Enabling Technologies Track

What are the key enabling technologies for producing healthcare robotics solutions?

What emergent technology is coming out of the lab and into the open market that could assist in the development of healthcare robotics systems?

Healthcare robotics solutions can take many forms, ranging from interventional systems, to exoskeletons for rehabilitation, and on to autonomous mobile robots in support of hospital intralogistics and more. Although the various types of healthcare robotics systems can differ radically from each other, they typically make use of many of the same types of enabling technologies. That is, enabling technologies suitable for one particular class of products are appropriate and applicable for other types of healthcare robotics products as well. Sessions in the Enabling Technology Track will cover the latest advances in the ‘core’ technology that are common to most classes of healthcare systems.

Sensing

  • Vision / Imaging Systems
  • Touch / Haptics
  • LiDAR, Radar, Sonar, and GPS
  • Human-Machine Interfaces / HR
  • Pressure Sensors
  • Data Acquisition Products

Cognition

  • Cognitive Robotics
  • Image/Object Recognition
  • Robot Control Architectures
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Cloud Robotics
  • On Device Machine Learning
  • Mapping and Localization

Actuation

  • Mobile Platforms
  • Arms / Manipulators
  • Batteries / Power Systems
  • Actuators / Motors / Servos
  • End Effectors
  • Motion Planning Solutions

Componentry

  • Advanced Materials
  • Communications / Networking
  • Electronics Components
  • Wires, Harnesses, Connectors
  • Bases and Frames
  • Microcontrollers
  • Microprocessors / SoC

Tools and Platforms Track

What is the state of the art in design and development tools for the production of healthcare robotics solutions?

What languages and operating systems, as well as hardware and software platforms, should be utilized to deliver a robust healthcare robotics product?

The development of robots and robotic technology can be extremely difficult as it requires the mastery of multiple disciplines – primarily software development, mechanical and electrical engineering. Robotics development is made even more problematic as real-time constraints during robot operation must be accounted for. But real-time concerns are only the beginning. Healthcare robotics systems typically operate in close approximation to humans, and often must be integrated with other systems in their operating environment. Solution providers have responded to these difficulties by providing a whole host of robotics design and development tools, as well as ready-made robotic ‘platforms’, that dramatically simplify the job of designing, healthcare robotics solutions. Representative topics in the Tools and Platforms Track include:

  • Development Tools and SDKs
  • Prototyping, Simulation and Testing Tools
  • CAD/CAM Tools for Robotics Development
  • AR Solutions for Development and Testing
  • Languages and Libraries
  • Robot Operating System and Open Source Solutions
  • Operating Systems: Linux, Windows, VxWorks, QNX, Others
  • 3D Printing / Prototyping Solutions

Design and Development Track

How can diverse, specialized robotic structures and subfunctions be integrated to optimize overall system function and achieve maximum compatibility of the parts?

What is the optimal design and development methodologies for production of healthcare robotics solutions?

The design and development of robotics systems is a cross discipline undertaking requiring the synergistic combination of a number of mechanical and electrical technologies, and the integration of the same using smart software. Often these robots must be further integrated with other systems in their environment and be able to communicate with other electronic devices, as well as directly with humans. If this were not difficult enough, some classes of robotics systems must be able to operate autonomously, often in unstructured environments, with little outside control to guide them. It is clear that success for such an endeavor requires a thorough understanding of design goals (and the clear delineation of such), a rigorous development process and an adherence to both de jure and de facto standards whenever possible. Topics covered in the Design and Development Track include:

  • Establishing Needs/Recognizing Goals
  • Systems Integration
  • Robotics Engineering Methodologies
  • Design and Engineering Outsourcing
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Designing for Manufacturability
  • Human Factors and Usability Engineering
  • The Robotics Engineering Design Process
  • Achieving Sensor Fusion
  • Generative Design

Management and Opportunity Track

According to the World Economic Forum, global spending on healthcare is forecasted to reach approximately US $1.3 trillion in 2018. In all regions, health spending is expected to continue to rise as populations grow and age, and products and technologies improve, with health expenditure in emerging markets to be especially strong.

The healthcare robotics sector is very broad, ranging from complex surgical systems, to rehabilitation devices, pharmacy automation systems, technologies that improve quality of life and much more. Opportunities exist for those companies that can deliver healthcare solutions that are functional and deliver real value at much lower costs that the bulk of systems currently on the market. In very broad terms, these opportunities can be exploited and optimized in three ways:

  • First To Market – Entering ‘greenfield’ markets where products, technologies or solutions do not yet exist.
  • A Better or ‘Fast Follower’ Solution – Providing products, technologies or solutions that are better than what currently exists in the market (more robust, more effective, less expensive etc.).
  • Addressing Technological and Business Challenges – Provide business and technology solutions that that overcome commercialization challenges and ‘gating factors.’

Sessions in the Business Development and Opportunity Track are designed for management level attendees who want to learn about business development, investment and partnership opportunities in the rapidly expanding market opportunity for healthcare automation, lifestyle enhancement and medical robotics products and services. Representative topics in the Business Development and Opportunity Track include:

  • Social, Business and Technology Drivers
  • Global Partnering Opportunities
  • Manufacturing, Fabrication and Outsourcing Options
  • The Healthcare Robotics Opportunity Landscape
  • Best Practices for Robotics Start-Ups
  • Legal Services / Protecting IP