Published on June 5, 2023 by Two Maverix Multimedia, LLC

Are robots scary?

Certainly not, say Joyce Sidopoulos and Kevin Smith, of Boston-based robotics innovation hub MassRobotics. In fact, they’re fun.

And if you’re in the Boston area this September, they’d like to illustrate that statement.

Joyce is MassRobotics’ Co-Founder and Chief of Operations, and Kevin is MassRobotics’ STEM Program Manager. An electrical engineer and a computer engineer, respectively, each enjoys sharing the magic of creating amazing technology with students, educators–and anyone who’d like to know more.

On Saturday, September 30th, MassRobotics hosts their sixth annual Robot Block Party, called RoboBoston. It’s free, promises to be a blast, and everyone is welcome.

If you don’t happen to consider yourself a “techie”, you are especially invited. As Kevin says, everyone belongs in the robotics profession.

While RoboBoston showcases cutting-edge robotics from more than 50 companies and universities, this special event is just one aspect of MassRobotics’ work.

A catalyst–for the future

As the largest nonprofit robotics innovation hub, MassRobotics offers resources and workspace to startups as they create cutting-edge technology. MassRobotics’ STEM education programs are designed to bridge the current gap between today’s educational institutions and the hiring needs of robotics companies.

Just one such program is the Jumpstart Fellowship, which trains and mentors young women in technical skills before connecting them with internships towards their future careers.

And then there are the events.

This year’s RoboBoston Robot Block Party actually starts on Friday, September 29th, with a career fair and STEM field trip to local schools, grades 7-12. However, schools around the world are invited to contact MassRobotics to find out more about their STEM resources and opportunities.

And, the party itself? Don’t miss it if you’re in Boston’s Seaport Common area, starting at 11 am, that Saturday, September 30th!

Joyce and Kevin talked about their work with MassRobotics, offered a preview of RoboBoston 2023 and explained why robotics are for everyone.

On this edition of Over Coffee® we cover:

  • How Joyce and Kevin each discovered the magic of robotics;
  • The story of MassRobotics;
  • One of Joyce’s favorite aspects of the experience of starting MassRobotics;
  • How Kevin first became involved;
  • His unique perspective on programming (want to see something brain-boggling? Here’s a link to a 2012 “Pong” project in which he and his collaborators wrote the code 100% from scratch!);
  • One of Kevin’s favorite experiences, opening up a new world to a student through programming;
  • Some of the “fun stuff” scheduled for RoboBoston 2023;
  • A closer look at the school STEM field trip scheduled for September 29th;
  • How MassRobotics’ STEM lab is also serving non-local educators;
  • Resources Kevin recommends for educators, particularly those in underserved communities;
  • What’s been most fun for Joyce and Kevin as they prepare for RoboBoston;
  • How you can help support MassRobotics!

Thank you to Dot Cannon, President – Two Maverix

Listen to full interview here.

Learn more about RoboBoston 6th Annual Robot Block Party here.