CTO Forum


RETHINK ROBOTICS / Emergent Technologies

May 4 and 5, 2023

Rethink Digital Six Series 2


This module will explore how Digital Transformation across industries is accelerating through increased automation and powerful breakthroughs and growth in robotics solutions.

Robotic Process Automation can automate business processes that are rules-based, structured and repetitive: It minimizes time spent on tasks, improves overall productivity, reduces human error rates and ultimately, frees people up to perform higher value work. Designed to operate independently, in the rare instance of failure, a human can intervene and carry out the tasks. RPA has been considered a quick win to implement due to excellent cost-benefit ratios. For a number of years, heavy industry, particularly auto manufacturing, has represented the vanguard of industrial robotics adoption while the consumer market has recently developed with more household assistance solutions. With the emergence of AI, a variety of enhanced robots including those used for precision stock picking, to surgical robots, to customized consumer delivery systems, have emerged in the market as well as Cobots, the growing segment of robots designed to work in collaboration alongside of human workers.

Autonomous Vehicles have been the focus of major investment by tech companies and automotive manufacturers alike: Presently, a selection of smart, autonomous utilities are already available within everyday vehicles including collision warning and avoidance systems, proximity sensors, as well as automated parking. Powered by AI, drones and autonomous vehicles are continually evolving and no longer just serving military missions or hobbyist activities: Growing business applications include as inspection devices for of hard to access civil engineering structures, solar farms, cell towers, power lines. While consumer-facing businesses continue to test drone delivery for food and parcels with the primary obstacle being that of regulatory compliance.

Digital Twins are the representation of an actual physical product, process or ecosystem which can be used to run virtual simulations. Taking advantage of IoT and AI, and by using data to update and modify the digital copy to reflect real world changes, digital twins have proliferated from consumer items to industrial machinery. Augmented Design is the ability of machines to enhance the work of humans in the “create and design” process enabling a robust generative design process.

RETHINK ROBOTICS topics include:
17. Robotic Process Automation
18. Robots and Cobots
19. Autonomous Vehicles and Drones
20. Digital Twins and Augmented Design

Dr. J. Edward Colgate
Northwestern University

Dr. Raffaello D'Andrea
ETH Zurich

Dr. Karen E. Willcox
University of Texas, Austin

To Be Announced

MAy 4
10:55 AM – 11:00 AM EDT
11:00 AM – 12:20 PM EDT
LECTURE: Robotic Process Automation
12:40 – 2:00 PM EDT
LECTURE: Robots and Cobots
Dr. J. Edward Colgate, Ph.D.
Allen K. and Johnnie Cordell Breed Senior Professor in Design, Northwestern University
2:20 – 3:30 PM EDT
Speakers to be announced
3:30 PM EDT
MAy 5
11:00 AM – 12:20 PM EDT
LECTURE: Autonomous Vehicles and Drones
Dr. Raffaello D’Andrea, Ph.D.
Professor of Dynamic Systems and Control, ETH Zurich
12:40 – 2:00 PM EDT
LECTURE: Digital Twins and Augmented Design
Dr. Karen E. Willcox, Ph.D.
Director, Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences; Associate Vice President for Research; Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics; W. A. “Tex” Moncrief, Jr. Chair in Simulation-Based Engineering and Science; Peter O’Donnell, Jr. Centennial Chair in Computing Systems, The University of Texas at Austin
2:20 – 3:30 PM EDT
Speakers to be announced
3:30 PM EDT
Lectures and Case Study Segments Presented by Distinguished Faculty.