RoboDevelopment Conference Reveals Keynote Speakers

Robotics Trends and EH Events announced that Sebastian Thrun, Director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Team Leader of the DARPA Grand Challenge winning Stanford Racing Team, will deliver the opening keynote at the at the 2nd annual RoboDevelopment Conference and Exposition taking place November 18-19, 2008 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. Joining Thrun as keynote presenters are Maja J. Mataric, founding director of the University of California (USC) Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems and Co-Director of the USC Robotics Research Lab, as well as Jeanne Dietsch, robotics pioneer and CEO of from MobileRobots Inc.

Sebastian Thrun – Sebastian Thrun is a Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, where he serves as Director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He is also Principal Engineer at Google, DARPA Grand Challenge winner, and elected member of the National Academy of Engineering (USA) and German Academy of Sciences. Thrun will deliver the keynote, “Making Cars Drive Themselves,” an eye-opening introduction to the fascinating world of fully autonomous robotic cars. He will shed light onto the inner workings of these robots and discuss the impact of self-driving cars on society once the technology is sufficiently matured.

Maja Mataric – Maja J. Mataric is a professor of Computer Science and Neuroscience at the University of Southern California, founding director of the USC Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems, co-director of the USC Robotics Research Lab, and Senior Associate Dean for Research in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and recipient of the Okawa Foundation Award, NSF Career Award, the MIT TR100 Innovation Award, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Service Award and Junior Research Award, the Provost’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship, and is featured in the documentary movie “Me & Isaac Newton.” She holds a PhD in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence from MIT. In her keynote, “Robots Among Us? — Inventing the Future of Socially Assistive Robotics,” Mataric will address the vision, challenges, state-of-the-art advances, and directions for socially assistive robotics as a major emerging robotics trend.

Jeanne Dietsch – Jeanne Dietsch, CEO of MobileRobots Inc, transformed her company from a start-up endeavor into a global manufacturer of thousands of robots and intelligent software for commercial and industrial applications. Her keen foresight has predicted many of technology’s biggest booms, including the future of computers as a mass medium in 1980 as well as the lucrative growth of the e-commerce industry. In her keynote, “Opportunities at the Uptick,” Dietsch will discuss various strategies that technical professionals, key participants in the birth of the autonomous service robot industry, can employ to optimize robotics opportunities and avoid potential pitfalls.

The RoboDevelopment keynotes and general sessions are specifically designed to impart to technical professionals the information they need to develop the next generation of personal, service and mobile robots. Tracks in the RoboDevelopment Conference and Exposition include:

  • Systems, Design and Development
  • Tools and Platforms
  • Enabling Technology
  • Achieving Autonomy