The June ECN Meeting featured a talk by Dominic DiMarco, formerly of MobleIgniter, an IoT startup. He gave us an annotated tour of his professional career as an Entrepreneur, using specific events in his career to make a point about being an Entrepreneur. Dominic stressed that there are many more aspects of the career than being a technologist. He emphasized the need to sell and make connections, encouraging everyone to join LinkedIn instead of Facebook, especially young professionals. Also, he explained that you must “pay it forward” by agreeing to help others as you have been helped. You never know when the connections you make will be needed. He detailed how he used his experience and connections to arrive at his current position. Dominic also discussed his experience trying to produce a product “PooPuppets” (details here) based on printing a comic drawing on a pet refuse bag. He literally called over a hundred US manufacturers and got no response. He posted requirements on a Chinese site and got many responses in days, selecting one for the manufacturing effort.
June Section Meeting Talk: Dr. Bandara Gamini gave a talk on collaborative Robots and their use in industry. This new class of robots is now being offered by a number of auomation systems vendors in order to work more cooperatively with humans. There are two very important differences compared to the older generation robots. First, they operate safely without the need for extensive cages or guard space, and second, they are much easier to program. Several examples were given of robot programming where the “programing” consisted of guiding the robots by hand through the operations rather than using a “pendant” for programming. Also, videos of operating robots showed them slowing down to safe speeds when humans approached, and stopped quickly when humans touched them.
Dr. Gamini also related his experience in working with companies to use these new robots, Discussions with the audience revealed that in many cases, companies can afford the capital cost of the robots, but do not have the trained manpower to program and maintain them. The new robots might change that dynamic.