The top minds in robotics, automation, machine learning, and space exploration are gathering in Las Vegas this week for Amazon’s inaugural re:MARS event.
The three-and-a-half day extravaganza at the ARIA resort and casino features more than 100 sessions, keynotes, spotlights, and interactive workshops.
A highlight is a massive Tech Showcase, with leading robotics companies displaying their latest products and services.
And experts and robotics leaders are discussing the latest innovations and trends.
In the past decade Amazon has become one of the world’s most influential companies in the highly competitive world of robotics.
Last night’s opening session featured keynote addresses by Boston Dynamics’ CEO Marc Raibert as well as Morgan Pope and Tony Dohi from Walt Disney Imagineering.
Producer and actor Robert Downey, Jr (Iron Man) joined them on stage as a celebrity guest presenter.
Fireside chat with Jeff Bezos
In other sessions this week, Colin Angle, CEO and founder of iRobot, will reveal his vision for home automation. The presentation will include a demonstration of the coming-soon Terra robot lawn mower.
And Tom Soderstrom, IT Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will bring attendees up to date with the latest happenings in space and robotics.
Other speakers include Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer at Amazon.
Also, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is planning a “fireside chat” at the show, to reveal the “next big things” coming from Amazon.
“Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are behind almost everything we do at Amazon,” Bezos said in a statement.
‘Much of what we do happens beneath the surface’
“Some of this work is highly visible, such as autonomous Prime Air delivery drones, eliminating checkout lines at Amazon Go, and making everyday life more convenient for customers with Alexa.
“But much of what we do with AI and ML happens beneath the surface – from the speed in which we deliver packages, to the broad selection and low prices we’re able to offer customers, to automatic extraction of characters and places from books and videos with X-Ray.
“This is in addition to the unrivalled breadth and depth of AI and ML services that AWS offers businesses of all sizes. And it’s still day one for AI at Amazon.”
Several robotics companies are unveiling new offerings at re:MARS.
Personal robot temi teams up with Amazon Alexa
Personal robot temi is on display at re:MARS and this time they’ve integrated Alexa voice commands into the system.
The robot includes the ability for customers to play music, check the weather, control smart home devices and access tens of thousands of Alexa skills, just by accessing the robot.
“The Alexa implementation we will be showing at re:MARS is only the first phase,” said Yossi Wolf, CEO and Founder of temi.
“We’re excited to continue working with Amazon to add new functionality that will allow users to access full control of temi’s navigation system simply by using Alexa voice commands.”
The company is also planning to open an Amazon store.
World’s first touch-transmitting telerobot hand
The system will feature the first robotic hand that can “successfully transmit touch sensations” to a remote tele-operator. The combination of the robotic hand with SynTouch’s biomimetic tactile sensors and HaptX’s realistic haptic gloves gives extreme precision for the remote control, the companies said.
“In recent tests, a human operator in California was able to operate a computer keyboard in London, with each keystroke detected through fingertip sensors on their glove and faithfully relayed 5,000 miles to the Dexterous Hand to recreate,” Shadow Company said in a statement.
Examples of use cases for future applications include bomb disposal, deep-sea engineering, or even surgery performed across long distances.
“We’re at the beginning of a golden age of AI,” said Bezos. “Recent advancements have already led to invention that previously lived in the realm of science fiction – and we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible.
“AI is an enabling technology that can improve products and services across all industries.
“We’re excited to create re:MARS, bringing together leaders and builders from diverse areas to share learnings and spark new ideas for future innovation.”
Re:MARS runs from June 4-7. (And astronauts attend for free!)