Robots, 3-D printing, and how origami can make cars safer

photo of a computer chip on a person's finger.

Some 2,000 engineers will gather in Buffalo in August for an international conference on advanced manufacturing and design.

International design and advanced manufacturing conference next month offers a glimpse into what the future holds

Release Date: July 24, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Will every household soon have a 3-D printer? How does origami lead to safer airbags and other innovations? Will robots do more than vacuum your home?

These questions and much more will be deliberated as roughly 2,000 engineers gather Aug. 17-20, in Buffalo, N.Y., to discuss advanced manufacturing and design. Among the topics:

Here come the robots

Technological advancements plus investment (Google alone bought eight robotics startups last year) is pushing robots from niche industries into everyday life.

Notable speaker:

·         Sunil Agrawal – A mechanical engineering professor at Columbia University, Agrawal will discuss how robotics is emerging as a tool for training human skills and functional movement.

Speaking: Tuesday, Aug. 19, during a session from 10:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.

Redefining American manufacturing

If manufacturing is to continue its comeback in the U.S., it will need to be even more nimble, adaptable and intelligent. Find out how leading firms are redefining the next generation of manufacturing.

Notable speaker:

·         Helmuth Ludwig – As chief executive officer of Siemens Industry Sector for the United States, Ludwig will share how the multinational engineering and electronics conglomerate is helping lead the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing.

Speaking: Monday, Aug. 18, from 11:20 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Origami-based engineering design

The traditional art of paper folding began centuries ago in Japan, but it’s now a driving force of engineering design. Scientists use the math behind origami to develop advanced materials, robots, computer models and countless other applications.

Notable speaker:

·         Erik Demaine – a professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Demaine’s research interests pertain to algorithms, from data structures for improving web searches to the geometry of understanding how proteins fold to the computational difficulty of playing games.

Speaking: Tuesday, Aug. 19, during a session from 8:30 a.m. to 10:10 a.m.

A factory inside your home

Most consumer products, such as toys, personal electronics and small appliances are made overseas. But 3-D printing could someday allow people to build products from their homes that they would otherwise order online or buy from stores.

Notable speaker:

·         Robert Tom – Senior director of product engineering at Fisher-Price, Tom will explain how the venerable children’s products manufacturer utilizes 3-D printing and how 3-D printing will affect the future of consumer products.

Speaking: Tuesday, Aug. 19, from 8:55 a.m. to 9:20 a.m.

Organized by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and hosted by the University at Buffalo, the conference will include executives from Fortune 500 companies, scholars, entrepreneurs, students and others working in robotics, computer-aided engineering, 3-D printing and other emerging technologies.

For more information or to register, visit here. Reporters interested in covering the conference should RSVP to Deborah Wetzel, ASME media relations manager, at

The following people are available to discuss the conference:

·         J. Robert “Bob” Sims, ASME president. To reach Sims, contact Wetzel at

·         Venkat Krovi, UB associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. To reach Krovi, contact Cory Nealon, UB media relations manager, at


Media Contact Information

Cory Nealon
Director of News Content
Engineering, Computer Science
Tel: 716-645-4614
Twitter: @UBengineering