Flags from the countries of all teams who've competed at RoboGames/ROBOlympics.

RoboGames 2012 Speaker Symposium

The motivation behind the RoboGames symposium and speaker series is to connect the RoboGames attendees, who love building robots, with robotics professionals who make bot-development and innovation a central part of their career. There will be a video series to open the event, four energizing talks each day that span specializations, and selected academic student posters on display during the breaks.

Did we mention that a small humanoid robot will help MC? Don't forget to stop by at 2pm-5pm Saturday and Sunday afternoon!


Heather Knight of Marilyn Monrobot / Carnegie Mellon University

Academic Chair

Heather Knight is currently conducting her doctoral research at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute and running Marilyn Monrobot in NYC, which creates socially intelligent robot performances and sensor-based electronic art. Her work also includes: robotics and instrumentation at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, interactive installations with Syyn Labs, field applications and sensor design at Aldebaran Robotics, and she is an alumnus from the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab.

Session 1 - Saturday

Erin Rapacki of Adept Technology, Inc.

"Re-Thinking Robot Startups"

Erin is a product storyteller with robotics experience across academia, entrepreneurship, and industry in both the Boston and Silicon Valley hotspots. Erin takes a vested interested in finding ways to catalyze the robotics market by creating community and cooperation between companies and thought leaders. She currently works at Adept Technology, Inc as the Product Marketing Manager for Mobile Robots, a product line of autonomous robots used for factory intra-logistics.

Evan Ackerman of IEEE Spectrum

"HUMANS ARE DOOMED: Ways Robots Have Us Beat"

Evan founded the robotics blog BotJunkie in 2007, and now writes about robots for IEEE Spectrum. He also writes about future technology for the Syfy Channel, and in his spare time, he likes to host knife-fights between robot vacuums.

Mike Estee of Making Awesome

"The Three Laws of Paper Robotics"

Mike has been a circus engineer, a fruit programmer, and a pipe organ mechanic. Currently working towards achieving escape velocity from a career in software, he spends his free time finding solutions to problems that don't yet exist. In a quest to make robotic experimentation more accessible and affordable, Mike explores how office supplies can be used to bring about the cardboard robocalypse.

Carol Reiley of John Hopkins University

"The Future of Robot Surgery"

Carol Reiley is a surgical roboticist completing her doctorate at JHU researching sight (computer vision), touch (haptics), and intelligent movement for teleoperated systems. She enjoys quirky people, medical fun facts, diy projects, and eating donuts.

Session 2 - Sunday

Erin Kennedy of RobotGrrl

"Remote Robot Hacking"

Erin aka RobotGrrl is a robot builder focused on bringing various creatures to life, and hosts the weekly Google+ Robot Party hangout. She builds RoboBrrd, which can have different super-powers and behaviours depending on what hat it's wearing. She's interested in utilizing her robot mesh network to extend into an area of social robotics and blended reality.

Dr. Michael E. Thombs of Salve Regina University

"Business Plans for start-up Robotics Ventures"

Michael is a Professor at Salve Regina University, teaching the Business Capstone course for the Business Department. First headed a student team at Battlebots in 2001, also working for Battlebots as a member of the transmitter impound section, and has been a volunteer at ComBots/Robogames ever since. Enjoys robots, electronics, Red Bull, smoke, dirt, and flames (not necessarily in that order).

Sylvie Leotin of Tech Atelier

"A Brief History of Robot Artwork"

Sylvie is president of Tech Atelier, a strategy consultancy focused on helping technology companies bring innovative products to market. Deeply passionate about the intersection of art and science, she is the founder of CAST (Connecting Art, Science and Technology) and blogs for the Huffington Post on this topic. Prior to catching the science bug, Sylvie was an award-winning ballerina. She earned a gold medal in ballet from France National Conservatory, and subsequent multidisciplinary degrees in art, science and business. Sylvie was a visiting scholar at Stanford AI Lab, and received an MS in management science from Stanford University.

Tim Anderson of ZCorp

"Early adventures in ZCorp 3D-Printers"

Tim Anderson is the co-founder of zcorp.com 3dprinter company, builder of Van Gogo, robot that paints oil paintings, author of "heirloom technology" column in MAKE magazine and 200+ projects on instructables.com. Currently, he is also the Night Watchman at makanipower.com, high altitude wind power company. His detailed drawings of traditional outrigger sailing canoes and tales of his adventures with traditional technology are at mit.edu/~robot

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