Future of Automation Theatre

For the first time at Automate, throughout the show a series of panels and presentations will explore automation trends in the “Future of Automation” theater, located near the entrance to the exhibit hall. These sessions are free and open to any Automate attendee. The schedule includes:

Working in the Automation Age

The programming will begin Monday, April 3 at 10:30 a.m. with a discussion on jobs in the automation industry. A3 will introduce its latest white paper titled “Work in the Automation Age: Sustainable Careers Today and into the Future.” Speakers include:

  • Jeff Burnstein, President, A3;
  • Juan Garcia, Global Leader, Amazon Career Development;
  • Rebecca Hartley, Chief Workforce Development Officer, Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Institute;
  • Ritch Ramey, Coordinator, RAMTEC Ohio;
  • Paul Aiello, Director of CERT Sales and Operations, FANUC America

IFR CEO Roundtable

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) will sponsor a CEO roundtable Monday, April 3 at 1:00 p.m. discussing the theme “Automation and the Future of U.S. Manufacturing.” The program will feature an introduction by Gudrun Litzenberger, IFR General Secretary and a summary of the latest results of global sales of industrial robots by Joe Gemma, IFR President and Chief Regional Officer of KUKA Robotics. The roundtable will include individual interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent leaders:

  • Jon Battles, Director, Amazon WW Engineering Advanced Technologies
  • Howie Choset, CTO, Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute
  • Mark Franks, Director, GMNA Global Vehicle Systems, General Motors
  • Craig Hertig, Director of Engineering, Engineered Machined Products
  • Mike Jacobs, President, Applied Manufacturing Technologies
  • Per Vegard Nerseth, Group Senior Vice President, ABB

Vision Systems Design Innovators Awards

Don’t miss the presentation of the third annual Vision Systems Design Innovators Awards on Monday, April 3 at 3:30 p.m. This prestigious award recognizes companies that demonstrate excellence in a product or technology, an application, or in research and development in the vision and image processing industry.


Joint US-China Robotics Forum

A3’s Robotic Industries Association (RIA) will host the China Robot Industry Alliance (CRIA) for a joint US-China Robotics Forum to be held Tuesday, April 4 at 10:15 a.m. The forum will feature talks by both industry associations as well as remarks from select members of the thirteen Chinese automation companies who are participating in Automate 2017 for the first time ever this year. Speakers include:

  • Song Xiaogang, Executive President, China Robot Industry Alliance
  • Dr. Qu Daokui, President, Siasun Robot & Automation Co Ltd.
  • Mike Jacobs, President, Applied Manufacturing Technologies and Chair of the RIA Board
  • Scott Eckert, CEO, Rethink Robotics and RIA Board Member
  • Qu Daokui, President, Siasun
  • Liu Erbing, Vice President, Risong Technology
  • Stu Shepherd, CEO, Güdel US and RIA Board Member

Unifying Automation Standards

The OPC foundation will provide an overview of the Unified Architecture (UA) Tuesday, April 4 at 1:00 p.m.  OPC UA is the leading interoperability standard in the industrial automation space that ensures secure, reliable and seamless flow of information among devices from multiple vendors. Speakers include:

  • Stefan Hoppe, Vice President, OPC Foundation: “Industrial Interoperability in the World: With OPC UA from Sensor to IT Enterprise”
  • Craig Lentzkow, IIoT Business Development Manager, Hilscher: “The Unique Hilscher Methodology for Collecting Manufacturing Data for Use in the Cloud”
  • Dave McMorran, Business Development Manager, ICONICS: “Get There Fast: IoT, Analytics, and Secure Web Visualization for Your Business”
  • Xavier Mesrobian, VP Sales & Marketing, Skkynet Cloud Systems, Inc .: “Share your Data Not your Network”

Investing in Automation

A forum on “Investing in Automation” takes place Wednesday, April 5 at 10:30 a.m. where investors in the robotics and automation industry will talk about their experiences and how to spot opportunities in today’s hot market. The forum will be moderated by Andra Keay, Executive Director, Silicon Valley Robotics. The panel includes:

  • Saman Farid, Managing Partner, Comet Labs;
  • Oliver Mitchell, Founding Partner, Autonomy Ventures;
  • Chris Moehle, Managing Director, The Robotics Hub and
  • Steve Taub, Senior Director, GE Ventures.

Launch Pad Startup Competition

Eight finalists will compete for the top prize in the Automate Launch Pad Startup Competition on Wednesday, April 5 at 3:00 p.m. Sponsored by GE and co-produced by Silicon Valley Robotics, the competition features some of the industry’s most promising young companies in robotics, machine vision and motion control who are competing for the spotlight and a $10,000 cash award. The winner will be chosen by the “Investing in Automation” panel listed above. Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics joins the panel of distinguished judges. To see the list of companies participating, click here.

Industrial Interoperability in the World: With OPC UA from Sensor to IT Enterprise

Thomas J. Burke, President of OPC Foundation provides an overview of the OPC UA interoperability standard for industrial automation on Thursday, April 6 at 10:00 a.m. Learn about this feature-rich open-platform architecture that is used by more than 4,200 suppliers who have created more than 35,000 different OPC products used in more than 17 million applications.

Future of Automation Theater Schedule
Monday, April 3, 2017
10:30 am - 12:00 pm Work in the Automation Age: Sustainable Careers Today and into the Future
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm IFR CEO Roundtable - Automation and the Future of US Manufacturing
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm Vision Systems Design Innovators Awards
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
10:15 am - 12:00 pm US-China Robotics Forum
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Unifying Automation Standards
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
10:30 am - 12:00 pm Investing in Automation
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm Automate Launch Pad Startup Competition
Thursday, April 6, 2017
10:00 am - 11:00 am Industrial Interoperability in the World: With OPC UA from Sensor to IT Enterprise