The Future of Automation and Robotics in New York State

Troy, N.Y. — Founded in 1988, the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has a long history of working with industry in programs encompassing applied research through manufacturing system design and pilot line development – so that they can grow and create jobs. This year, CATS will host the New York Automation and Robotics Conference on Monday, Oct. 23. The day-long event, to be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy, New York, bring attendees from industry, government and academia together to address common challenges faced by manufacturers, discuss opportunities for innovation and growth, and learn about present state and future trends in automation and robotics.

The program will begin at 8 a.m., with remarks from Rensselaer and participating sponsors. CATS Director Dan Walczyk, who also serves as a professor of mechanical engineering in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer, will deliver opening remarks. Participating sponsors include: Michael Lobsinger, director of the Center for Economic Growth; Everton Henriques, MEP solutions manager at FuzeHub; Matt Watson, director of the Division of Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR) at Empire State Development; and Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of the Business Council.

“The conference is an important venue to bring together researchers, students, and partners to discuss a strategic view at emerging ways to leverage the power of automation, robotics, and smart manufacturing technologies and business best practices,” said Walczyk. “The conference also brings us closer toward our shared goal of exploring ways to take advantage of available federal, state and regional resources to manufacture locally and better compete in the global marketplace.” 

The Breakfast Keynote, titled “Manufacturing USA and the ARM Institute,” will be co-delivered by John T. Wen, professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering and head of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the School of Engineering at Rensselaer, who is also part of the ARM Institute leadership team; along with Howie Choset, professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, who also serves as CTO of the ARM Institute.

Earlier this year, the Department of Defense (DoD) provided $80 million in federal funding to launch the ARM Institute, led by Carnegie Mellon University, to stimulate robotics technology development in manufacturing environments. The investment will be matched by a $173 million contribution pledged by the winning coalition, comprised of more than 220 partners, including industry, universities, community colleges, nonprofit organizations, and state and local governments from across the country. Rensselaer is a founding member of the 14th Manufacturing USA Institute – the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Innovation Hub.

Rensselaer will co-lead the Mid-Atlantic Regional Robotics Innovation Collaborative (RRIC) with the statewide New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center, FuzeHub, which is funded by the New York State Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR). In addition to FuzeHub, the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) at Rensselaer, which is supported by NYSTAR and has a long history of successful collaborative research with New York state industries, will be a key partner in the ARM Institute. 

The Lunch Keynote address will be delivered by Greg Longtine, senior manager of technology strategy, Amazon Robotics. Longtine has worked in strategic planning for product development in the Boston area for over 20 years. His talk is titled, “How Robotics has transformed Amazon and what great next generation of robotics means for industry and the economy.” The talk will held from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

In addition to technical and business-oriented sessions, the conference will also host a series of demos and exhibitions focused on collaborative robotics, applying 3-D printing for better automation, and modern technologies in offline robot programming and simulation.

At Rensselaer, Center for Automation Technologies and Systems programs and initiatives are enabled by the vision of The New Polytechnic, an emerging paradigm for higher education which recognizes that global challenges and opportunities are so great they cannot be adequately addressed by even the most talented person working alone. Rensselaer serves as a crossroads for collaboration — working with partners across disciplines, sectors, and geographic regions — to address complex global challenges, using the most advanced tools and technologies, many of which are developed at Rensselaer. Research at Rensselaer addresses some of the world’s most pressing technological challenges — from energy security and sustainable development to biotechnology and human health. The New Polytechnic is transformative in the global impact of research, in its innovative pedagogy, and in the lives of students at Rensselaer.

To register and view the CATS New York Automation and Robotics Conference 2017 schedule, visit:

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. For nearly 200 years, Rensselaer has been defining the scientific and technological advances of our world. Rensselaer faculty and alumni represent 85 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 17 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 8 members of the National Academy of Medicine, 8 members of the National Academy of Inventors, and 5 members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, as well as 6 National Medal of Technology winners, 5 National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With 7,000 students and nearly 100,000 living alumni, Rensselaer is addressing the global challenges facing the 21st century—to change lives, to advance society, and to change the world. To learn more, go to