There's more to the ethics of the use of robots and other technology in warfare, of course.
According to Bryan DeLuca, the LS3 from Boston Dynamics is designed to the solve the very real military problem of soldiers having to carry just too much gear. As a kind of robotic sherpa or pack mule, the LS3 could conceivably help make soldiers safer by bringing more gear into closer proximity, no matter where the soldier went. We have probably all seen films where some poor soldier or another dies on the battlefield, either during an improvised operation ("Give me your knife, Corporal!") or because something was lacking (e. g. no antibiotics).
Imagine a world where everything, including the kitchen sink, could be brought along to battle. No more waiting for a prosthesis or clean bandages! No more begging for O negative blood to save a young Marine. No more tactical disadvantages due to there not being up to date maps or enough ammunition or spare ordnance parts.
And, perhaps, no more triage.
But, on the other hand, wouldn't the LS3 be a big, fat target for one's enemies? It would be Job One to either steal it or disable it. Isn't its development just asking for the nuclear arms race to be supplanted (most likely not out and out replaced) by a robotics arms race?
DeLuca believes that the possibility of a Terminator-style robot, capable of logical decision-making, graceful, fluid motions and lethal ferocity, only has a 0.99% probability today. But an Avatar-style suit, whereby a human would occupy (and personally control) a mechanical kind of skin, has a 90% possibility with today's technology.
The sherpa might be a kind of temporary hybrid, part human and part machine, capable of carrying along hundreds of pounds of supplies and heading into the fire of battle on a quick march. Perhaps, as this futuristic lethal sherpa progresses, he or she would leave a human part of his or her emotional being back at the base. Put on the robotic suit, put on the game face. Become a killing machine, a threat to all hostiles. Subsume emotions and fears. Feel invincible within the suit's confines. Keep the other side at more than an arm's length away.
For the hybrid soldier-sherpa in the robotic suit, the hardest part may very well not be learning how to use the suit or getting psyched up to go into battle. The most difficult part may turn out to be, as the suit is removed for the night, removing the invincible killer mind set as well.
Experts -- I mean, Events -- Corner
- Boston World Partnerships — A non-profit organization, created by Mayor Thomas M. Menino to raise global awareness of Boston. Its mantra is: Inform and Connect
- BREW — Boston Region Entrepreneurship Week is going to be between October 13th and 21st. Are you hosting an event?
- Greenhorn Connect — Boston’s Entrepreneur Hub for Resources, Events and Organizations. We're happy to say we've been covered by them!
- Mass High Tech events — MHT runs its own events, and will also put yours on their calendar. Their future events include their upcoming “Demos with a capital “M”: Networking and Digital Marketing Demo Night” on October 7 as part of FutureM. Mass Innovation Nights friends get a discount! (Use code DKPL8116 when you register.)
- MIT Enterprise Forum is working to build our innovation economy.
- Todd Van Hoosear he's a Social Media Club Boston Founder, LaunchCamp organizer, and the VP of Social Media for Publicity Club of New England. He also writes for Fresh Ground. Here's an example of one of the many incredibly useful nuggets of information that Todd shares on a regular basis. I suspect Todd does not sleep.
- Workbar has flexible, shared office space for today’s mobile professionals offering flexible month to month leasing arrangements.
The Other Presentations
- LogMeIn's join.me enables impromptu meetings from across the hall or around the globe.
- TrustedOnes scores decisions -- good, bad, indifferent and godawful. And,
- Vizit is a revolutionary digital photo frame, which takes advantage of mobile network coverage.
All of the Other Great Companies at Mass Inno
- Convention Center Store has detailed information on all sorts of convention venues, plus a means of ordering whatever you could possibly need to make your event or booth a success -- even swag. Gwyn Thakur is the founder.
- Cuccicoos makes a sweet set of iPhone and iPod (plus other products) covers that not only protect, they also clean screens. The designs were really cute -- I think I appreciate such things more than the guys do.
- Internet Kit Trade Show lets you easily get computers set up at trade shows, and more!
- Novell Cloud Manager helps you to manage cloud computing processes.
- ParallelCities is a mobile and social networking platform. Elizabeth Tang is the marketer (she has the same role that I do!) and Sidi Gomes is the founder.
- Plyopower is a cardio program for your legs. Regina DeLuca is the founder.
- StarStreet is a sports stock market. Buy and sell virtual shares of players! I wonder if anyone in New England will give me anything for A-Rod? Founder Jeremy Levine assures me that you can get into their Beta with the code MassInno and see if you can get a plug nickel for the -- boo, hiss -- quintessential Yankee.
Our PresentationI think I'm not the greatest camera person. Actually -- scratch that -- I know, for a fact, that my videocam skills are suboptimal. So, a great big thank you goes out to BostInnovation for taking excellent video of much of Bob's presentation. And thank you to Cheryl Morris for her recap of the event.
Bob's talk centered around the fact that a lot of people have a perception of robots that's colored by Hollywood. We think Rosie from the Jetsons, or R2D2 (Nadia Nassif mentioned Small Wonder's Vikki), but the reality is that robots are, how shall we put this? Lamer than that.
Yes, it's true. They're lamer. They are industrial drones or basically just arms. But what people don't think of as robots, can be classified as such. Like some high-end cars. BMW (We swear we're not sponsored by BMW. Yet.) makes a vehicle that detects how closely you're following a vehicle ahead of you and will adjust your cruise control speed accordingly, then speed you back up once the spacing allows it. Or your home -- do you have central air conditioning? If you do, it will click on and off depending upon the ambient temperature of your home. This is, essentially, a form of robotic control.
And when people want to make a robot-like device or toy, they often think of the end product, but the reality is that there's too much in the way. So much of the time, you end up reinventing the wheel, as the essential system allowing you to get your robot and your computer to speak to one another is lacking. That's where Neuron Robotics and the Bowler Communications System come in.
The BCS allows you to have your computer and robot talking quickly. How quickly? It's an eight minute experience -- a point that caught the attention of a great deal of the audience. And who doesn't want fast?
Bob concluded by, of course, talking about the DyIO and about our vision of interoperability. We want to be an essential robotics developmental platform. We want to be your go-to when you think about putting together a robotic device.
The talk went over well. The BMW line in particular got a laugh. Bob had high energy and the audience seemed captivated. And, yes, there was even a joke about the eight-minute experience -- Sean Boyce only has time to build a robot unless it takes 3.5 minutes. For you, Sean, we'll see what we can do.
New Friends!Wherever we go, it seems, we make new friends. Here are some of the terrific people we met.
- Eric Andersen is a Senior I/T Architect and Consultant for IBM Global Services in Cambridge Massachusetts. He's an avid tweeter and has been very kind about mentioning us on Twitter! Be sure to follow him -- he knows so much!
- Heinz Bachmann is an Electrical Engineer who loves solving RF, microwave and wireless problems -- particularly strange and unusual problems.
- Caleb Barlow is the Director of Small Business Solutions at IBM. He podcasts!
- David Barron is a technology consultant.
- Josh Berg runs an online personalized shopping mall.
- Mick Darling blogs about trends in tech, business and politics.
- Daniel Davis is the Director of Life Sciences at Accounting Management Solutions.
- Andrew Drane is the Senior Web Developer at Better Lesson
- Janet Egan is a fabulous writer (and I'm not just saying that 'cause she wrote such nice things about us). We Janets must stick together!
- Barb Finer helps companies differentiate their products and penetrate their markets.
- Jon Frisch is focused on new business and client relationship management at T3, his real estate firm.
- Jason Gleason is the Lead .NET Engineer at HealthcareSource -- and he really likes robots.
- Elli St. George Godfrey is an entrepreneurial coach and the coauthor of the upcoming book, When Life Happens. Good luck with the book!
- David Haith is a BAFTA award winning Creative Director and was co-founder of two major digital studios in London during the 1990's.
- Matthew Harris is a Principal at Red Point Studios.
- Christopher Herot blogs about communications and social media.
- Darnley Howard is the President of Advansa International.
- Gregory Huang is the Editor of Xconomy Boston and National IT Editor. He's a journalist reporting on technology, business, and science.
- Kenneth Kozik is a patent attorney.
- Sean Laurence's favorite charity is One Laptop Per Child. I think I'll go check out OLPC, too.
- Scott Leonard is another Principal at Red Point Studios.
- Jeremy Levine is trading Tom Brady on his sports stock market. Does Gisele know?
- Tony Loftis is a Project Manager who works in global sales and service.
- Maureen Mansfield knows all the secrets to great travel!
- Connie Michener -- psst I think she wants a hexapod for Christmas ....
- Cheryl Morris writes for BostInnovation.
- Nadia Nassif is a Principal at Springboards Language Training and Consulting.
- Lex Nemzer is a small-batch coffee roaster. I can guarantee that he makes better coffee than I do.
- Peter Reilly is a CPA.
- Pardees Safizadeh is the Director of Social Media at Greenhorn Connect.
- Stanley Shein is a Co-Founder and Director at C-Level Clone.
- James Walker is another Director at C-Level Clone. They provide expertise on business-based financial solutions.
- Rachel is also known as Wishew
- Connie Wright is Managing Director at Accounting Management Solutions.
- Lori Yarvis is an attorney focusing on small businesses. And,
- Lihua Zou is a student.
Familiar Faces!It's always great to see our friends. They make every event so much easier and more fun.
- Robert Adelson is an attorney
- Stacie Andrews runs the Meet Impact Calendar.
- Josh Bob is the founder and principal of Textaurant.
- Eric Braun runs the South Shore Innovation space.
- Rodney Brown reports and photographs for Mass High Tech. He took a great photo of Bob and me!
- Mike Burtov runs ONY group.
- Mike Cohen is one of the principals of the VC Ready Law Group.
- Andrea Dacayanan runs One Fast Bite.
- Jeff Del Papa runs the New England Rubbish Deconstruction Society (The NERDs!). He wanted to know how much G-force the DyIO can stand. That would be an interesting experiment.
- Jason Evanish runs Greenhorn Connect. They have an events calendar and more, and even profiled us!
- Abby Fichtner works for the Microsoft BizSpark program.
- David Fogel - need a CFO for hire? Ask him.
- Allison Friedman runs Rate It Green, whereby you can check just how ecologically conscious a company is.
- Paul Geffen is an engineer for Bit9.
- Cynthia Gilbert is a patent attorney.
- Nick Goggans works to improve communications and make them more effective.
- Ben Hron is the other principal of the VC Ready Law Group.
- Kelley Kassa is a terrific writer!
- R. Colin Kennedy is a co-founder of Invizual.
- Rick Kollmeyer works to help innovators refine and perfect their ideas.
- Joselin Mane broadcasts every week about TweetUps in the Boston/Cambridge area.
- Marlin May has a brand-spankin' new job! He took a photo of Kevin and me!
- Jon Michaeli is a VP at Quno.
- Ricart Prats is a software engineering management professional
- Richard Reinertsen and I used to work together at Fidelity Investments.
- Yilmaz Rona is an financial advisor.
- Rich Sands works to help companies build and sustain buzz.
- Brian Selchick is our lawyer!
- Masoud Shadravan is a software engineer with a brand-spankin' new job!
- Christine Sierra is a media consultant.
- Mark Sprague works to help companies drive customers to their websites.
- Margery Stegman is a communications specialist.
- Marsh Sutherland can help you easily grow your social network.
- Chuck Tanowitz is one of the principals of Fresh Ground Communications.
- Todd Van Hoosear is the other principal of Fresh Ground Communications, and,
- Marcia Weiss helps executives communicate better and more effectively.
Where to Now?It looks like we'll have something planned for late October. I don't have a lot of information yet, or even if it will be open to the public. I will have some appearances around the Boston-Cambridge-Waltham area as well. Plus we are going to be working on getting settled into our new incubator space. I'm sure I'll be blogging a bit about how that goes.
Thank you again for all of your kind support. We greatly appreciate it, and we know that we could not have been voted in to present at Mass Innovation without the kind and generous support of all of you.
This is but the beginning. Continue reading
The time is almost here!
We are really looking forward to this one. I have been coming to Mass Inno for almost a year and have always loved this event. It's such a joy to be a part of it!
Thanks to everyone who voted for us. We'll see you tonight. And -- don't forget to bring a Smart Phone or some other way to tweet! Thanks!
We are very excited about going, and can't wait to see everyone there!
Thanks so much to everyone who voted for us! And, if you haven't already (voting ends at noon today, Eastern Daylight Time), here's the link: Mass Innovation Voting.
Mass Inno voting ends tomorrow.
We are truly humbled by, and grateful for, your kind and generous support. We are very excited about going to Mass Inno.
Thank you to Bobbie Carlton and Mass Innovation. And a big, sincere thank you to all of you!
Onward to glory!
See you there! Thanks for voting for us!
There is ample parking underneath the building but it is not free.
From the West
Take Route 2 to Memorial Drive, and travel into Cambridge, to the very end of Memorial Drive. Arrive at 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, on the Left.
From the East (within Boston)
Take the Longfellow Bridge West into Cambridge and continue to follow Route-3 North. Bear Right to take ramp toward Route-3 North/Memorial Drive West. Turn Right on Route-3 North. Make a U-Turn at Ames Street onto Memorial Drive.(Route-3 South). Arrive at 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, on the Right.
From the North
Take Interstate 93 South to Exit #26/Storrow Drive/North Station onto Storrow Drive(Route-28 S) toward Route-3 North. Take Left ramp onto Route-3 N toward Kendall Square/Cambridge/Memorial Drive. Bear Right to take ramp toward Route-3 North/Memorial Drive West. Turn Right on Route-3 North. Make a U-Turn at Ames Street onto Memorial Drive.(Route-3 South). Arrive at 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, on the Right.
From the South
Take Interstate 93 North to Exit #26/Storrow Drive/North Station onto Storrow Drive(Route-28 S) toward Route-3 North. Take Left ramp onto Route-3 N toward Kendall Square/Cambridge/Memorial Drive. Bear Right to take ramp toward Route-3 North/Memorial Drive West. Turn Right on Route-3 North. Make a U-Turn at Ames Street onto Memorial Drive.(Route-3 South). Arrive at 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, on the Right.
Here is a map of the area:
View Larger Map See you there -- but before you go, please vote for us to present at Mass Innovation. The competition is fierce this month and we need every vote -- especially yours! Thanks! Continue reading
At Mass Innovation, you're going to see DyIOs. And they are going to be hooked up to all sorts of things.
But, what's a DyIO? DyIO stands for Dynamic Input- Output device. It's interoperable, and can be connected to any type of computer. Mac? No problem. PC? We hook them up all the time. Linux Box? You're included, too.
And, what is it used for? It's used to allow your computer to communicate with the outside world.
How? Come to Mass Inno and we will show you! See you there -- but before you go, please vote for us to present at Mass Innovation:. The race is a hot one and we could really use your vote. Thanks!
Before the big show, there are a million little bits of preparation. Now, I can't divulge exactly what's going to happen (they made me swear on a stack of DyIOs not to tell), but I can say this much: be sure to bring your smart phones to Mass Inno and be ready to sign into your Twitter accounts.
You're going to need them. See you there -- but before you go, please vote for us to present at Mass Innovation. The competition is fierce and we truly need your help. Thanks!
If you weren't able to attend our event or just want to relive the talk that Greg gave, check out the video of his talk.Continue reading
The stage is set.
The lights are lit.
All that's missing is you!
Our webcast begins at 6 PM. If you're on Twitter, feel free to ask questions by using the #NRBR hashtag.
We hope you like what we have to say.
A cable, a cable, my kingdom for a USB cable!
Okay, so Richard III didn't really say that.
But did you know that it's one of the only bits of equipment we're bringing to TEDxBoston for use with the DyIO?
Yes, it's true. You really don't need that much. A DyIO, a USB cable and some sensors, which you can buy at Amazon. And an iRobot Create. Not too much more.
An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told.
Richard III really did say that. Act IV, Scene 4.
See you at the Microsoft NERD Center on July 27th. Don't forget to use the #NRBR hashtag for the event. Thank you.
We have been invited to present a TEDxBoston pre-Adventure! If you'll be in the Cambridge area on July 27th from 6-9pm, you'll want to swing by the event. It's at the Microsoft NERD Center. Register on the TEDxBoston site to save a seat.
How can a local startup provide access to robotics development for everyone?
Through a talk and hands-on workshop, learn what factors are leading the way for future development in robotics. Neuron Robotics is lowering costs and easing entry into developing robotics and cyber-physical systems. Join the team for a discussion on the current state of robotics and robotics development, particularly outside the typical lab setting. Then experience what is discussed with the opportunity to work with some of Neuron Robotics’ educational systems.
The event will be on the 11th floor of the Microsoft NERD located at:
1 Memorial Dr
Cambridge, MA 02142
We recommend that you take the MBTA to Kendall Square or walk if possible. The is ample parking underneath the building but it is not free.
On the T, take the Red Line to the Kendall/MIT stop. Walk straight up Main Street toward the Longfellow Bridge (past the Post Office, Bank of America). You will see the Parking Garage on your right, Take a right and you can enter the building from the side. Approximately a 5 minute walk.
Additionally, several bus lines stop at Broadway and Ames Street, including the #1 which follows Massachusetts Avenue to Dudley Station, and the #64, which goes to Brighton.
View Larger Map
Registration below is only for the webcast. To register for live attendance at the event, please use the link aboveContinue reading
President Robert Breznak and I attended Mass Inno together again, and it was a blast as usual. Thank you again to our wonderful hostess, Bobbie Carlton. How does she do it?
We got to talk about our TEDxBoston pre-adventure, of course.
Since I've been coming since December of 2009, it's often an opportunity to see old friends, and meet new ones. #MIN16 was no exception.
We met the following people:
- Joe Baz of Above the Fold - he is a User Experience Designer - I should've talked to him about Ultimate Frisbee!
- Kristin Brenna of 603 Clothing - they make environmentally friendly custom tee shirts, etc.
- James Brennan - who gave us some great quick business advice
- John Hopkins - who gave us some terrific fast financial words of wisdom
- Jonathan Margalit of Innocentive - they work with around the globe brainpower to solve problems
- Stephen Potischman of Real Cool TV Productions - they make beautiful web videos
- Lalitha Ramakrishnan of LSR Associates - they are a translating service, both written and spoken, and
- Christopher Temper of Baystate Financial Services - he of course provides financial services advice.
Mass Inno would not be complete without its presentations.
First up was Stephen Potischman of Real Cool TV Productions, which I've mentioned above. Second was Acquia Drupal Gardens - they help make the Open Source community software, Drupal, easier and better to use. Third was Episend - they make it easy to send nontext messages through Twitter and Facebook, etc. E. g. you can send images, files, mp3s and the like. Last was Pietzo Electric Bicycles - the presenter even rode in on one! They are a way to be green and bike to work without one major complaint people have -- breaking a sweat in their nice work clothes on a super-hot day (this was the middle of a heat wave, so it was a rather timely presentation).
Mass Inno is also an occasion to see familiar faces. We saw:
- Eric Braun of TeamShare Solutions - they are opening up a South Short Innovation space
- Braulio Carreno - he is a part of the Anything Goes Lab within the Cambridge Innovation Center
- Danielle Galmore of Steelcase/Turnstone Furniture - they make (among many other things) funky modular work furniture
- Dave Fogel of Swifton CFOs - they outsource the senior financial level for emerging businesses
- Allison Friedman of Rate it Green, a service whereby you can check whether a company's claims of being environmentally friendly are really the case
- Paul Geffen of The Founder Institute - they provide a means for company founders to get together and exchange equity
- Ben Hron of VC Ready Law - I'm sure Mike Cohen was around somewhere, too
- Rama Nandiwada of IT Shore, her company provides scalable software solutions. She's been an expert at Mass Inno!
- Rich Sands of R Sands Consulting - he provides strategic marketing for platform adoption
- Masoud Shadravan - he's a software engineer looking for a new gig
- Christine Sierra of Lexalytics - they provide sentiment and text analysis solutions, and
- Marcia Weiss of Collaborative Partners in Leadership - they work with executives to improve their leadership skills, communication and relationship strengths and teamwork capacity.
Whew! I think I covered everyone. It was an unexpectedly busy evening -- you would think that people would be away for the Summer. Instead, we found a ready audience for showing off the DyIO and talking about our event, #NRBR.
We always have fun at Mass Inno. I hope we can present there ourselves one day! Continue reading
Do you know the Microsoft NERD Center?
The Microsoft New England Research and Development Center is a beautiful space overlooking the Charles River, in vibrant Kendall Square in Cambridge.
We are privileged to be hosting our TEDxBoston pre-adventure. on the 11th floor, a gorgeous space with a huge staircase in the middle. We'll be there from from 6 to 9 PM.
The Microsoft NERD Center is located at One Memorial Drive in Cambridge. Click here for a map of the area.
Please use hashtag #NRBR for our event.
Oh, it's coming.
What? you may be asking.
Innovation, the kind you only get from TED.
And we're a part of it. We'll be at the Microsoft NERD Center, One Memorial Drive, Cambridge from 6 to 9 PM, on the 11th floor.
Please use hashtag #NRBR for our event.
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