Actuator

Warehouse Wars

Welp. Three straight weeks of work travel amid a seemingly endless pandemic finally caught up with me. Forgive me, as I’m writing this under the influence of green tea and antivirals, so thank you i

A quick trip to MARS

Greetings from Las Vegas, where it’s 105 degrees outside, but it mostly doesn’t matter because you can’t figure out how to get outside. I’m here this week for my first-ever re:Mars. It’s wil

Funding the robot revolution

Greetings from Berkeley, California, where we’ve just wrapped up our first-ever Climate-focused event. It was slightly surreal being back on stage at Zellerbach Hall, given the last time I stepped f

Workforce quit

Yesterday, we officially announced one more big name for TC Sessions: Robotics. I’ll be speaking with Marty Walsh, the U.S. secretary of labor, at the July 21 event. It’s a bit of a curveball duri

Robot, chicken

If you’ve visited our site at all in recent months, you’re probably aware that we’ve got a couple of big events coming up. We’ll be in Berkeley in a couple of weeks for our first climate event

Lab, crab and robotic rehab

I was in Berkeley a couple of months back, helping TechCrunch get its proverbial ducks in a row before our first big climate event (coming in a few weeks, folks). Professor Ken Goldberg, who’s helpe

The lowdown on the slowdown

Kicking things off this week with some data culled by the folks over at Crunchbase that’s very much in line with what we’ve been saying on Actuator all along. The past couple of years have been ge

Getting high on HRI

I know I keep teasing how excited I am about July’s big robotics event, but it’s precisely because of panels like the one we announced earlier this week. We’ve got Rodney Brooks and Clara Vu tea

Knit picking

Going out on a limb here and guessing you don’t need me to tell you why we wanted to chat with Amazon at our upcoming robotics event. Well before we were discussing how the pandemic has radically tr

Optimus Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time?

So, yeah, kicking off another installment of the newsletter by talking a bit about our upcoming robotics event. Honestly, this panel is a special one, though. It’s one I’d been thinking about befo

Any port in a storm

We’ve got a big event coming up on July 22nd. That means, among other things, that we’ve been hard at work on programming for a few months now. Honestly, the most difficult part of the process for

Series sea

Nursing is a tough job even in non-pandemic years (remember those?). Stress, burnout, exhaustion are all words one associates with the gig. I’ve seen a number of surveys conducted over the past year

Dough, drones, bananas and berries

I last spoke with Bill Peduto over the summer. It was an exit interview of sorts, closing out eight years serving as Pittsburgh’s mayor. This week, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) announced that th

Hiveminded

Earlier this week, a video surfaced of a robot dog walking down the streets of Shanghai with a bullhorn strapped on its back. There are those who will, no doubt, view it as a kind of apocalyptic visio

Such great heights

The old Gmail inbox is overflowing with agtech pitches, and frankly I only have myself to blame after bringing it up the last two newsletters (damn, just did it again, didn’t?). As for where this wh

To Servi man

A nice secondary effect of writing this newsletter is getting an influx of responses when I write on a specific topic. Last week it was agtech. I expressed a bit of disappointment in the category. So

As the worm turns

Here’s something for you to mull over this fine Thursday morning: Do agtech robotics need a reset? Granted, we’re dealing with a small sample size here, but a string of news items over the past ye

Putting the autonomous cart before the robotic horse

I’m writing this fresh off hosting TechCrunch Live this week with Jonathan Hurst of Agility Robotics and Bruce Leak of Playground Global. I’ll be posting more about the session later this week, bu

More automatons about buildings and food

As I noted last year, we’re ramping up to return to Boston this July for our TC Sessions Robotics event. Our March 2020 event on the Berkeley campus was the last major in-person TechCrunch show befo

Vertical integration

No South by Southwest for me this year. No drinking weird promotional energy drinks while watching bands play front yards at 9 AM or traveling out of my way to see the Daniel Johnston mural on the sid
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