Here’s everything you missed at TC Sessions: Robotics + AI

Last week we held our third annual robotics event at UC Berkeley. It’s my favorite TechCrunch event, and this year’s was our best show to date. We had some amazing conversations with a number of the top names in robotics and artificial intelligent, demoed some incredible robots and broke some exciting news about the future of the category.

You can check out a full rundown of all the robots we had onstage:

And here’s a talk Lucas and I gave about learnings from the event and what they say about the future of robotics:

For those who were unable to join us at the event — or just want a refresher — here’s a breakdown of the programming and the big news that came out of the event.

Building a Better Robotics Company with Nima Keivan (Canvas), Manish Kothari (SRI International), and Melonee Wise (Fetch Robotics)

Little did we know when programming the event that we would have a member of Amazon Robotics’ team onstage. A week ahead of the event, Canvas was acquired by the online retail giant, making for a fascinating conversation on the state of robotics startups. Full transcript here. 

Can’t We All Just Get Along? with Anca Dragan (UC Berkeley), Rana el Kaliouby (Affectiva) and Matt Willis (SoftBank Robotics)

As automation becomes more prominent in our lives, the subject of human-robotic interaction (HRI) will become increasingly important. A number of experts in the field discuss the ways in which robotics and AI experts are making that transition more seamless. Full transcript here.

This Reality Does Not Exist: Trust in an Age of Synthetic Media with Alexei Efros (UC Berkeley) and Hany Farid (Dartmouth College)

The panel kicks off with a fascinating demo featuring a CGI Barack Obama. What follows is a fascinating conversation about digital fakery. Full transcript here.

Building a Better Driver with Sterling Anderson (Aurora) and Raquel Urtasun (Uber)

As car companies make a push into autonomous driving, AI and other underlying tech will play an important role in keeping both passengers and pedestrians safe. Full transcript here. 

What happens after the Industrial Robot-lution with Dr. Kiyonori Inaba (FANUC)

Industrial robotics giant Fanuc joined us onstage to discuss how the company will use its new AI tool to increase productivity with its bin picking system. Full transcript here.

Artificial Intelligence: Minds, Economies and Systems that Learn with Ken Goldberg (UC Berkeley) and Michael Jordan (UC Berkeley)

Two of UC Berkeley’s leading thinkers discuss the recent growth of the AI and robotics sector and what companies and research need to do in order to continue that innovation. Full transcript here. 

AI Startups that Enable AI with Daniela Braga (DefinedCrowd), Ali Farhadi ( and Daryn Nakhuda (Mighty AI)

Some of the top companies in the industry joined us to discuss what it takes to build a successful AI startup. Full transcript here.

Greener Pastures with Colin Angle (iRobot)

iRobot’s CEO joined us to show off its new lawn-mowing robot, Terra. He also discussed the company’s early struggles and offered advice for startups looking to make their way in robotics. Full transcript here.

Investing in Robotics and AI: Lessons from the Industry’s VCs with Peter Barrett (Playground Global), Helen Liang (FoundersX Ventures), Eric Migicovsky (Y Combinator) and Andy Wheeler (GV)

This panel was straight-up packed with Silicon Valley’s top robotics VCs. Moderator Connie Loizos has a rundown of some of the top takeaways from the event. Full transcript here.

Putting Drones to Work with Grant Canary (DroneSeed) and Arnaud Thiercelin (DJI)

Drone popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, among hobbyists and professionals alike. But we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of what they can do. One startup and a rep from the world’s largest drone company discuss what comes next. Full transcript here. 

The Best Robots on Four Legs with Marc Raibert (Boston Dynamics)

Last year, Marc Raibert announced the company’s plans to commercialize Spot Mini. This year he returned to debut the production model and show off some of the robot’s new tricks. Full transcript here. 

Fireside Chat with Anthony Levandowski (Pronto.AI)

A controversial star in the world of autonomous driving, the former Google engineer joined us to discuss his new startup, Pronto.AI. Full transcript here and here.

Building the Robots that Build with Noah Ready-Campbell (BUILT Robotics) and Saurabh Ladha (Doxel AI)

Beyond the factories and warehouses, robotics are beginning to play an increasingly important role in the world of construction. Full transcript here.