AUVSI Announces Keynote Speakers for XPONENTIAL 2020

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) today announced its initial lineup of keynote speakers who will present on the technology, policies and trends shaping the future of unmanned and autonomous systems at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL 2020 on May 4 to 7, 2020 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston.

These iconic thought leaders will present their ideas for advancing the unmanned systems industry, providing up-to-the-minute insights into critical policies and key strategic information needed to expand operations. Their keynotes will provide attendees with a better understanding on what’s possible now, what’s coming down the pike and how to gain a competitive edge using unmanned systems technology.

XPONENTIAL 2020 keynote speakers include:

  • Dr. Robert Ballard, president of the Ocean Exploration Trust. Dr. Ballard is regarded as one of the most accomplished and well-known of the world’s deep-sea explorers. He is best known for his historic discoveries of the sunken R.M.S. Titanic, hydrothermal vents, the German battleship Bismarck and numerous other contemporary and ancient shipwrecks around the world. During his long career, Dr. Ballard has conducted more than 150 deep-sea expeditions using the latest in exploration technology. Dr. Ballard will provide unique insight into the growth and future of unmanned maritime systems technology.
  • Cathy Lanier, senior vice president of security for the National Football League (NFL). As the senior vice president of security for the NFL, Ms. Lanier supervises all operations and activities of the NFL security department. She oversees coordination with the league office and the 32 clubs and works with federal, state and local law entities to ensure the security of the NFL’s venues, fans, players, staff and infrastructure. Prior to joining the NFL, Ms. Lanier served as the chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department for the District of Columbia from 2007 to 2016. Most recently, Ms. Lanier served on the Blue Ribbon Task Force for UAS Mitigation at Airports commissioned by AUVSI and the Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) to address the timely and critical issue of incursions by UAS at our nation’s airports and how to best mitigate the threat.
  • Dr. Cara E. LaPointe, co-director of the Institute for Assured Autonomy for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Dr. LaPointe is a futurist who works at the intersection of technology, policy, leadership and ethics. Through her work at Johns Hopkins University, she focuses on ensuring that autonomous systems are safe, secure and reliable as they are increasingly integrated into every aspect of our lives. Dr. LaPointe previously served two decades in the United States Navy, where she held numerous roles in the areas of autonomous systems, acquisitions, ship design and production, naval force architecture, power and energy systems, and unmanned vehicle technology integration.
  • Dr. Marc Raibert, founder and chairman of Boston Dynamics, a company that creates some of the world’s most advanced dynamic robots, such as BigDog, Atlas, Spot and Handle. These robots are inspired by the remarkable ability of animals to move with agility, dexterity, perception and intelligence. A key ingredient of these robots is their dynamic behavior, which contributes to their effectiveness and versatility in the real world. Boston Dynamics has productized this work in their latest robots, which are now shipping. Before starting Boston Dynamics, Dr. Raibert was Professor of Computer Science and Robotics at MIT and Carnegie Mellon. While at CMU and MIT, Dr. Raibert founded the Leg Laboratory, which helped establish the scientific basis for highly dynamic robots and that set the stage for the work done at Boston Dynamics. Dr. Raibert is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

AUVSI XPONENTIAL is the largest, most significant event for the unmanned systems industry. The 2020 exhibit hall will showcase 700 cutting-edge companies from around the world and feature educational programming by unmanned systems experts, providing information about the future of policy, technology and business solutions and trending topics.

For more information about the featured speakers and XPONENTIAL 2020 and to register, visit

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