Mel Torrie Speaks On Lessons Learned At Robotics Alley 2013

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In November 2013, ASI's President and CEO spoke in Saint Paul, MN, at Robotics Alley, an emerging initiative focused on creating a network of robotics business and research professionals. Mel's session gave attendees a quick look at strategies leading ASI to 13 years of success in a complex vehicle robotics industry. Below are some of the key points Mel shared in his presentation.

Need for Agility

In today's face-paced engineering environments, agility is simply the nature of doing business.

Customers are used to getting highly customized products with short lead times as well as providing input to the design process. Development companies must be agile to survive.

In early 2013, ASI implemented the AGILE framework for hardware and software development. AGILE breaks projects into shorter increments called sprints. At the close of each sprint, design teams demo progress to customers or management. The AGILE system helps ASI remain flexible to customer feedback and provides shorter milestones with which to track progress.

Dealing with System Complexity

Robotics is thought to be the next trillion dollar industry. However, today it is still very much an emerging field. Systems can be incredibly complex. If something goes wrong, technicians often have difficulty telling what happened, what component caused the issue, and why.

ASI uses a variety of methods to simplify robotic systems and diagnose any issues that come up.

ASI's automation kit is modular to provide flexibility and easier installation. Technicians can use onsite and remote system diagnostics and stored error logs to quickly locate the source of most issues. ASI is currently working toward new interfaces and software architectures that will simplify and improve the user experience.

Follow Them Home

When it comes to testing, there's no substitution for getting out of your house and into the field to see your products being used by customers in an actual work environment.