RoboBoston and MassRobotics 4th Annual Robot Block Party!!

MassRobotics teamed with WSDevelopment to expand the traditional Robot Block party to include a Robotics Executive Forum and Career Fair. The festivities took place on the Seaport Common and under a large tent in a lot adjacent to the Common.

The Robotics Executive Forum brought the robotics community together after nearly a 20-month hiatus due to the COVID pandemic. This speaker program highlighted how robots will be integrated into our future in areas such as in-home and mobility.

The forum hosted keynotes from iRobot’s CTO, Chris Jones and CEO, Colin Angle, who came to the forum via the Ava Robotics telepresence robot and shared the vision for the connected home. John Suh, Vice President and Head of New Horizons Studio R&D Division of the Hyundai Motor Group, shared information and thoughts around the future of mobility, ultimate mobility vehicles and vehicle design reimagined. Naveen Kuppuswamy, Tactile Perception and Control Lead and Senior Research Scientist at the Toyota Research Institute, shared his vision and work in soft robots for domestic manipulation with high-res tactile sensing and shape/stiffness adaption.

The forum concluded with a panel of seasoned robotics founders and CEOs discussing investments and the next stage of growth for robotics companies. The session was moderated by Glen Mello of Silicon Valley Bank and participants included Peter Howard (CEO Realtime Robotics), Yaro Tenzer (Cofounder Righthand Robotics), Jason Walker (founder & CEO Waypoint Robotics, recently acquired by Locus Robotics), and Adam Sachs (CEO Vicarious Surgical, recent NYSE debut). Glen provided background about the growing market, including the need to automate and shared purchasing trends that make adoptions of automation easier. Panelists share their thoughts around topics including challenges around growing and scaling, access to capital and talent as a key piece for success.

Since the robotics field is growing exponentially and talent is in high demand, we held a targeted Robotics & AI Technical Career Fair following the forum. Twenty-four companies participated, including startups and larger industry leaders, and more than 650 job seekers registered to attend.

Saturday brought the perfect weather to fly drones, chase robot dogs, and try manipulating robot arms. The 4th Annual #RobotBlockParty attracted thousands of attendees, from preschoolers to high schoolers, university students to teachers, families, and seniors, to celebrate all things robotic. The large tent at 85 Northern Ave and Seaport Common was filled with dozens of companies and universities showcasing their research and the latest in robotics with demos and interactive exhibits. Several FIRST Robotics teams also showed off their bots as well.

Autonomous vehicles were on site for the public to get a close up look and speak with the scientists and developers of this technology from Toyota Research Institute and Motional.

Drone companies showed a variety design and applications. TargetArm demonstrated their capture and release drone catcher and Elistair flew their tethered drone, getting a view of the entire area. Both GreenSight and Cleo Robotics were in the tent with their drones as well.

Roaming robotics included Boston Dynamics Spot and UMass Lowell brought their four-legged robot as well. There were several Piaggio Gitas rolling through the tent as well as one providing flowers from HyperVend, a definite crowd pleaser.

The variety of hardware, applications and solutions seemed endless, from consumer and in-home robots to education and research. There was something for everyone.

A big thank you to all the companies and universities who participated in our Block Party:

  • Analog Devices
  • Autonodyne
  • Ava Robotics
  • Boston Dynamics
  • BrainCo Tech
  • Cleo Robotics
  • Commaris
  • Elistair
  • FIRST Robotics teams
  • GreenSight
  • Harmonic Drive
  • Harvard Biodesign Lab
  • HyperVend
  • MedAcuity
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Motional
  • National Guard
  • New Horizon Studio
  • Northeastern University
  • Piaggio Fast Forward
  • Railpod
  • RightHand Robotics
  • RSE
  • SMC
  • Sproul Company
  • TargetArm
  • Teledyne
  • Teradyne
  • Tertill
  • Toyota Research Institute
  • UMass Lowell
  • Universal Robots
  • Vicarious Surgical
  • Waypoint Robotics
  • Worcester Polytech Institute

The event was made possible with the collaboration with WSDevelopment and our sponsors: iRobot, New Horizon Studio, The MITRE Corporation and Toyota Research Institute.

A big thank you to our volunteers:

Hope to see you all next year!