We’re extremely excited we can finally unveil the agenda for this year’s TC Sessions: Robotics happening 100% online on July 21. It’s a tremendous labor of love for our team, and something we’ve been thinking about since the last time we held the show, way back in early March 2020. It’s difficult to put into words how much the world has changed since then, and the world of robotics, AI and automation has fundamentally transformed along with it.
It wasn’t that long ago when every conversation about the space came with the same caveat: this will change the way we live five to 10 years from now. As the world shut down and suffered labor shortages, it became clear that suddenly that time is now.
During the pandemic, we’ve charted the massive growth across all sectors of robotics, and while VC money is slowing for nearly every startup category, robotics investments continue at a pace not seen before 2020. Frankly, there’s never been a better time to put on a robotics event, and fittingly, we can confidently say that we’ve never put on a robotics event as good as this.
We’ve got headliners like the U.S. secretary of labor, Marty Walsh; inventor Dean Kamen; and Amazon’s VP of Global Robotics, Joseph Quinlivan. MIT CSAIL director Daniela Rus will be in conversation with CMU’s head of robotics, Matthew Johnson-Roberson, as will robotics HRI experts Rod Brooks and Clara Vu. We’ll also be speaking with top VCs and the CEOs of Boston Dynamics, Sarcos, Locus Robotics, Fetch and more, along with demos from researchers and bleeding-edge startups like Agility.
Best of all, you can catch all of these sessions and join the robotics community online with speed networking, chats and one-on-one meetings by registering here for free.
There’s never been a better time to talk robotics, and we feel confident in saying there’s never been a better group of experts to discuss it with. You’ll find the full schedule for the July 21 event below. We hope you’re as excited as we are.
The Changing Face of Work
with Secretary Marty Walsh (U.S. Department of Labor)
Robotics are set to profoundly impact the future of how America works. Automation is an inevitability, but is the U.S. truly prepared for the coming impact? Labor secretary Marty Walsh will discuss what employers and regulators need to do to brace for these radical changes.
Funding the Future
with Kelly Chen (DCVC), Bruce Leak (Playground Global) and Helen H. Liang (Founders X Ventures)
As funding has dried up for many startups, robotics have weathered the storm quite well. The pandemic has fueled investments in the category as more companies look toward automated solutions, and the trend shows no sign of slowing anytime soon.
with Matthew Johnson-Roberson (Carnegie Mellon University) and Daniela Rus (CSAIL, MIT)
If you’re looking for the bleeding edge of robotics and AI research, you’ve come to the right place. MIT CSAIL head Daniela Rus and CMU’s new head of robotics, Matthew Johnson-Roberson, will join us to discuss how schools are helping redefine robotics.
The Fulfilling World of Warehouse Robotics
with Rick Faulk (Locus Robotics), Jessica Moran (Berkshire Grey) and Melonee Wise (Zebra Technologies)
Logistics and fulfillment may well be the hottest category in robotics at the moment. Locus Robotics, Zebra Technologies (Fetch) and Berkshire Grey are helping define the space. Their automation is working to improve delivery times, manage inventory, assist their human counterparts and stay competitive.
with Joseph Quinlivan (Amazon)
Amazon’s huge bet on robotics dates back to its 2012 acquisition of Kiva Systems. Over the past decade, it’s a gamble that has paid off immeasurably as the retailer has become the 800-pound gorilla in any conversation about warehouse automation. VP Joseph Quinlivan will discuss what the company is doing to maintain its edge.
TechCrunch Robotics Pitch-off
The industry’s brightest entrepreneurs will take the stage in front of a live audience and a panel of industry experts, pitching revolutionary technologies. Founders — apply here.
with Dean Kamen (FIRST)
From the Segway to iBot to AutoSyringe, Dean Kamen has made a name for himself as one of the biggest inventors of the past 50 years. In 1989, he decided to give back with the launch of FIRST, an organization that promotes STEM education. He’ll discuss his creations and the work he’s doing to inspire the next generation of inventors.
From Cage to Stage: Commercializing AI and Robotics
with Pieter Abbeel (UC Berkeley, Covariant), Joyce Sidopoulos (MassRobotics) and Milo Werner (The Engine)
What does it take to bring a robot or AI process from the lab to market? Learn from experience with The Engine general partner Milo Werner, academic-commercial crossover specialist Joyce Sidopoulos of MassRobotics and Pieter Abbeel, who splits his time between UC Berkeley and Covariant, the well-funded AI outfit he founded.
Shaping Robots, Environments and People for Harmony
with Rod Brooks (Robust.AI) and Clara Vu (Veo Robotics)
As robots and AI begin to pervade everyday life, we must take lessons from industry and academic research on how to coexist safely and productively. Rod Brooks and Clara Vu both bring years of expertise to the question and can speak to what’s needed in hardware, software and beyond to bring the lives of robots and humans closer together.
Putting Robots to Work
with Kiva Allgood (Sarcos) and Robert Playter (Boston Dynamics)
We’ve seen the demos and the viral videos, but moving from research to real world is its own complex journey. The CEOs of Boston Dynamics and Sarcos will discuss the process of bringing their robots to market, from pilot testing to scaling manufacturing.
We can’t wait to see you online at TC Sessions: Robotics with these visionaries along with the global robotics community on July 21! Register now to get your access to all of these sessions and so much more here!