On April 15, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder addressed a standing room crowd at the 2013 Michigan Robotics Day held at the Jack Roth Stadium Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Governor saluted the event, which “…highlights to the rest of Michigan and the entire country how important robotics are,” and by its third year has grown to one of the premier events celebrating National Robotics Week. HeÂ also answered questions on a wide range of subjects during a Q&A session moderated by NCMS President & CEO Rick Jarman.
During his speech, the Governor voiced his support for legislation for Michigan to lead the development and testing of autonomous vehicle technology.
“Innovation lives in small and medium sized companies. This autonomous vehicle legislation provides a clear path for those companies to do their work and create jobs here in Michigan,” said Jarman. “When we started this event, we knew that Michigan had the resourcesÂ to be a global leader in robotics. This legislation will lead to globalÂ recognitionÂ of the great companies doing work here.”
During his talk, Jarman said robotics will impact society on the scale of previous innovations like the automobile and personal computer. He believes that manufacturers who have been using automation technologies for years have an opportunity to help robotics move from Â “…factory floor into the consumer world.”Â
Over 500 people attended the event, includingÂ representatives from industry, college researchers,Â high school robotics students, Â and Department of Defense personnel. The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) co-hosts the annual event with the University of Michigan to energize the entire the ecosystem of robotics in the State.Â
Michigan Robotics Day included rolling, swimming, diving, and flying robots that ranged in size from microscopicÂ devices to a full sized sports utility vehicle. Professor Alberto Broggi’s keynote delivered the technical highlight, discussing aÂ transcontinentalÂ autonomousÂ vehicleÂ test. Other talks ranged from an industry panel to research highlights from the University of Michigan and a high school team using robotics to recover remains and artifacts from World War II.