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Publication Date: 02/1/2008
Archive >  February 2008 Issue >  Hi-Tech Events > 

Robotics Guru Rodney Brooks APEX Keynoter
Bannockburn, IL — IPC's APEX opens in Las Vegas on of all days — April Fool's Day — but there's no fooling around with the opening keynote address by Rodney Brooks, Ph.D., director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Dr. Brooks will bring his own brand of fun in a fascinating exploration of the world of robotics.

A technology visionary, ground-breaking scientist, creative entrepreneur, and according to Time Magazine, "a voluble Australian — famous for finding radical, counterintuitive approaches to intractable problems," Brooks is arguably the world's most important figure in robotics. If there is a leading edge in the world of technology, his spectacular career has certainly been spent exploring it. His presentation, "Having Fun and Changing the World," will provide a glimpse into those scientific expeditions and reveal his passion for invention and discovery.

Dr. Brooks has played a major role in some of the most exciting state-of-the-art inventions in a field bursting with invention. The company he founded, iRobot®, sent a robot to Mars to collect samples for NASA, helped create the Predator robot aircraft, and recently brought the first commercial robot to market — the Roomba®. By deftly combining the latest artificial intelligence technology with easy-to-use interfaces, Brooks has developed robots for government, industry, scientific research and kids who want to have fun.

From the perspective of an engaged scientist, Brooks will address the big questions that have traditionally been the domain of fiction writers and fantasists: Can robots "think," "feel" and be "alive?" When does artificial intelligence stop being artificial? What's the distinction between conscious and unconscious?

Dr. Brooks received degrees in pure mathematics from Flinders University of South Australia and his Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University. He is a Founding Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The 2008 Designers Summit will run from March 31 to April 3, targeted specifically for PC board designers. Held in conjunction with IPC Printed Circuits Expo® and APEX®, the Designers Summit will offer designers exposure to the latest advancements in a myriad of engineering and design technologies.

Designer's Summit
Held in conjunction with IPC Printed Circuits Expo and APEX, the Designers Summit will offer designers exposure to the latest advances in a myriad of engineering and design technologies. "PCB layout is critical — accounting for 60 percent of an end product," said Javier Jimenez, CID, president of Dynamic Engineering Services, as well as the Los Angeles Designers Council Chapter. "So the stakes are too high for designers to fall behind the advancements in technology. That is why the Summit was designed to provide the ideal learning experience to enhance our skills and knowledge in every facet of the design layout process." The Designers Summit incorporates a host of design-specific activities and educational sessions to provide designers with the tools and information necessary to stay competitive and in demand.

To kick off the week, designers who aspire to become Certified Interconnect Designers (CID) and Advanced Certified Interconnect Designers (CID+) can participate in workshops and exams on March 27- 29. The three-day professional development program offers an extensive array of full- and half-day courses that will give designers the edge they need to help keep their companies innovative and successful.

On March 31, Designers Day dedicates a full-day focus on the latest design issues, including the risks and rewards of high density interconnect (HDI) technology, the problems and solutions found in high speed designs and signal integrity, applying the latest embedded passive technology in PC boards, material selection in the lead-free environment, a design for manufacture overview, and a valuable update on the future of the U.S. design industry. "Networking opportunities are an important part of the whole Designers Day experience," notes Jean Hebeisen, IPC Designers Council and professional development director. "Panel discussions and a networking reception are scheduled to enable valuable peer interaction and for sharing ideas and experiences that offer useful, real-world solutions to today's design challenges."

The show's premier technical conference rounds out the week, April 1-3, with sessions covering a broad spectrum of topics. Through a competitive abstract review, the finest speakers were selected, many from outside of the United States, to present research findings with a global impact — from supply chain concerns and eco-compliance to process issues, materials and advanced technology.

In addition, designers can capitalize on the exceptional opportunity to spend time on the exhibition floor at the largest trade show of its kind in North America, and meet directly with the suppliers, manufacturers and OEMs who influence design choices.

For more information, contact: IPC 847-509-9700 fax: 847-509-9798 Web:

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