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The Robot Operations Group announced the first RobOpsCon will take place in October 2022 in Silicon Valley. The conference will bring together practitioners and a leading panel of multi-disciplinary speakers across industries, including logistics, supply chain, agriculture, hospitality and healthcare.
I have been closely following the progress of Robot Operations Group (ROG) over the last year and a half. The organization is unique in that it’s not a standards committee, nor is it an open-source community. But this global community includes some of the top experts in scaling the application of advanced robotics. The group now boasts a membership of almost 150 members based across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
The two co-founders, and spiritual leaders of the group, are Florian Pestoni, CEO of InOrbit, and Joe Wieciek, formerly of Brain Corp and now director of technical operations at Outrider. They posted their initial vision for the group in an online manifesto.
The group is focused on the problems that come in managing large fleets of robots. Wieciek was in the maelstrom of growth of one of the largest deployed fleets of autonomous floor scrubbers during his time with Brain Corp. He knows first hand the issues when moving from 10 robots to 100 robots to 1000s of robots deployed in the field.
The group is open to sharing best practices, how-tos and what it takes to avoid failure when deploying and managing large fleets.
“Being part of this community is a great way to realize the value of robotics,” said Pestoni. “There are plenty of online groups and conferences for roboticists to learn how to build a robot, but there wasn’t one for people focused on scaling robots from 5 to 5,000 and beyond. Until now.”
The group recently met face-to-face at the recent A3 AMR and Logistics conference in Memphis, TN. With RobOpsCon 2022, the growing community will have an opportunity to meet in person, learn from each other and explore the benefits of robotics in a broad range of applications, from material handling to agriculture to cleaning and sanitization.
“I was an active participant in conferences such as LISA, where systems administrators could learn from each other,” said Wieciek. “But when I transitioned from more traditional cloud systems to robotics, I found this was missing. With RobOpsCon 2022, we are continuing that tradition and helping people manage large robot fleets.”
Anyone is invited to join the monthly MeetUp group online. The conversation is always interesting and there’s something for everyone, whether its a discussion about the business of scaling robots or the deep technical aspects of managing large fleets. Just go to the MeetUp home page and request permission to join the group. You’ll be added to the meeting schedule.
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