Some 200 regional leaders from the financial, industrial, academic and other sectors will discuss Minnesota's developing robotics industry.
In hopes of drawing attention to the state's strengths in robotics and the growth potential of the sector, the Minnesota High Tech Association is hosting a robotics conference Thursday at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.
And there will be exhibits by area organizations working in robotics.
"We have the start of something big happening here in Minnesota," said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, association president.
Minnesota robotics companies have focused on safety and security for food and people. One company, for instance, makes a small reconnaissance robot — about the size of a remote control toy car — for police and military to use to scout or observe dangerous situations from a safe location, Kelliher said.
The UofM robotics department has been an important incubator for the local robotics industry, generating several commercially viable products, Kelliher said.
"We have a really great department at the University of Minnesota robotics department that has been kicking out these ideas, Kelliher said, "And they're beginning to be commercialized.