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Not Your Mother’s Robot – Reflecting on Robo Madness

By Emma Pina

On April 12, I attended the 4th annual XConomy Robotics Conference, Robo Madness: Homecoming. Experts from around the world convened at the iRobot HQ in Bedford, MA, the pioneering firm from which numerous robotics and A.I. companies have emerged.

The theme of this year’s conference was “homecoming,” focusing discussions on the ways robotics and A.I. are seeping into our everyday lives. Robots are no longer mysterious machines, rather commonplace tools in our homes and businesses, and are becoming more mainstream every day. The perception of robotics as an “industry” is changing. As Colin Angle, iRobot CEO, stated: “Robotics is not an industry. Robots are a toolkit through which multiple industries will be disrupted.”

During the conference many subjects were covered, including:

  • Startup and investment: the new wave – we are seeing that investment is not necessarily motivated by the bottom line, but by a belief in the future and the way companies can work
  • Smarter homes and robots – robots are interacting with the internet to personalize your home experience
  • The proliferation of robots in all aspects of industry – robots are becoming a routine and essential parts of business operations
  • Emotional AI and cars – driverless cars are different from robots around your home and how self-driving capabilities are extending to lawn mowers and beyond

The conference was a fascinating opportunity to listen to experts talk about this shift in the definition of “robotics,” and learn what is in the pipeline in this exciting field. We are fortunate to have front row seats to the firms in Boston who are leading the way and pushing the boundaries of robotics.

Emma Pina is project manager with in depth experience with market research and analysis, and a passion for high-tech. To read more about Emma, click here.

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