On November 25-26, fifth international exhibition conference, Robotics Expo, dedicated to robotics and advanced technologies was held at the Moscow Sokolniki ECC. Visitors got to see modern robots, learned about the future of robotics in Russia and some even learned to create and develop their own mechanisms.
For two days, Sokolniki guests could touch and feel the robots, talk to them and even operate models brought by exhibitors.
Right at the entrance visitors met very polite KIKI - a robot from ALFA Robotics. She gave hugs to everyone and some people even got a high-five. She also managed to have a few meaningful conversations with some visitors. For example, when asked if she had a soul, KIKI responded that it is built into her program. However, the operator who was sitting nearby with a laptop certainly helped her with this answer.
The Promobot company brought its robot promoter whose brother Alantim was also nearby, at the Moscow Technological Institute stand. Charming and smiling robots communicated with visitors on different topics and just looked around.
The Fora Robotics company brought an HR robot. This anthropomorphic robot is said to be able to make a person’s psychological portrait and recognize lying in a dialogue with a person. Unfortunately, there was no chance to check this. But exhibition visitors gladly interacted with android robots from the R.Bot and GBL Robotics companies.
Robbo robotics club presented small self-assembling robots and also brought laptops to teach children and students the basics of programming and robot engineering.
But do not confuse Robbo with ROOBO. The last company showed a miniature robot Pudding, which was renamed to Emelya for Russian users.
There also were robot manipulators. Skoltech presented the UR-10 collaborative manipulator with special suckers for a vacuum grip.
Center for Youth Innovation Creativity representatives brought an industrial manipulator Kawasaki, which equally interested both adults and children. It was spinning at the stand, obviously performing its built-in program.
And of course, there were drones. The MAI team designed its stand to look like a grid fenced airspace and brought a non-standard drone. In fact, it was a tricopter, protected with a frame case. There were also smaller drones from Copter Express, WareVision and Drone Drome.
An R2-D2 droid from Star Wars universe rolled around the exhibition. He was also hanging out near the stand of the Children's Development Center Polycent. There, exhibitors held the robot fights, Robo sumo. By the way, Kostya Taranenko’s robot turned out to be the strongest one, he won the competition. "The design should be easy, and the program – difficult," the winner commented on his success.
The 3Dmarker stand traditionally had a great deal of excitement around it. Company representatives taught everyone to create 3D constructions with the help of special 3D pens.
Within the event, a special pitch session was held, where pre-selected startups fought for the attention of invited investors. The teams presented their projects in the field of robotics, AI and machine learning.
Medical Note Company introduced a medical assistant. It is a special service that stores medical data of the entire family, answers health related questions and finds nearby medical institutions.
Another medical project, EyeMove, plans to create a program for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's diseases diagnosis.
A robotized workout complex was introduced by the Sport Automatics company. And Smart Agro presented their project on monitoring the houseplants condition.
There were also toy robot developers from Perm State National Research University. They presented a robotic toy TALAS, which is controlled by a mobile application.
But the best of them all was SOL startup from Alexey Melnik. He develops a remote sign language interpretation system with sign language recognition for video.
A remote translation into sign language is designed to help more than half a million people. The potential market volume in Russia and Kazakhstan alone is estimated at 5 billion rubles.
Special workshops were prepared for young visitors of the event. The youngest (from 7 to 9 years) were able to create a model of their own robot in the Lego WeDo master class. There they were shown different kinds of helicopters, their most important parts and also taught the basics of linear programming.
There were Lego EV3 classes as well, where young visitors (10-15 years old) got acquainted with special construction kits with sensors, indicators, engines and control units. In fact, these were lessons for young engineers.
Technovision company did master classes on working with the RobotDyn kit for visitors over 14 years old. After assembling the robot, participants taught it how to walk, avoid obstacles and interact with other robots.
And Lego Mindstorms had an autonomous walking robot as a research object. Workshop participants listened to the history of creating such robots, studied how the kinematic scheme of Pafnuty Chebyshev works and designed such devices themselves.
But the event wasn’t intended only for children and teenagers. On the first day (November 25) representatives of companies, that consider robotics as a serious business and even the meaning of life, gathered in the conference hall.
Speakers analyzed most relevant topics for the Russian market: from problems with legislative regulation of robotics to principles of designing service and industrial robots.
The conference ended with a lively conversation about successful practices of implementing service robotics. During the dialogue, statements were made about Russia having a great chance of catching up with other countries in this segment, since adoption of new technologies in our country is proceeding at an impressive pace.
In addition, participants agreed that service robotics will become an indispensable tool in a world with less and less broad specialists.
The final day presentations gathered people at the main stage, where everyone could listen to speakers’ presentation. The overwhelming majority of speeches were dedicated to robotics in education and its impact on the younger generation. Speaking experts talked about training professionals from first grades of school to universities graduates.
By the way, about universities. Marina Kozlova, representative of the Innopolis University, where Arni and Gagarin robots were developed, spoke at the lecture hall. She said that on this institution’s basis, students are trained by the most up to date program. And the university teachers are subject to strict requirements before hiring - they at least have to be graduates of one of the top 100 world universities in the field of robotics.
Kirill Ignatiev, chairman of the board of directors of the Russian Investment Company Group, talked about technical progress as a whole. He named 30 trends, which will be developed the most in the future. Among them are micro industry in cities, augmented reality, access to another person's sight, disappearance of cash, medical online monitoring, gene level programming, and others.
The fifth exhibition conference, Robotics Expo, gathered more than four thousand guests and received wide coverage in the media. This is a vivid confirmation of robotics being relevant for both business and average citizens. It will be a long time before robots win over our planet, but they are successfully winning our hearts already.
See you next year!