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Home | Seminars and Symposia | Past seminars/symposia: Tuesday, December 2, 2008

DTC Science and Technology Innovators Lecture Series

Robotics from the lab to the market


Paolo Pirjanian
President and CEO of Evolution Robotics

Tuesday, December 2, 2008
4:30 p.m. reception
5:00 p.m. seminar

402 Walter Library

Bertsimas flyer

Download flyer (PDF 245 KB)

Over the recent years we have witnessed a growing number of robotic technologies make their way into the home market. These interactive, talking and walking toys and autonomous vacuum cleaners may not be viewed as robots but they bring robotics to the mass consumer market in subtle ways. What are the challenges in taking robotic technologies from the research labs and putting them in consumers' homes? I will discuss the technological and non-technical challenges for developing and marketing affordable, useful, and reliable consumer robotic products. I will describe our work on a number of technologies that are core to consumer robotics which include: reliable vision and autonomous navigation. In particular, I will focus on object recognition, visual simultaneous localization and mapping, and affordable smart navigation solutions. This presentation is made in the context of my journey as a roboticist from academia to the business world and all the adventures that it entails. What does it take to take robotics from the lab to the marketplace? This story provides a perspective that may challenge the way you think, plan, and act in your career as a researcher as well as an aspiring entrepreneur.


Dr. Paolo Pirjanian is CEO of Evolution Robotics and a member of the Board of Directors. Paolo has several years of startup experience in leading technology innovation and crosses over to business development. He fosters strategic partnerships with consumer product companies to translate technologies into competitive market positions. Paolo has served as US Chair of IEEE Robotics and Automation Industrial Activities Board and he serves on the Boards of RoboNexus, Autonomous Robot Journal, and Intelligent Service Robots Journal. He has received several honors and awards including the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award in 2004 and Technical Leadership Award from JPL/NASA. AR JPL/NASA he initiated research thrusts on multi-robot system for space exploration. He also served as a part-time lecturer at the Computer Science department of University of Southern California. He received his Ph.D. degree from Aalborg University, Denmark with Prof. Henrik Christensen.