Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Virtual Event
Future of Automation 2021
September 29, 2021 at 1:00pm ET

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Seeing the future – how vision and artificial intelligence are advancing automated applications


  • Ina Foalea, Director of Investments, SCALE AI
  • Ilija Jovanovic, Co-founder, Taiga Robotics
  • Steve Wardell, Director of Imaging at ATS Automation
  • Jim Beretta, President, Customer Attraction
The flexibility required of high-mix, low-volume manufacturing has led to an increase in the number of product shapes and sizes that prove challenging for traditional automation methods.

The need for visibility is paramount. From robots that "see" with vision systems to machine learning that drives decision-making, our panel discusses how advanced tools are helping to increase throughput and maximize production efficiency.

Ina Foalea, Director of Investments, Scale AI
Ina Foalea is an investment director at Scale AI with a focus on investing in manufacturing, health and construction verticals. Prior to Scale AI, Ina was a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group and a financial auditor at KPMG. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. She writes comedy skits and is seriously contemplating how AI can be applied to determining which jokes will land.

Ilija Jovanovic, Co-founder, Taiga Robotics
Ilija Jovanovic is a co-founder of Taiga Robotics where he works on product strategy for state-of-the-art robotics. His passion is making robots easier to use and easier to deliver and believes robot generality will emerge through accessibility, not design. He has 10 years of experience designing and building autonomous vehicles and robots recreationally, for the mining industry, and for the Ontario Nuclear industry. He holds a PhD. for his work in planetary rover navigation and most recently received a best paper award from IEEE for his work in AI for space robotics.

Jim Beretta
Jim Beretta is president of Customer Attraction, an industrial marketing consultancy. He works with companies in robotics, automation, manufacturing, packaging and capital equipment on branding, marketing and search engine strategies. He attended the University of Western Ontario and is based in Cambridge, Ont. Jim can be reached at

Steve Wardell
Steve’s career of 30 plus years at ATS has allowed him to be part of many exciting opportunities. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Math and Computer Science, Steve started out as a control systems programmer, and then took on more responsibility through various increased leadership roles within ATS’ controls and vision engineering groups. He has helped produce hundreds of fascinating and successful automation projects over the years. He is currently responsible for ATS’ Vision Engineering group which is a team of specialized vision engineers providing all machine vision system designs for ATS customer’s automation solutions. Steve is also highly involved in serving the machine vision industry as a whole. He is the current chair of the board of the A3 Vision and Imaging Tech Sector Board (the Global Vision Systems Trade Association) and member of the board of the A3 (Association for Advancing Automation).

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