Special Presentation


Aquanaut: The Innovation in Deepwater Robotics

Reg B. Berka, PhD

Senior Vice President, Operations & COO, Houston Mechatronics

Dr. Berka is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Houston Mechatronics, a technology company specializing in subsea robotics for the Oil & Gas sector. Prior to his current position, Dr. Berka spent 20 years at NASA and served in a number of technical, programmatic, and institutional management roles including his work as Chief of the Robotic Systems Technology Branch. Dr. Berka also served as President of Aphelion, Inc., where he transformed the start-up business into a global leader in electronic payments for the health and fitness market and was awarded the Crescent Technology Fast 50 award in recognition of the top 50 technology companies in Texas. Dr. Berka holds an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wichita State University and a Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University in Houston.

Special Presentation


 Robonaut 2: Technology for Earth and Space

Kenneth J. Ruta, NASA/JSC

Robonaut Flight Project Manager

Ken Ruta graduated in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1984 and worked with McDonnell Douglas/Boeing company for 7 years in Space Shuttle Software Verification and Space Station Robotic Assembly Analysis. For the last 18 years, he has been working with NASA/Johnson Space Center on Space Shuttle Program as Shuttle Remote Manipulator System Project Manager and under Software, Robotics & Simulation Division as JEM ORU Transfer Interface (JOTI) Project Manager, Robonaut Flight Project Manager, and Gateway Internal Vehicular Robotics (IVR) Subsystem Manager