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ProMat, Automate host 2 keynotes

The Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) and the Automation Technologies Council (ATC) have combined forces to bring an unprecedented two keynote addresses to the shows.
By Sara Pearson Specter, Editor at Large
March 01, 2011

In addition to bringing ProMat 2011 and Automate 2011 together in one location, the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) and the Automation Technologies Council (ATC) have combined forces (and budgets) to bring an unprecedented two keynote addresses to the shows.

Monday morning’s installment features Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security and distinguished American statesman. Starting at 8:45 a.m. in Room S102, Ridge’s presentation, entitled “Fortune Favors the Brave: The Net Gain of Supply Chain Security in a Risk-Based World,” will examine the inextricable link between security and prosperity for the global supply chain.

“As the first secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge is eminently qualified to talk about protecting the supply chain—an aspect of materials handling and logistics that grown tremendously in importance in recent years,” says Gary Forger, MHIA’s senior vice president of professional development.

Ridge’s keynote will examine how our progressively interdependent world has not only generated enormous challenges for the management of global supply chains, but has also created challenges for mitigating the risks posed from outside threats, says Forger.

With terrorism, natural disasters, vendor issues and geopolitical influences ratcheting up the pressure on supply chain stability, cross-border collaborations and security investment, Ridge will share his views of today’s risk-centric environment and how to minimize those risks. In this keynote, he’ll discuss the need for greater resiliency and security across your global supply chain—something at the forefront of every proactive company’s business agenda.

Ridge’s remarks will conclude at 9:45 a.m.

During Tuesday’s keynote, a different kind of daunting challenge will be discussed: How two large organizations—which, on the surface might not appear to have much in common—worked together to create a new technology. Starting at 8:45 a.m., again located in Room S102, “The Development of Robonaut 2: A Story of Government-Industry Collaboration and Technology Transfer for the Next Generation of Robotic Solutions” will be presented.

In this keynote presentation, representatives from NASA and General Motors will share insights into how the two organizations continue to work together to accelerate the development of the next generation of robots and related technologies for use in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Their partnership led to development of Robonaut 2 (R2), a state-of-the-art dexterous humanoid robot built and designed at NASA Johnson Space Center. The project’s goal is to build machines that can help humans work and explore in space, either next to humans, or by going places where the risks are too great for people.

R2’s humanoid design and dexterity can complete simple, repetitive, or especially dangerous tasks and can handle a range of tools and interfaces. The advantage of this humanoid form factor is that the robot is capable of using the same tools that astronauts currently use, removing the need for specialized tools with robotic connectors.

Due to a prior engagement on the International Space Station as part of the STS-133 mission (making it the first dexterous humanoid robot in space, and the first US-built robot at the space station), R2 will not be able to appear at the keynote, which concludes at 9:45 a.m. More information about the Robonaut program can be found at robonaut.jsc.nasa.gov/default.asp.

ProMat 2011 will be held March 21 - 24, 2011 at McCormick Place South in Chicago. The tradeshow will showcase the latest manufacturing, distribution and supply chain solutions in the material handling and logistics industry.

Read all of Modern’s ProMat 2011 coverage

 

 

About the Author

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Sara Pearson Specter
Editor at Large

Sara Pearson Specter has written articles and supplements for Modern Materials Handling and Logistics Management as an Editor at Large since 2001. Based in Cincinnati, Specter has worked in the fields of journalism, graphic design, advertising, marketing, and public relations for 15 years, with a special emphasis on helping business-to-business industrial and manufacturing companies. Specter graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky., with a bachelor’s degree in French and history.


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