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PCB007-Oct2020

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OCTOBER 2020 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 29 ratcheting up to the next level. It's more of an HR-driven function and an individual manag- er's one-off basis for each of their team mem- bers. It has been a successful process over the years. We have had many of our employees take on increasing levels of responsibility as a result. Johnson: I'm picking up that you do roadmaps on a departmental level. Stevenson: Not as formally as we've done at the senior level, but each of our department super- visors has a piece of the overall roadmap that flows up to the corporate roadmap. Within our ISO quality management system, we call them dashboards or turtles. There are separate dash- boards that feed into the main, overarching dashboard, which then becomes a line item on a roadmap at some point. Using the ISO meth- odologies, we're actually able to document that at the lower level and have it flow up nicely rather than, "Here's what I want everybody in my department to do. Here's the roadmap. Ev- erybody pick a part and do it." This way, there are separate pieces, it makes sense for the indi- vidual departments, and it flows. Johnson: You have a bottom-up roadmap pro- cess, which makes a lot of sense. Bringing in external factors is something of a top-down process. Who manages the two flows? Stevenson: Part of it is really managed by the ISO process. There's a constant management review of the risks and the potential items out there, which will provide those prioritizations within the departmental roadmaps to flow up again. If a risk is identified on a strategic road- map, it's able to be presented and addressed during those ISO reviews to get everybody back rowing in the same direction. Our process is to use monthly or quarterly reviews of those types of things to update it companywide. Johnson: This conversation has got some good insight. Roadmapping isn't just a big picture process. Stevenson: Exactly. Johnson: Matt, it's always a pleasure speaking with you. Stevenson: Thanks, Nolan. PCB007 "Our box simply runs the robot according to the cus- tomer's program," explains Konidaris, who currently serves as Realtime's chief roboticist. "It takes care of the movement, the speed of the robot, detecting obstacles, collision detection. All [our customers] need to say is, 'I want this robot to move here.'" Realtime's key enabling technology is a unique circuit design that, when combined with proprietary software, has the effect of a plug-in mo- tor cortex for robots. In addition to helping to fulfill the expecta- tions of starry-eyed roboticists, the technology also represents a fundamental advance toward ro- bots that can work effectively in changing environments. (Source: MIT News) Most new roboticists want to program their robots to solve interesting, complex tasks, but it turns out that just moving them through space without colliding with objects is more difficult than it sounds. Fortunately, George Konidaris is hopeful that future ro- boticists will have a more exciting start in the field. That's because roughly four years ago, he co-founded Realtime Robotics, a startup that's solving the "motion planning problem" for robots. The company has invented a solution that gives robots the ability to quickly adjust their path to avoid objects as they move to a target. The Realtime controller is a box that can be connected to a variety of robots and deployed in dynamic environments. Helping Robots Avoid Collisions

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