Humanity is facing the beginning of an unprecedented labour shortage. Today’s AI and robotics are already doing what they can to automating software, vision, and even driving but lack a robust way of interacting with the physical world – a tactile intelligence.
We rely on human hands to care for us when we’re sick and as we age, handle and ship goods to us, assemble many of the goods we use, and even harvest and process our food. Over the next decade, the US alone will have a shortage of 23,000 surgeons, 330,000 warehouse workers, and 2,100,000 skilled manufacturing workers.
Forcen exists to create the tactile intelligence that will allow robotics and AI companies to tackle these shortages and to make this tactile intelligence as scalable, simple to implement, and capable as possible.
Forcen was founded in late 2015 with the initial goal of creating a force/torque sensing system that could match human capability across sensitivity, size, and adaptability and expand on human potential in scalability, durability, and environmental resistance. The first generation of hardware was completed in 2017 and integrated in surgical robotics across multiple specialities. These first generation systems allowed surgical robotics to match the sensitivity of surgeon’s touch and even exceed it – this allowed for scaling down of fine movements and amplification of superhuman touch sensitivity.
The sensitivity, reliability, and compactness created for the early surgical robotics market found new applications with the widespread adoption of AI & machine vision into logistics and industrial robotics in 2019. This second generation system built upon the sensing systems of the first with an edge computing intelligence – this enabled plug-and-play integration and created synthetic reflexes and muscle memory to begin matching the flexibility of the human motor cortex.
Today, Forcen’s 3rd generation architecture continues to push the boundaries of robotic potential in field, agriculture/food, and space robotics.
Dr. Robert Brooks
Robert is a leading expert in precision, high reliability robotic sensing and design with a PhD in mechanical engineering and over 9 years industry experience.
He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto where his thesis was focused on designing and developing next generation of surgical robotic mechanisms and sensors. In industry, Robert has worked across a broad range of high-reliability sectors including nuclear, steel, industrial robotics, pharmaceutical automation and medical devices. Practically, he has a deep background in micro-machining, high density circuit board assembly, and welding with a focus on precision machine assemblies.
Prior to that, he received his Bachelor Degree in Mechatronics Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
Michael Augustinavicius has over 35 years of experience in the global electronics and technology arena.
Michael was part of the founding management team at Celestica. He started the Cisco business, the Silicon Graphics business, and led the growth of the Sun Microsystems business to a multi-billion dollar global business. He managed Revenue, P&L, the Customer relationship and operations around the globe. Operations included Sales, Business Development, Product design, Order Logistics, New Product Introduction, System and sub-assembly manufacturing, Supply Chain and After Market repair services. He also led the Computer Peripherals Division. Prior to Celestica, Michael worked for IBM. He held leadership positions in Far East Procurement, Quality, Test Engineering, Software development, manufacturing, account management and new product Introduction. Prior to IBM, Michael was the President of an industrial electronics start-up company, and was the Vice-President of Operations for a plastics company.
Michael holds Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Toronto. He is also a Professional Engineer.
Albert has over 10 years of experience in designing sensor systems and 5+ years building and leading engineering teams developing new technology.
He received his Bachelor and PhD degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo. His PhD research focused on realizing MEMS-based imaging systems. After graduation, Albert developed novel processes to fabricate holographic optical elements for near-eye display at North Inc. (recently acquired by Google). Subsequently, Albert joined Excelitas as a Systems Engineer building next generation LED/Laser engines for medical and industrial applications.
Since joining Forcen, Albert has led the development and delivery of multiple customer projects. Albert is currently focusing on the next generation force sensor technology architecture.