Right, so robots! TechCrunch is pleased as punch to announce our first-ever robotics event: TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics, on July 17 in Boston at MIT’s stunning Kresge Auditorium. We are also happy to announce that MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is a key sponsor. Our event is absolutely global, but there is no better place to stage the gathering than Boston.
Beantown has one of the highest concentrations of robotics companies in the world — 122 and counting — as well as many of the world’s most important research and education facilities.
Robots are suddenly here like never before. Autonomous cars are already on the road. Surgical robots are commonplace in hospitals. Big warehouses are hives of robotic activity, and no factory is without robots. At home, robots can vacuum the floor or lend a sympathetic ear. Robots even wage war, searching out IEDs in Iraq, and plumb the depths, taking snake-like form to inspect undersea installations.
The worldwide spending on robots is expected to double in the next fours years, from $91.5 billion in 2016 to $188 billion in 2020, according to IDC. The number of startups in robotics is also growing fast; Crunchbase counts nearly 1,000, from iRobot to Otto, Auris to Re-Think, and Roobo to Roboteam. Venture investments in robotics investments shot up 50 percent last year to reach $1.95 billion invested in 128 companies, according to The Robot Report.
Our aim is to bring together the key players in robotics. That includes the investors and founders focused on building the next iRobot, Kiva and Intuitive Surgical. We’ll stir into that mix the technologists, researchers and engineering students working on the latest stuff, like soft robotics, collaborative robotics, undersea and airborne robotics and that welcoming, all-purpose robot you always wanted to meet you at the door with a cold beer.
We’ve already enlisted some prominent members of the robotics world to join us, including:
- Daniela Rus, Director of MIT CSAIL and a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT
- David Barrett, professor of Mechanical Engineering, Olin Engineering College
- Colin Angle, CEO, iRobot
- Helen Greiner, CTO and founder, CyPhy
- Dr. Stefanie Tompkins, acting deputy director, DARPA
- Josh Wolfe, co-founder and managing partner, Lux Capital
- Patrick Sobalvarro, CEO, Veo Robotics
- Joyce Sidopoulos, MassRobotics co-founder
- Fady Saad, MassRobotics co-founder and director of partnerships
When it comes to programming for the show, TechCrunch’s editors will bring to the stage the top talents in robotics to tackle the big topics; in parallel, we will run workshops on more specialized topics. Attendees will have plenty of breaks for networking, and the day will culminate in a reception for all the attendees.
The show will not be live streamed, unlike some TechCrunch events, though our team will cover the event closely for newsworthy moments, and will post video from the proceedings.
Last thing: We need your help to make TC Sessions: Robotics a big success.
First, if you have a really amazing robotics demo that might be right for the show, click here to tell us about it. (Startups, corporate labs, university projects — all are welcome.)
Second, if you are an early-stage startup with minimal exposure to date but a real working product worthy of pitching on stage, click here to tell us about it.
Third, if you are a potential sponsor, and would like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please send us a note here.
And last but not least, if you would like to attend TC Sessions: Robotics, please let us know here. We will get back to you soon with details.