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Headliner: Past, Present, & Future of Robotics and Drones

November 11, 2015

Robotics Headliner Promo Video from EvoNexus on Vimeo.


San Diego region is uniquely positioned with a long history of robotics, drones and autonomous systems. Post World War II, undersea robotics developed by the Department of Defense at the Naval research labs on Point Loma San Diego were used to perform deep water recovery and surveillance missions. In parallel, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography was developing their own deep water robotic platforms for science and commercial missions. Drone technology was thriving in the San Diego region decades before the consumer saw the now common quad motor drone carrying a GoPro camera used to film a favorite surfing beach. Pilotless drone aircraft experienced early growth with Ryan Aircraft of San Diego, and over the past 25 years San Diego based General Atomics has established itself as the world leader in large platform drone aircraft. Qualcomm, has made a major commitment to growing the robotics/drone ecosystem through its internal programs and active support to outside programs managed by organizations like EvoNexus. This commitment is embodied in the recent launch of Qualcomm’s new technology reference design called Snapdragon Flight, this will enable 100s of robotics innovators to quickly launch their product.

Joining us for the exhibit portion of the evening, will be some of the best and brightest local robotics and drones startups in the San Diego region. In addition, our panel and moderator of this high-caliber event represent the history and commitment to this growing sector. Join us to hear about the vision and future of robotics and drones as seen by those in the industry that are leading the way.


[wc_row][wc_column size=”one-fourth” position=”first”] Charles Bergan
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Charles leads the software department for Qualcomm Research.  He also oversees Qualcomm Research’s robotics program.  While at Qualcomm, he has been involved in the research and development of most of the modern cellular radio standards, including CDMA, UMTS, UMB and LTE.

Previously, he led the software development team at Ensemble Communications, a start-up company which pioneered the development of LMDS point-to-multipoint wireless backhaul systems.

Charles has a B.S. in Computer Engineering, and an M.S. in Computer Science, both from the University of California, San Diego.

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CAPT Rothenhaus uncoverred flags

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Captain Kurt J. Rothenhaus assumed command of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific on 17 Decem­ber 2013.

A native of New York City, Captain Rothenhaus received his commission after graduating from the University of South Carolina. He holds a Master of Science in Computer Science and a PhD in Software Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, and transferred into the Engineering Duty Officer community in 2003.

Captain Rothenhaus’ operational assignments include USS FIFE (DD 991), USS O’BRIEN (DD 975), and Destroyer Squadron FIFTEEN, and he served as Combat Systems/C5I Officer on USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75). Additionally, he served in Baghdad, Iraq, developing counter-insurgency and reconstruction systems for the Army Corps of Engineers.

His acquisition assignments include project manager at the Space and Naval Warfare System Center Pacific and various acquisition leadership roles in the Program Executive Office, Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I), to include Future Command and Control Systems Assistant Program Manager in the Navy Command and Control Program Office (PMW-150), and Assistant Program Manager for the Consolidated Afloat Network Enterprise System (CANES) in the Navy Tactical Networks Program Office (PMW-160). Additionally, he served as the Deputy Program Manager for Navy Communications and GPS Program Office (PMW/A-170) from September 2011 to October 2013.

Captain Rothenhaus received the A. Byran Laswell, National Defense Industrial Association Award in 2007 for technology innovation, and was a 2008 Navy & Marine Corps Leadership Award winner while serving aboard USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75). His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint and Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement medals and various service and campaign awards.

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Our surprise guest speaker is a business and technology visionary. Our speaker has gained a perspective of the future of robotics and drones only achieved through building and providing some of world’s most complex remote controlled systems for mission critical assignments around the globe. The company is a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions.


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Tim McConnell

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Tim McConnell, Vice President of Engineering, is responsible for engineering and product development for MicroPower Technologies. Possessing over 25 years of experience developing robotics and embedded systems, Tim oversees project execution, engineering processes, new product introduction and manufacturing.

Tim’s background in robotics began with his bachelor’s thesis project at MIT, where he developed a calibration scheme for robots for the aircraft industry. Since then, he has managed multiple robotic development projects at Vision Robotics Corporation, specializing in autonomous, stereo vision based, mobile robots for commerce, agriculture and government, and at 3D Robotics, developing autonomous UAVs.

Prior to joining MicroPower, Tim served as VP Engineering at 3D Robotics, overseeing design, development and manufacturing, and EVP Engineering at Solekai Systems, running an 80-person engineering department in the consumer electronics and machine-to-machine areas. Tim also held management and engineering positions at Wind River, Doctor Design, AP Labs and Linkabit. Tim received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT.

When not at his day job, Tim mentors companies locally in various robotic fields and serves as a judge at the San Diego FIRST Robotics regional competition.




Questions? Contact Shannon Merrill at

DATE: Wednesday, November 11th 2015

5:00PM – Registration/Reception/Networking
6:15PM – Program Begins
7:45PM – Program Ends

Qualcomm Headquarters
Building N, Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall
5775 Morehouse Drive
San Diego, CA 92121

Regular Pricing: **REGISTRATION CLOSES AT 12:00 NOON ON 11/10/15**
$45.00 – Pre-Registration
$50.00 – At-the-Door
FREE – Students & Military

All Mentor Sponsor Employees attend FREE!


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November 11, 2015
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