What Is NERC?

Northeast Robotics Colloquium 2017 logoThe Northeast Robotics Colloquium (NERC) brings together the roboticists in the northeastern United States and Canada, in an event that is simultaneously a research meeting, a networking event, a job-fair, and a showcase for established and up-and-coming robot companies. We hope to promote the kind of healthy and well-connected robotics community that will fuel the field’s rapid growth in the coming decade!

Will there be any good presentations?

Rob Wood, Calin Belta, Kate Saenko and Alberto Rodriguez have both agreed to be keynote speakers. In addition, we plan to invite approximately three additional presentations drawn from the submitted poster/presentations.

Rob Wood

Robert Wood is the Charles River Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, a founding core faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and a National Geographic Explorer. He is founder of the Harvard Microrobotics Lab which leverages expertise in microfabrication for the development of biologically-inspired robots with feature sizes on the micrometer to centimeter scale. His current research interests include new micro- and meso-scale manufacturing techniques, fluid mechanics of low Reynolds number flapping wings, control of sensor-limited and computation-limited systems, active soft materials, wearable robots, and morphable soft-bodied robots.

Calin Belta

Calin Belta is a Professor at Boston University and a Tegan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellow. He is interested control and systems theory, with a focus on phenomena that occur when continuous dynamics, described by systems of differential equations, are combined with discrete dynamics, modeled as automata or state transition graphs. Such systems are called hybrid, and examples range from man-made systems such as mobile robots, to naturally occurring systems such as biochemical networks. His approach to the analysis and control of such systems combine concepts and tools from control theory, theory of computation, and formal verification.

Kate Saenko

Prof. Kate Saenko is an Assistant Professor at the Computer Science Department at Boston University, the director of the Computer Vision and Learning Group and a member of the Image and Video Computing group. Her past positions include Assistant Professor at the UMass Lowell CS department, Postdoctoral Researcher at the International Computer Science Institute, a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley EECS and a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University. Her research interests are in developing machine learning for image and language understanding, multimodal perception for autonomous systems, and adaptive machine learning.

Alberto Rodriguez

Alberto Rodriguez is the Walter Henry Gale (1929) Career Development Professor at the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT. Alberto graduated in Mathematics (’05) and Telecommunication Engineering (’06) from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Barcelona, and earned his PhD in Robotics (’13) from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He spent a year in the Locomotion group at MIT, and joined the faculty at MIT in 2014, where he leads the Manipulation and Mechanisms Lab (MCube). Alberto is the recipient of the Best Student Paper Awards at conferences RSS 2011 and ICRA 2013 and Best Paper finalist at IROS 2016. His main research interests are in robotic manipulation, mechanical design, and automation.


8:30am Registration, Setup for demos, posters
9:10am Opening Remarks: Chris Amato, Robert Platt, Hanu Singh
9:20am Alberto Rodriguez (MIT)
10:00am Coffee/Poster/Demos
11:00am Kate Saenko (BU)
11:40am Lawson Wong (Brown)
12:00pm Lunch/Poster/Demos
1:20pm Calin Belta (BU)
2:00pm Myunghee Kim (Harvard)
2:20pm Coffee/Poster/Demos
3:30pm Markus Ryll (LAAS/CNRS)
3:50pm Zachary Manchester (Harvard)
4:10pm Rob Wood (Harvard)
4:50pm Amazon
5:00pm Wrap Up: Chris Amato, Robert Platt, Hanu Singh

Where will it be this year?

The interior of the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex
The interior of the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

The 6th annual Northeast Robotics Colloquium (NERC) will be held at Northeastern University on October 21, 2017.

How do I register?

Attendance (Deadline October 17): Online registration is closed. If you would still like to attend, you may register the morning of the event. Registration costs $50. It is reduced to $10 for undergraduates, high school students, high school teachers, and family members over 12. It is free for family members under 12. On-site registration costs an additional $20. Please indicate whether you will need a parking pass. Lunch will be provided.

Poster/Presentation (Deadline October 7 for presentation; October 14 for poster): If you are interested in giving a presentation or poster on your work at NERC, please register and use our poster/presentation submission form. Topics can be anything related to robotics. Out of all submissions, we will select a small number for presentation at the conference with a bias toward submissions accompanied by short papers.

Please note posters should be three feet by four feet.

Demo (Deadline October 14): If you are interested in presenting your work as a demo, please register and email an informative description of the demo to kohler.c(at)husky.neu.edu with the subject “Demo at NEMS 2017”.


NERC 2017 will be held in the new Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex (ISEC) at Northeastern University, Boston MA, which is marked by the red pin in the map below.

To get to Northeastern using public transportation, take the orange (subway) line to Ruggles station or the green E (subway) line to Northeastern University station. Ruggles is also a commuter rail station, and there are a number of buses that stop there. The map below shows subway “T” stations marked with a “T” logo.

If you’re driving, then you should park in the Renaissance parking garage on Northeastern University’s campus. At the event we will hand out parking passes so that you can exit the garage without having to pay the fee. If you need a parking pass but haven’t requested one yet, please email kohler.c(at)husky.neu.edu so that we request the correct number of passes.


NERC 2017 is co-organized this year by Chris AmatoRob Platt, and Hanu Singh. For questions and other administrative issues, please contact Colin Kohler, kohler.c(at)husky.neu.edu.