Log in

Robotics: What’s Next?

  • Tuesday, November 10, 2015
  • 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • WPI in the Odeum Room


  • Advance registration is required
    College/University ID required at check-in
    There will be a $5.00 registration fee for student walk-ins
  • Please pre-register by noon Monday prior to the event. You must be logged in to register as a member.

Registration is closed

November: Emerging Technology Series #3

Learn how the next generation of robots will change our world – from consumerism to streamlining manufacturing and distribution. Robots are becoming friends of the developmentally disabled, aiding in medical disaster recovery, and becoming an attractive investment by VC’s. Speakers include investors, founders of robotics startups, and inventors. The second half of the program will feature audience-interactive demonstrations with a variety of robots. Join us in this unique opportunity to get up close and personal with these incredible machines.


Industry Overview/Investor Spotlight

Nick Pappas, Vice President, MassVentures 

Nick has served as a Vice President at MassVentures since joining in 2009. Nick has been working with early-stage technology companies for over 15 years as an investor and as an investment banker. He represents MassVentures in the community as a frequent speaker, panelist, judge and mentor for various technology focused organizations. Nick sits on the board of BoardOnTrack and Content Raven and is a board observer at Energid, Jebbit , Metamagnetics and OwnerIQ. Previously Nick was a senior technology investment banker with Oppenheimer & Co., SVB Alliant, and Canaccord Genuity (formerly Adams Harkness) both in Silicon Valley and Boston. He holds an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School and is a graduate of The University of Richmond.

Company Spotlight

John Kawola, CEO, Harvest Automation

John is tasked with leading the team in commercializing first products, and building a platform for future expansion. Z Corp was acquired in 2012. Prior to Z Corporation, John held technical and marketing positions at Albany International and General Electric. John holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Renssaeler and an MBA from Union College.

Entrepreneur's Spotlight

Dr. Holly Yanco

Dr. Holly Yanco is a Distinguished University Professor, Professor of Computer Science, and Director of the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her research interests include human-robot interaction, multi-touch computing, interface design, robot autonomy, fostering trust of autonomous systems, evaluation methods for human-robot interaction, and the use of robots in K-12 education to broaden participation in computer science. Yanco's research has been funded by NSF, including a CAREER Award, ARO, DARPA, NIST, Microsoft, and Google. Yanco was the General Chair of the 2012 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction and is now the co-chair of the conference's steering committee. She served as a member of the Executive Council of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) from 2006-2009. Yanco has a PhD in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bill Spellane, Engineering Manager at NewBotic

Bill Spellane is the Engineering Manager at NewBotic in Worcester, MA. He is an automation engineer from Worcester who has experience designing systems for high volume manufacturing down through custom one-off products. His designs are currently operating inside industrial, commercial, and medical manufacturing companies.. Bill Spellane holds BS and MS in Electrical & Computer Engineering degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Kevin Harrington, co-Founder, Neuron Robotics Cooperative and Technocopia

Kevin Harrington is a WPI graduate of Robotics Engineering in 2009 and has since gone on to start 2 local businesses. The first business is Neuron Robotics Cooperative, a robotics control solutions provider. The other business is Technocopia, a 501c3 community tool share and Makerspace. 

Additional Speakers to be confirmed.


The Venture Forum -- 306 Main Street, #400 -- Worcester, MA 01608 innovation@theventureforum.org

Interested in having your logo here?

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software