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Coming of age: Clearpath’s Ryan Gariepy on growing a robotics startup

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Launched in 2009 by a group of Waterloo engineering students, Clearpath‘s unmistakeable bright yellow and black robots have become synonymous with unmanned vehicle research in university research labs around the world. Now, as the field of robotics matures, Clearpath is forging into industrial applications, too. We caught up with CTO Ryan Gariepy at the 2015 Field and Service Robotics conference (FSR), to talk about their roots in research, the role of ROS and open source in their business model, and the challenges and opportunities of launching a robotics startup in Canada.

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This military robotics company vows to never make a killer robot | Fast Company

Cars are already close to driving themselves down the highway. How far are we then from military weapons systems that decide on their own when and where to fire?

“You want the scary answer?” asks Clearpath Robotics co-founder and CTO Ryan Gariepy. “We can do it right now, with parts I bought off the Internet.”

Clearpath, a 70-person Canadian firm that develops unmanned ground vehicles andautonomous control software for both military and commercial clients, recently becamethe first company to join a growing movement calling for an international treaty that bans so-called “lethal autonomous weapons.”

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Building a robotics company

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By Ryan Gariepy

As we’ve made more of a name for ourselves within various startup communities, we’re commonly asked how we moved from our beginnings with little resources and no connections to a worldwide concern in robotics, especially with the field exploding as it has. In truth, there is a great deal to be said for “being in the right place at the right time”, but there are a few key simple lessons we’ve learned along the way that others with good ideas might be able to benefit from.

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10 best quotes from IROS 2014 Industry Forum

IROS2014_Industry_Forum How do I get to MVP? How do I take my existing technology to a different market? How do I attract outside funding for my idea? Does IP matter? (The answer to the last question is yes, although researchers value it much more than venture capitalists.)

The IROS 2014 Industry Forum brought together entrepreneurs, researchers, venture capitalists and funding agencies from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia to shed perspective on the above questions and engage in open dialogue about some of the pitfalls of commercializing robotics technology. Here are the 10 best quotes from the event …