TechSandBox: MetroWest Innovation Hub 

Our Mission:   Deliver the comprehensive resources needed by Innovation-driven enterprises and their entrepreneurs, accelerating success by bringing the ecosystem together, right here in MetroWest.

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.



May 2 - Medical Robotics: What’s New and What’s Needed? with Gregory Fischer, PhD, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Ingolf Tuerk, MD, Chief of Urology, St. Elizabeth’s and professor of urology at Tufts University,

5:30PM food and networking; 6PM program

Applications of robots in the life sciences are growing as we develop better technology and as fear decreases! In addition, assistive technologies enable physicians to get better results with shorter surgery times – a win-win all around.

We are pleased to have Professor Greg Fischer, faculty at WPI, who is working with leading hospitals to deliver outcomes from the research in the WPI AIM Labs on medical robotics—the link that allows us to enable "closed loop medicine" by using real time feedback to guide a surgical procedure.

Dr. Ingolf Tuerk, head of urology at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston joins our panel to talk about robotic surgical techniques with his pioneering work in laparoscopic surgery.

 Dr Ingolf Tuerk, St Elizabeth's at TechSandBox   Prof Greg Fischer, WPI


Gregory Fischer, PhD, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), is an Associate professor at WPI in Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Engineering with an appointment in Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Fischer is also the Scientific Director of the WPI Healthcare Delivery institute and currently on sabbatical where he is visiting faculty in the Department of Radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital working with the Surgical Planning Laboratory. He received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in Mechanical Engineering in 2008 and an MS in Electrical Engineering in 2005, where he was part of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Computer Integrated Surgery (ERC-CISST). He was instrumental in developing the Robotics Engineering undergraduate program at WPI as well as implementing the MS and PhD programs in Robotics. Dr. Fischer is Director of the WPI Automation and Interventional Medicine Robotics Research Laboratory (AIM Lab: where he leads research in various healthcare robotic systems including rehabilitation and surgery, with an emphasis on enabling technologies for MRI-guided robotic surgical interventions including fiber optic sensors, piezoelectric and pneumatic actuators, haptics and teleoperation, modular robot control systems, and application testbeds. Current research includes an MRI-compatible robotic system for image-guided conformal ablation of deep brain tumors, and a system currently in clinical trials for precision targeted MRI-guided prostate cancer biopsy.

Ingolf Tuerk, MD, Chief of Urology, St. Elizabeth’s and professor of urology at Tufts Univeristy, is a world-renowned laparoscopic and robotic urologic surgeon, Dr. Tuerk has performed 1,500 laparoscopic radical prostatectomies since 1999 and 2,500 robotic radical prostatectomies since 2006. He is responsible for pioneering several laparoscopic as well as robotic surgery techniques, including radical and partial nephrectomy, radical prostatectomy, right side donor nephrectomy and radical cystectomy with urinary diversion. In 2002 Dr. Tuerk joined the Institute of Urology at Lahey Clinic and as director for minimal invasive laparoscopic/robotic surgery and vice chairman he helped develop robust laparoscopic and robotic surgery programs. Since he joined St. Elizabeth’s in 2008, the hospital established one of New England’s premier robotic surgery programs with 700 - 800 robotic procedures performed annually. Dr. Tuerk received his medical degree from the medical school at Humboldt University in Berlin in 1989, after which he trained at the city’s Charite Hospital.


June 13: Manufacturing Ecosystem in the MetroWest-Worcester Region (click to register)

The region clustered around I-495, I-90 and I-290 are abounding with the right mix of companies that support making physical products.

From contract manufacturing, to product developers, to fabricators, to PCB layout and machine shops, we have them all. Combine this with some of the best institutes of higher education and technical schools, the most inexpensive real estate (and a lot of it), easy parking, and roads that are certainly more accessible than Boston, and we have a compelling story to be based here.

We’d like you to join us in our first (hopefully annual and growing) showcase.


Table displays or spaces (4’) are open to those who either have capital equipment used in manufacturing, design, and automation OR are companies that do this work as contractors.

Whether you support the making of medical instruments, medical devices, electronics, windturbines, solar panels, machined parts, robots, coatings, special materials or semi-conductors.

Tables (or 4' floor space) are $50 and include admission for 2 and a light meal. Space is limited.Bring your own power strips. Sign up by May 1 for a table space (or equivalent 4’ floor space) or just attend!


Are you a company in need of design, development or manufacturing assistance? $30 general admission to talk to helpful people!

Meet others in design, and manufacturing, meet some new customers, and help help and attention. 


On display so far:

MassMEP     ElectroMechTech     Centra Coating -- EMI   Distron Contract Manufacturing

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, Barb Finer

    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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