The Future of Automation and Robotics in New York State

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By Jessica Otitigbe

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. For nearly 200 years, Rensselaer has been defining the scientific and technological advances of our world.

Founded in 1988, the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has a long history of working with industry in programs encompassing applied research through manufacturing system design and pilot line development – so that they can grow and create jobs. This year, CATS will host the New York Automation and Robotics Conference on Monday, Oct. 23. The day-long event, to be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy, New York.

“The conference is an important venue to bring together researchers, students, and partners to discuss a strategic view at emerging ways to leverage the power of automation, robotics, and smart manufacturing technologies and business best practices,” said Walczyk. “Simplest is that now you already can upgrade your home with a smart light switch. But here we will talk deeper. The conference will brings us closer toward our shared goal of exploring ways to take advantage of available federal, state and regional resources to manufacture locally and better compete in the global marketplace.”

The Breakfast Keynote, titled “Manufacturing USA and the ARM Institute,” will be co-delivered by John T. Wen, professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering and head of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the School of Engineering at Rensselaer, who is also part of the ARM Institute leadership team; along with Howie Choset, professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, who also serves as CTO of the ARM Institute.

Earlier this year, the Department of Defense (DoD) provided $80 million in federal funding to launch the ARM Institute, led by Carnegie Mellon University, to stimulate robotics technology development in manufacturing environments. The investment will be matched by a $173 million contribution pledged by the winning coalition, comprised of more than 220 partners, including industry, universities, community colleges, nonprofit organizations, and state and local governments from across the country. Rensselaer is a founding member of the 14th Manufacturing USA Institute – the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Innovation Hub.

Rensselaer will co-lead the Mid-Atlantic Regional Robotics Innovation Collaborative (RRIC) with the statewide New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center, FuzeHub, which is funded by the New York State Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR). In addition to FuzeHub, the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) at Rensselaer, which is supported by NYSTAR and has a long history of successful collaborative research with New York state industries, will be a key partner in the ARM Institute.

The Lunch Keynote address will be delivered by Greg Longtine, senior manager of technology strategy, Amazon Robotics. Longtine has worked in strategic planning for product development in the Boston area for over 20 years. His talk is titled, “How Robotics has transformed Amazon and what great next generation of robotics means for industry and the economy.” The talk will held from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

In addition to technical and business-oriented sessions, the conference will also host a series of demos and exhibitions focused on collaborative robotics, applying 3-D printing for better automation, and modern technologies in offline robot programming and simulation.

At Rensselaer, Center for Automation Technologies and Systems programs and initiatives are enabled by the vision of The New Polytechnic, an emerging paradigm for higher education which recognises that global challenges and opportunities are so great they cannot be adequately addressed by even the most talented person working alone.

Robotics News – 22nd October 2017