Robotics Expo'13: anticipating the future

24-25 October 2013 Exhibition and Convention Center "Sokolniki" hosted first Russian exhibition of robotics and advanced technology Robotics Expo. The exhibition has attracted great attention of public and showed that interest in such activities in Russia is truly very strong.

Exhibition presented its visitors impressive novelties from the world of science and technology. At Robotics Expo many attendees discovered that a future where robot is a reliable friend and assistant of every person is not a fantasy but a reality.

According to registration committee, 3516 people visited Robotics Expo and 158 participated in the conference. Organizers have prepared several new effective formats for communication and testing of robotics in the Western manner: exhibition, conference, comfortable lounge area with films about science and technology, Speed ​​Dealing platform for start-ups and representatives of venture capital funds, special area for demonstration and testing robotics and stage for futuristic performance of robotic artists Robotics Show.

"The show exceeded all our expectations, no one could ever think about such a flow of visitors and media representatives from the very morning to late night two days running. The exhibition proved a resounding success; we managed to attract attention of the public to Robotics Expo. We are particularly pleased that after the event we began to receive partnership proposals from foreign companies. Our main goals are popularization of robotics in Russia and attracting investments in the industry. We received a lot of reviews. We will closely examine all points of view to make the show even better, bigger and more interesting next year," Ekaterina Eremina, coordinator of Robotics Expo, told reporters.

 

30 companies were presented at the exhibition, among them: Nanosemantics, Infolife, Pacpac, Examen Technolab, Stl-comp.ru, Segwaypoint, Wicron, LLC “Robotics”, Onics Computers, “Brain Development”, “TRIK”, Bosch, Indego, IPS Russia, JSC "SRI “Signal”, Robotbaza, Science and Technology magazine, 3D Print Expo, Sky Gadget, Webot, “Tvoi velik”, MATE-Expo, 3dminifactory, JSC “RBOT”, ROSE PAVILION, Hrobot, AI -drone, Boteon, Androidshowsystem, “Business city”, Tomsk Polytechnic University , Printers3d etc.

The exhibition provided companies-manufacturers and distributors of robotics in Russia an opportunity to demonstrate their new products to consumers and get feedback, examine competitors' products and establish business contacts.

Conference attendees listened to 23 reports on the present and future of robotics, investments and current areas of application of robots. For the first time in the history of Russian robotics industry Robotics Conference brought together leading experts, professionals, developers and enthusiasts eager to deepen and broaden their competence in the field of robotics.

The moderators of the conference were Nikolay Shmyrev - expert in the field of electronic speech technology, head of the popular speech recognition system in robotics CMUSphinx, and Alena Danilova – motion capture specialist in full-length animated production (company "Da-Studio").

Most of all conference attendees liked the report of Vladimir Beluy from "Alpha Smart Systems", he told about peculiarities  of personal robots application; report of the special guest from Switzerland Ludger Hovestadt (ETH Zurich) “Robotics, algorithms and architecture paradigm shift”, and report by Fedotovskikh Alexander “Marketing of robotics: how to sell a best friend”.

Developers and engineering experts highly appreciated report by Vyacheslav Kravtsov “R.BOT: Ecosystem R.BOT and robots of R.BOT Synergy series for software developers” and Boris Mikhailov speaking on “Modern condition and development trend of robots and robotic systems”.

The following speakers made presentations on investment - Lyudmila Golubkova (Starta Capital), Mikhail Kazartsev (IT-Online Venture), Anton Pasternikov and Dmitry Samojlenko (QuadSquad).

The main break-through of the conference was presentation of unique online social project Enable Talk for people with disabilities from representatives of QuadSquad (Donetsk, Ukraine). Enable Talk - is a glove with a special reader and sensors that monitor flexing of fingers. All this, along with software for computer and smartphone, enables robotic device to translate sign language into voice messages. QuadSquad project has been recognized by international competition Imagine Cup 2012.

Also reports in the field of "social robots" on prospects of robotics use in school education (speakers Anton Moiseev and Maxim Vasiliev) and medicine (Dmitry Rogatkin) were performed.

In the framework of Robotics conference two video-conferences with Iranian and Israeli scientists were held.

For two days startups and developers of robotics could present their projects and talk face to face with investors in the section Speed ​​Dealing, held in speed dating event format.

Start-ups were presented by Maxim Makatsch (Squirrel Hill Robotics), Igor Lekontsev (Partizan-info), Sergei Kurchanov (software for managing anthropomorphic robots) , Yegor Yegerecv (NANObilet), Dmitry Ryzhov (Clearmath), Denis Truhin (Feel Geekish), Ruslan Stecenko (GENME), Roman Lucin (Kiberteh), Alexey Reznichenko (Boteon), Max Kurganov (ETH Zürich), Anton Maisak (3dmarket)  etc.

The investors were: Mikhail Kazartsev - Managing partner at seed fund IT-Online Venture; Lyudmila Golubkova - Managing Partner, Investment Company Starta Capital; Vitaliy Vinogradov - co-founder of business accelerator i-Accelerator; Dmitry Cherednikov (Global TechInnovations); Ekaterina Zotova (Phystech Ventures); Alexander Chaikin (Grishin Robotics); Arseny Dabbagh and Boris Orlovsky (Rye, Man, & Gor Securities) etc.

Investors pointed out projects of Maxim Makachov, Anton Maisak and educational project of exhibitor – company “TRIK” as the most interesting and promising.

Despite the obvious scientific and business format, fun and relaxed atmosphere prevailed at the exhibition; organizers created such atmosphere with large-scale entertainment program.

At the presentation platform Robotics Show dance flashmob performed by creative team of Robot Madness Crew was held; exhibition visitors watched unique android show, vibrant costumed performances "Spaces of universe", "Robots", "Mirror World" from company Hollywood, unforgettable show Bioloid from Tomsk Polytechnic University, presentation of small humanoid robot Boteon, robot-promoter Dzhivko, lawn mowers Robomow and more. 

Heroes of popular science-fiction movies - Transformer, Iron Man, Robocop, Darth Vader- also walked about the exhibition. Devices of Sky Gadget that can be controlled using mobile application floated above the exposition. Telepresence Robots transformed into bartenders, talked to visitors and treated everyone with drinks. Volunteers who participated in testing of robot masseur WheeMe – invention of Israeli scientists – have got free massages. And with the help of biometric testing from Infolife (exhibition visitors tagged it "nano-fortune-teller") everyone could find out about state of their health, abilities and genetic predispositions.

A large number of people gathered around 3D Print Expo booth, where 3D-printeing technology was demonstrated in real-time mode. In front of everybody machine produced exhibition logo, funny souvenirs. Exhibition visitors quickly oriented and 3D printed new cases for their IPhones. The novelty conquered everybody without exception.

Summing up two-day event, we declare the obvious: robots will become a part of our lives just as mobile did - quietly and easily.

Robotics is the most impressive and promising area of business, which will determine the course of human development for many years. The task of Russian scientists and manufacturers is to accept these changes and get involved into this process as soon as possible. Russia's first exhibition of robotics and advanced technology Robotics Expo has become an ideal platform for new ideas and solutions in this sector.

We look forward to seeing you all in 2014!