Jim Lawton, VP and GM of Robotics Automation at Zebra Technologies, met the founder of Roomba, Rodney Brooks, at MIT nearly three decades ago. It inspired a lifetime passion for  robots that help humans. Since then, he has influenced generations of robotic automation technology at companies from Rethink Robotics to Zebra Technologies. This is a fascinating discussion that will make you reconsider what robots can do and why humans shouldn't feel threatened by them. 

Listen and learn…

  1. How Jim cultivated a passion for robots… and why that makes him "the cool dad"
  2.  How innovation in robotic technology is helping AMRs, autonomous mobile robots, perform more human-like tasks with less training
  3. Which "dirty, dull, dangerous" tasks are the best candidates for robotic automation 
  4. How new training techniques are reducing the time required to train a robot from 300 hours to a fraction of that  which "democratizes automation"  
  5. What's required to keep humans safe from robots
  6. How supplementing humans with robots for a task like picking items from warehouse shelves using machine vision saves 12-15 miles of walking per day while increasing accuracy
  7. How techniques like SLAM and machine learning are making it easier to program robots to do more complex tasks more accurately with zero or minimal coding
  8. Which new careers will be created by industrial robots… and which will be eliminated
  9. Two quick ways to know if a factory using robots and humans is safe 
  10. Why Jim's passion is using robots to help people be their best selves

References in this episode: