. The three-day conference attracts robotics executives from around the world to share information and connections that plan for, build, finance and manage successful robotics companies.

QoLT's Executive Director, Jim “Oz” Osborn, was invited to lead a new In-Depth Specialized Workshop on Robotics and Quality of Life. The new track was designed to be a tour de force through the issues, opportunities and requirements for robotics in the quality of life care and support realm. Topics addressed business models and technology solutions ranging from prosthetics, orthotics, rehab and therapy to in-house telepresence and home healthcare assistance.

The QoLT workshop opened with Osborn’s presentation on "Developing Quality of Life Technology and Market." Osborn shared experiences, challenges and solutions observed by the Quality of Life Technology Center in its work developing intelligent solutions for use in the home and in healthcare institutions. A discussion on market sizing, product development, payment models, and distribution channels followed.

Other invited speakers appearing under the QOLT special session included:

  • Rick Lynch, Lieutenant General, US Army, Retired on “Developing Robotic Technologies to Help Those with Disabilities – To Include Our Wounded Warriors;”
  • James Patton, Research Scientist, Associate Director for the Center of Rehabilitation Robotics, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago on “The Current State and Future of Robotic Rehabilitation/Therapeutic Systems;”
  • David Niewolny, Medical Segment Manager, Freescale Semiconductor on “Processors for Roaming Robots;”and,
  • Claus Risager, Danish Technological Institute, Centre for Robot Technology on “Implementation of Robotics in a Danish Health Care Environment.”

QoLT Director, Dan Siewiorek, gave a keynote address entitled, "Robotics and Quality of Life Technology" to close out the new conference track on October 24.

Beyond the In-Depth Workshop, the event also promoted an International Symposium on Robotics and Quality of Life for the first time in its history. In addition to robotics and technology companies seeking to foster the “huge, complicated and lucrative” QoLT market, the QoLT activities also attracted health and assistive care solution providers who want to be on the cutting edge of technology.

The general RoboBusiness Leadership Summit program featured additional keynote and general session presentations by robotics industry leaders in personal robotics, human-robot interaction and other traditional robotics enterprise. An exposition floor featured the latest robotic technologies; and special tours and events were held throughout Pittsburgh all week.

As Research Institution Host for the Summit, Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute (RI) opened its doors to attendees with a schedule of evening events. Numerous QoLT Personnel participated in a tour of RI which featured live demos of QOLT works. QoLT's Home Exploring Robot Butler (HERB) prepared and handed off microwave meals autonomously in the Personal Robotics Lab. Two public space social robots developed under the guidance of Reid Simmons, QOLT’s Education and Outreach Co-Director, were also demonstrated: TANK is the Roboceptionist for the RI; Gamebot plays interactive Scrabble games with coffee shop patrons in the School of Computer Science’s (SCS) Gates-Hillman Complex (GHC).

CMU’s exhibit space and networking event featured Aubrey Shick's Romibo DIY robot kit for social robot therapy and STEM outreach, as well as Aaron Steinfeld's work on Behavioral Modeling of Trust in Human Robot Interactions. Randy Eager and  Kristen Sabol accompanied executive guests and the media as tour guides. QoLT's Bakery Square facilities (including Pitt’s Human Engineering Research Laboratories) were also toured privately by several international attendees.

The RoboBusiness Summit was coordinated by Dan Kara of Electra Studios and produced by Robotics Trends magazine.

To close the Summit, Carnegie Science Center and CMU SCS hosted a Robot Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The Robot Hall of Fame introduced the first public voting on new robot inductees; the public voting and celebration alone resulted in media coverage spanning more than 250 news outlets.


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By: Kristen Sabol, ksabol@cs.cmu.edu, 412-268-3795