Cirtronics and panelists to map routes to successful commercialization at Robotics Summit

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Cirtronics robotics summit session.Every year, promising robotics startups with cutting-edge technology have to shut their doors for good. Robots are expensive to build and develop, and even the smartest roboticists can underestimate the business challenges that come with running a startup.

Four experts plan to share their unique insights on commercializing robotics products during a panel discussion at the 2024 Robotics Summit & Expo. They have diverse backgrounds in agriculture, construction, and entrepreneurship and will share their tips on how to find the right product-market fit.

Attendees can discover firsthand how these industry leaders have conquered obstacles, scaled operations, and transformed ideas into viable products. They can also gain valuable insights to pave the way for their own commercialization journeys.

The session “Paving the Road to Success in Robotics Commercialization” is slated for 11:30 a.m. on the first day of the Robotics Summit & Expo, which will be in Boston. During this panel, hear from:

Jennifer Apicella is the executive director of the Pittsburgh Robotics Network. There, she has overseen the growth and development of the Pittsburgh region’s commercial robotics cluster, one of the top robotics business ecosystems in the world.

Apicella has more than 15 years of experience working in advanced technologies and currently serves on the National Board of getWITit (Women in Tech), Women in Robotics Pittsburgh Chapter. She has spent most of her career helping clients succeed with enterprise technology adoption.

Brandon Contino is the co-founder and CEO of Four Growers, an agricultural analytics and robotics company in Turtle Creek, Pa. Four Growers is using AI to analyze and autonomously harvest specialty crops. The company has units running in commercial customer operations across North America and Europe.

Before founding Four Growers, Contino developed neural networks for neurosurgery, wrote custom maximum power point algorithms for photovoltaic cells, created low-cost IoT water-quality sensors, and developed autonomous robots that won numerous competitions.

Stephen Muck is the chairman and CEO of Brayman Construction Corp. in Saxonburg, Pa. He is also the co-founder and executive chairman of Advanced Construction Robotics (ACR), which develops autonomous robots for rebar installations.

Muck has started or acquired over 20 businesses throughout his career and currently operates a portfolio of several companies focused on heavy civil construction. In construction-related endeavors alone, Muck oversees around $200 million in revenue. He obtained a B.S. in finance from Ohio University and an M.B.A. from Penn State University.

Cirtronics chair to moderate

Andy McMillan, the session’s moderator, is the chair of the board of Cirtronics Corp., a Milford, N.H.-based contract manufacturer of robotics, medical equipment, and other products requiring high quality and precision. He is an experienced executive with a history of strategic innovation in products, technologies, and business models.

McMillan has founded several companies, holds a dozen patents, and has spoken on automation and open systems worldwide. In addition to strategy consulting assignments, he is chair of the advisory board for Cirtronics and president of a global data communications trade association. McMillan’s formal education includes engineering and business degrees from the University of Michigan.

The session will focus on the essential elements of successful commercialization, how to simultaneously assess problems and technology awareness, and how to determine the best time to outsource manufacturing. Attendees can also find Cirtronics at Booth 206 on the event’s show floor.

About the 2024 Robotics Summit & Expo

This will be the largest Robotics Summit ever. It will include more than 200 exhibitors, various networking opportunities, a Women in Robotics breakfast, a career fair, an engineering theater, a startup showcase, and more!

New to the event is the RBR50 Robotics Innovation Awards Gala. The event will include a cocktail hour, plated dinner, photo opportunities, and the chance to hear from the Robot of the Year, Startup of the Year, and Application of the Year winners.

Each RBR50 winner will receive two complimentary tickets to the Robotics Summit and RBR50 gala. A limited number of tickets is available to attendees, but they’re selling fast!

The Robotics Summit & Expo will be co-located with DeviceTalks, an event focused on medical devices, and the inaugural Digital Transformation Forum. Registration is now open for the event.

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