TechCrunch’s fourth Robotics and AI show is coming up on March 3 at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. If past experience is any guide, the show is sure to draw a big crowd (cheap student rates here!), but there’s still time to grab a pass. If you’re wondering why you want to take a day out to catch a full day of interviews and audience Q&A with the world’s top robotics and AI experts, read on.
It’s the software / AI, stupid. So said (in so many words) the legendary surgical robotics founder Dr. Frederic Moll at Disrupt SF last year. And this year’s agenda captures that reality from many angles. UC Berkeley’s Stuart Russell will discuss his provocative book on AI, “Human Compatible,” and the deeply important topic of AI “explainability” will be front and center with SRI’s Karen Myers, Fiddler Labs’ Krishna Gade and UC Berkeley’s Trevor Darrell. Then there is the business of developing and sustaining robots, whether at startups, which is where Freedom Robotics’ Joshua Wilson comes in, or at large enterprises, with Vicarious’ D. Scott Phoenix.
Robotics founders have more fun. That’s why we have a panel of the three top founders in agricultural robotics, as well as another three on construction robotics and two on human assistive robotics, plus a pitch competition featuring five additional founders, each carefully chosen from a large pool of applicants. We’ll also bring a few of those founders back for a separate audience Q&A. Meet tomorrow’s big names in robotics today!
Big companies do robots too. No one knows that better than Amazon’s top roboticist, Tye Brady, who already presides over 100,000 warehouse robots. The editors are eager to hear what’s next in Amazon’s ambitious automation plans. Toyota’s robotics focus is mobility, and Toyota Research Institute’s TRI-AD CEO James Kuffner and TRI VP of Robotics Max Bajracharya will discuss projects they plan to roll out at the Tokyo Olympics. And if that’s not enough, Maxar Technologies’ Lucy Condakchian will show off Maxar’s robotic arm that will travel to Mars aboard the fifth Mars Rover mission later this year.
Robotics VCs are chill (once you get to know them). We will have three check writers onstage for the big talk about where they see the best investments emerging — Eric Migicovsky (Y Combinator), Kelly Chen (DCVC) and Dror Berman (Innovation Endeavors) — plus two separate audience Q&A sessions, one with notable robotics / AI VCs Rob Coneybeer (Shasta) and Aaron Jacobson (NEA) and a second with corporate VCs Quinn Li (Qualcomm) and Kass Dawson (SoftBank Robotics).
Network, recruit, repeat. Last year there were 1,500 attendees at this show, and they were the cream of the robotics world — founders, investors, technologists, executives and engineering students. Expect nothing less this year. TechCrunch’s CrunchMatch mobile app makes meeting folks super easy, plus the event is in UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall — a sunny happy place that naturally spins up great conversations. Don’t miss out.