On December 11, thought leaders from the IoT and robotics worlds came together for a full-day discussion on the convergence of these two quickly-evolving fields, and how they will advance the future of technology. The day’s event, which was held at Alley Powered by Verizon in Cambridge, kicked-off with a keynote from Lisa Seacat DeLuca, Distinguished Engineer at IBM. Addressing 100+ Boston-area IoT and robotics tech leaders, Lisa discussed finding her passion for technology, the future role of IoT and her newest book “The Internet of Mysterious Things” – a new children’s book that teaches how to focus on experiencing life instead of devices.
The event then shifted to a series of tech talks from TrueStar, Fitbit, Finnegan and ForgeRock, addressing smart agriculture, wearables, data privacy and cybersecurity. Two panel discussions then covered topics on Smart Cities and redefining manufacturing with IoT / Robotics. The Smart Cities panel, moderated by Setrag Khoshafian, Chief Evangelist and VP of BPM Technology at Pegasystems, included talks from leaders in the IoT space and the city of Boston. The panel highlighted Boston’s exciting future potential to be a leading city for connected technology. The second panel was led by Peter Russo, Director of Growth and Innovation at Massachusetts Manufaturing Extension Partnership. Panelists included representatives from Mathworks, OSRAM, Tulip and Teradyne, highlighting the convergance of IoT and robotics in an always competing world.
Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot, concluded the event by introducing the concept that future possibilities for the Smart Home will be achieved beyond IoT, with assistance from robots. In order for IoT smart systems and connected devices to work properly, and deliver the promise of a truly autonomous experience, we need to be thinking more deeply about the role robots play in the Smart Home. We also need to start viewing the Smart Home as a robot, meaning that your home would be able to Sense, Think and Act. Currently, homes have the capability to sense with connected devices and robots and that’s it. Colin believes that future development is dependent upon providing the Smart Home with spatial context to enable the missions we want it to perform. Once spatial context is achieved, AI will be a more feasible and effective option and your home will be able to act in accordance with your personal needs and behaviors.
Currently, homes can sense with robots and connected devices. Colin believes that the real value delivered by connected devices doesn’t necessarily exist within the IoT, but that robotics can provide the information these devices require to deliver the promise of a truly integrated and intelligent experience.
The intersection of IoT and robotics is certainly an exciting step forward in the future of a smart world. From healthcare to transportation, the connection between these two fields is crucial to our understanding of how we can make these concepts a reality.