More robots! Announcing three demos for TC Sessions: Robotics at MIT on July 17

There are so many great robotics projects underway that it’s hard to pick the best to appear at TC Sessions: Robotics, which is coming to MIT’s Kresge Auditorium on July 17. The agenda is filled with robots accompanying their creators on panel sessions and 1-on-1s. But that’s not enough. The event will also feature three straight-up demos, and today we’re pleased to announce the companies and projects that will take the stage.

The Leaping Quadruped
MIT’s Sangbae Kim won global attention with the Cheetah robot, which Kim developed at MIT’s Biometric Robotics Lab. The quadruped can not only run smoothly, but Cheetah II can run and jump over obstacles without missing a step. Kim plans to introduce the audience to Cheetah III and show off new capabilities, including voice activation. Kim has a PhD in robotics from Stanford University and is an assistant professor at MIT.

The Delicate Touch
Can a robot’s touch ever be gentle enough for delicate commercial work, like packing eggs? A crop of startups getting there, and Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Soft Robotics is a frontrunner. The company’s “air actuated soft elastomeric end effectors” – also known as octopus-like grippers – are delivering what only humans could until recently. CEO Carl Vause is a veteran of the medical device industry and has a BS in electrical engineering from Virginia Military Institute as well as a MBA from the London School of Business.

The Scrum Master
Last but not least, Locus Robotics will take the stage with their LocusBots for a live demo of their new navigational system LRAN, which LocusBots says allows multiple bots to work with each other and humans busy warehouse environments. Locus Robotics founder Bruce Welty, a serial founder, will take the stage to drive the demo and walk the audience though what the Andover, Massachusetts-based firm believes are the coming generation of warehouse robots. Welty was a mathematics major at Colorado College and enrolled in Boston College’s MBA program.

Please check out the rest of the agenda, which includes pioneers like MIT CSAIL’s Daniel Rus, Amazon’s Tye Brady, Disney’s Martin Buehler, CyPhy Works’ Helen Grenier, SRI’s Manish Kothari, Matternet’s Andreas Raptopoulos and many others – technologists, founders, investors, researchers and more.

General admission tickets are currently available for purchase though seating is very limited. Act fast.

TechCrunch has also set aside a fixed number of deeply discounted student tickets. Students should send current school transcripts and student ID card to


TC Sessions: Robotics

July 17, 2017 @ MIT’s Kresge Auditorium

9:00 AM – 9:05 AM
Opening Remarks from Matthew Panzarino

9:05 AM – 9:25 AM
What’s Next at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory with Daniela Rus (MIT CSAIL)

9:25 AM – 9:50 AM
Is Venture Ready for Robotics? with Manish Kothari (SRI), Josh Wolfe (Lux Capital) and Helen Zelman (Lemnos)

10:10 AM – 10:35 AM
Collaborative Robots At Work with Clara Vu (VEO),  Jerome Dubois (6 River Systems) and Holly Yanco (UMass Lowell)

10:35 AM – 10:55 AM
Coffee Break

10:55 AM – 11:20 AM
Building A Robotics Startup from Angel to Exit with Helen Greiner (CyPhy Works), Andy Wheeler (GV) and Elaine Chen (Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship)

11:20 AM – 11:30 AM
Soft Robotics (Carl Vause) Demo

11:30 AM – 11:55 AM
Imagineering Disney Robotics with Martin Buehler (Disney Imagineering)

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Lunch and Workshops TBA

1:00 PM – 1:20 PM
Robots at Amazon with Tye Brady (Amazon Robotics)

1:20 PM – 1:55 PM
When Robots Fly with Buddy Michini (Airware), Andreas Raptopoulos (Matternet) and Anil Nanduri (Intel)

1:55 PM – 2:15 PM
Bringing Robots Home with Colin Angle (iRobot)

2:15 PM – 2:35 PM
Building Better Bionics Samantha Payne (Open Bionics) and TBA

2:35 PM – 2:45 PM
Demo TBA

2:45 PM – 3:05 PM
The Future of Industrial Robotics with Sami Atiya (ABB)

3:05 PM – 3:25 PM
Coffee Break

3:25 – 3:35 PM
Demo TBA

3:35 PM – 4:15 PM
Robotics Startup Pitch-off (Judges and contestants TBA)

4:15 PM – 4:35 PM
The Age Of The Household Robot with Gill Pratt (Toyota Research Institute)

4:35 PM – 4:55 PM
Building The Robot Brain with Heather Ames (Neurala) and Brian Gerky (Open Robotics) and TBA

4:55 PM – 5:20 PM
Robots, AI and Humanity with David Barrett (Olin), David Edelman (MIT) and Dr. Brian Pierce (DARPA) and TBA

5:20 PM – 5:25 PM
Wrap Up 

5:25 PM -7:00 PM