TechSandBox: MetroWest Innovation Hub 

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Robotics, Sensors, Automation, Manufacturing SIG (RoboSAM)
1st Mondays, 5:30p-8:15p
(except for holidays so see Calendar, please). We start food, networking and registration at 5:30p with program proceedings about 6:15p. $25 up until a week before the program/ $30 until 2pm day of program/ $35 at door; Includes food. Members of this SIG are admitted free..

Our RoboSAM Sponsors. Thank you.

EMT Sponsor of RoboSAM SIG

This special interest group is targeted at the folks who make the products that help make the products and people using these tools to make their own product. Got it? This includes: manufacturing and manufacturers, prototyping, sensors, signal processing, testing, measurement, vision, robotics, automation and even MEMs and semiconductors.





January 4, 2016: Process Control and Industrial Automation

Process control is an engineering discipline that deals with architectures, mechanisms and algorithms for maintaining the output of a specific process within a desired range. For instance, the temperature of a chemical reactor may be controlled to maintain a consistent product output.

Process control is extensively used in industry and enables mass production of consistent products from continuously operated processes such as oil refining, paper manufacturing, chemicals, power plants and many others. Control may also be continuous (automobile cruise control) or cause a sequence of discrete events, such as a timer on a lawn sprinkler (on/off) or controls on an elevator (logical sequence).

Our panel has expertise in developing process control products and in using them to develop other products or work process.

  • George Forde, Spectra Automation

George Forde, Spectra


For over 27 years, George Forde has helped plants improve their operational performance, safety, and compliance through automation solutions.  His clients in the Biotech, Food and Beverage, and Power Generation experience similar issues, including “black-box” equipment that is not for increased performance of the plant maintenance and operator personnel, but rather for the benefit of the equipment provider.  George and his team translate contemporary, sustainable, commercial technologies into client-centric process solutions with measurable business impact that are felt on the plant floor.

George has performed in critical positions in engineering, technology, and special projects with both Fortune 500's and startup companies.  He holds a BS in Engineering from UMass Lowell and a Master’s of Science in Management of Technology from WPI.

Moderated by Dean Cook.

Contact the Chairs if you have an interest in serving on the Steering Committee. One year+ commitment,  attendance at committee meetings and programs, ability to attract panelists/speakers/cases and organize/ moderate the program 2x a year in a timely fashion. Build a strong(er) network, meet interesting people, lead, and help. Membership included as a small reward fro us to you.

CommitteeDean Cook, Peter Mongeau, Kapeel Krishana

    Robotics, manufacturing, sensors, Mems, imaging, and industrial automation cluster at TechSandBoxRobotics, manufacturing, and industrial automation cluster at TechSandBox        Dean Cook and Baxter   Kapeel Krishana   Peter Mongeau, ElectMechTech EMT    

Speaker’s Name:     Candace Sidner

Speaker’s Title:       Research Professor, Computer Science

Short Bio:                   Candace L. (Candy) Sidner has a long-standing interest in human communication and collaboration, and their application to agents, robots and interfaces, especially those using gesture, social behavior, speech, and natural language.  


Candy is a Research Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, with extensive experience in industrial labs, and independent consultant on projects including the RESPECT project for health information for clinical trials. She is PI of the Always On Relational Agent project with Chuck Rich at WPI and Tim Bickmore at Northeastern University, Co-PIs. She has recently worked on multimodal (including gesture) interfaces using a humanoid robot for the role of engagement in conversation.  


Candy is a Fellow and past Councilor of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, was elected a Fellow of the Association for Computational Linguistics in 2013, and is a senior member of the IEEE.  She has been general chair for a number of conferences, and services on two journal editorial boards.  She was also President of the Association for Computational Linguistics.  She received her Ph.D. from MIT in Computer Science.


Company Website:


Company Pitch:    WPI’s Computer Science program is as diverse and varied as the field of computer science itself, offering course work and specializations in areas such as human-robotic interaction, intelligent tutoring and educational data mining, bioinformatics, computer security and privacy, and graphics and animation among many others. 

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