Event to Highlight Robotics Tech. Potential in MN

The event, Robotics Alley, is designed to raise the profile of the Midwest in the global robotics industry.

Edina-based robot developer ReconRobotics, Inc., in partnership with the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA), is hosting an event that aims to outline the state and regional potential for robotics investment, research, and jobs.

The event, called Robotics Alley: Midwest Regional Robotics Leadership and Opportunity, will be held November 17 at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. It will bring together 250 business and government leaders, according to a joint announcement made Thursday.

The focus of discussion will be global market growth in the robotics industry and how companies from various fields in the Upper Midwest are leveraging robotics technology and generating job growth.

“Our state and region is uniquely positioned to attract the investment, government research funds, revenues and jobs that the robotics revolution is generating,” ReconRobotics CEO and President Alan Bignall said in a statement. “If we don't step forward and lead, some other region undoubtedly will.”

The program will also include a series of open-format talks on the business of robotics, followed by a networking reception with exhibits by regional businesses and organizations working in the robotics marketplace. Experts from the business community will discuss the strengths of the Midwest as a regional center of excellence in robotics technology.

The event's keynote address will be given by Peter Singer, an internationally renowned robotics expert and director of the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C. Singer is also the author of the book, Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century.

Other speakers include Margaret Anderson Kelliher, president of MHTA; Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos, director of the Center for Distributed Robotics at the University of Minnesota; and Patrick McKinney, chief operating officer of ReconRobotics.

ReconRobotics develops miniature robots for military and police reconnaissance work. The company was formed in 2006 to commercialize the robotics technology developed at the University of Minnesota Distributed Robotics Laboratory in Minneapolis.

MHTA is a trade organization that supports the state's high-tech industry through lobbying efforts and events. The organization has members of all sizes that are involved in the state's technology creation, production, application, and education. Sponsors for this event include Medina-based Polaris, Richfield-based Best Buy, and the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering.