Five reasons to attend TC Sessions: Robotics next week at MIT

Next week TechCrunch is hosting its first ever one-day event centered around robotics. Called TC Sessions: Robotics, there are still a few general admission tickets left which grant the holder access to the conference, workshops, and networking events. Plus there are going to be robots as far as the eye can see. We hope you can make it and here’s why.

  1. Discover how and why robotics are about to take off as a startup category. The majority of the top founders and investors in robotics will be on stage and around during breaks to network with the robotics community. The agenda is impressive. Top founders, engineers and educators are attending and speaking at TC Sessions: Robotics
  2. Meet lots of robots and their creators up close, including MIT’s Atlas and Cheetah, Soft Robotics, the LocusBot, Robocar, ABB’s YuMi, and many more. Demos will be conducted on stage as well as in an exhibition hall.
  3. Learn which robotics categories are primed to grow fast – autonomous vehicles, drones, industrial, medical, military, home helpers. Each of these industries are leaning on robotics and machine learning to reinvent themselves. You could say robots are eating the world but in not in a scary, Hollywood way.
  4. Find out what’s new from MIT’s CSAIL laboratories, plus get the lowdown in workshops on ABB’s latest technical innovations, collaborating with DARPA, and what it takes to be a robotics engineer. At TC Sessions: Robotics, attendees will get a chance to hear from the latest influencers and attend workshops to get a deeper understanding of these topics.
  5. Where else can you catch industry leaders like Daniela Rus (MIT), Rodney Brooks (ReThink), Martin Buehler (Disney), Helen Grenier (CyPhy Works), Colin Angle (iRobot), Gill Pratt (TRI) and many more? We’re honored to have the leaders of the robotics world attend and speak at the event.

Join us next Monday, July 17, and get your ticket now before Kresge’s limited seating is sold out.

We’re looking for a few great volunteers to help us make TC Sessions: Robotics happen. If you’d like to get some practical experience working at events as well as come to the event for free, let us know by filling out this form by Thursday, July 13.


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)

9:50 am – 10:10 am
The Future of Industrial Robotics with Sami Atiya (ABB)

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

10:30 am – 11:15 am
WORKSHOP: Fresh Out of the MIT Lab with Robert Katzschmann, Claudia Perez D’Arpino and Andrew Spielberg

10:35 am – 10:55 am
Coffee Break

10:55 am – 11:20 am
Robots, AI and Humanity with David Barrett (Olin), David Edelman (MIT) and Dr. Brian Pierce (DARPA)

11:20 am – 11:45 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)

11:45 am – 12:05 pm
Imagineering Disney Robotics with Martin Buehler (Disney Imagineering)

12:15 pm – 1:00 pm
WORKSHOP: Educating the Next Generation of Roboticists with David Barrett (Olin College), Ryan Keenan (Udacity), and Dr. Robert McMahan (Kettering University)

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

1:20 pm – 1:55 pm
Building The Robot Brain with Heather Ames (Neurala), Brian Gerkey (Open Robotics) and Deepu Talla (Nvidia)

1:55 pm – 2:20 pm
When Robots Fly with Buddy Michini (Airware), Andreas Raptopoulos (Matternet) and Jan Stumpf (Intel)

2:20 pm – 2:40 pm
Bringing Robots Home with Colin Angle (iRobot)

2:40 pm – 2:50 pm
Demo with Carl Vause (Soft Robotics)

2:50 pm – 3:00 pm
Demo with David Perry (Harvard University SEAS)

3:05 pm – 3:25 pm
Coffee Break

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm
WORKSHOP: Getting the Most Out of DARPA with Dr. Brian Pierce

3:35 pm – 4:15 pm
Robotics Startup Pitch-off

Contestants: CP Robotics, Hand4Help, Tangible Media Group and Franklin Robotics // Judges: Jeremy Conrad (Lemnos Labs), Helen Greiner (CyPhy Works), Daniel Theobald (Vecna Technologies) and Melonee Wise (Fetch Robotics).

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

4:35 pm – 4:55 pm
Fireside Chat with Rodney Brooks (Rethink Robotics)

4:55 pm – 5:05 pm
Demo with Bruce Welty (Locus Robotics)

5:05 pm – 5:15 pm
Demo with Sangbae Kim (MIT Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory)

5:15 pm – 5:20pm
Wrap Up

5:20 pm – 7:00 pm

Robotics Workshops

The mission of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is “to prevent and create strategic surprise by developing breakthrough technologies for national security.” The agency’s project-oriented approach to science and engineering, however, is different both in approach and execution from other U.S. governmental funding agencies. In this workshop, DARPA leadership will discuss the Agency’s vision and goals, provide overviews of each of the organization’s technical offices, in addition to an explanation of the mechanics of working with DARPA. The objective of the workshop is to elicit help in fomenting institutional evolution in America’s broader science and technology ecosystem that is needed to better and more rapidly respond to future challenges.

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory is tasked with researching activities around the bleeding edge of technology. Attendees of this workshop will get an insider’s look at some of the hottest projects being developed in CSAIL’s labs and engineering bays. Robert Katzschmann will present Soft Robotics and the team’s creative approach to allowing robots to manipulate objects. Claudia Perez D’Arpino’s presentation will demonstrate how robots can learn from a single demo and Andrew Spielberg will explain a novel process to create and fabricate robots.

Building Roboticists
David Barrett, a professor of mechanical engineering at Olin College, Ryan Keenan, curriculum lead for Udacity, and Dr. Robert McMahan, President of Kettering University will lead a workshop discussing their views on the best way to train the next generation of roboticists. Each of these educators leads vastly different programs, but the aim is universal: to train the next generation of globally competitive engineers. It’s important that these students learn through hands-on experience how to not only write code, but deploy code in a viable manner that results in a sustainable product.