Futuristic visions of robots in homes and businesses are much closer to a reality as robotics technology advances, a fact highlighted by the RoboBusiness convention coming to McEnery Convention Center in San Jose this month.
R2D2 and C-3PO from Star Wars and Rosie the housekeeping robot from the Jetsons are no longer just fantastical characters. Robots are being developed that perform many functions that were considered impossible just a few years ago.
“I think Rosie Jetson gets thrown around a lot in the industry,” says Casey Nobile, lead event organizer for RoboBusiness, a two-day convention coming to McEnery Convention Center Sept. 23-24. “People think about Star Wars and Rosie Jetson as inspiration for their robotics, and in a way you will see some of those elements in the robots because that’s been the imagination around it.”
Now in its 11th year, the convention will focus on how robotics is rapidly making waves in the corporate, healthcare and manufacturing industries. The convention is packed with exhibits and keynote speakers as well as opportunities for attendees to mingle with some of the leading minds behind robotics, such as Future Robot, which introduced the world’s first personal robot; Autonomous Solutions, a self-driving vehicle company; and Fetch Robotics, robots designed to work alongside humans in manufacturing.
Several speakers will lead sessions on the future of robotics, including technologists from Google, IBM and RobotEnomics.
“I think everyone can expect to learn things they’ve never thought about before, discover technology they’ve never seen before and develop relationships with people they wouldn’t expect to meet before,” Nobile says.
She says one RoboBusiness event that is especially popular is the live “Shark Tank- style” event, Pitchfire. “Each year one of the most exciting things is the Pitchfire event,” Nobile said. “We like to highlight new start-ups.”
She said out of an open call, 15 companies are selected to pitch their innovation for two minutes to the audience and judges. Participants compete for $5,000, media coverage and business coaching.
“You will see amazing ideas and innovations no one has seen before,” Nobile says. “It’s a true rapid fire event that supports the next generation of the robotics.”
RoboBusiness convention is Sept. 23-24 at McEnery Convention Center. More info.