TC Sessions: Robotics & AI 2019

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Event program:

8:00 am - 4:00 pm MAIN STAGE

Registration is open to attendees - Lower Sproul Plaza

Please bring a government-issued photo ID and your ticket.

9:15 am - 9:20 am MAIN STAGE

Welcome and Introduction by Matthew Panzarino (TechCrunch) and Randy Katz (UC Berkeley) - Zellerbach Hall

9:20 am - 9:45 am MAIN STAGE

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

Many have tried, but few have succeeded in launching a successful robotics company. A trio of experts, will discuss the successes and pitfalls of entering the world of robotic startups.

9:45 am - 10:00 am MAIN STAGE

DEMO: NVIDIA’s VP of Engineering Claire Delaunay will showcase the company’s push to democratize robotics development. She will be joined by some of the company’s own robotic creations, including Kaya and Carter. - Zellerbach Hall

10:00 am - 10:55 am WORKSHOP

SPONSORED WORKSHOP: IOT and Digital Transformation with Dr. Jason Tsai (FANUC) - Pauley Ballroom East (2nd Fl. MLK Jr. Student Union)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming manufacturing. By 2020, it is estimated that IoT will connect over 50 billion smart devices and generate over $1 trillion in IoT business. In this workshop, we will discuss how to capitalize on this rapidly-changing global marketplace and share the experiences of FANUC’s customers who, by investing only $1 per day per robot, have saved >$100 million since 2015.

10:00 am - 10:25 am MAIN STAGE

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

Robots and humans are working and living together more than ever, and that means we have to watch out for one another - literally.

10:25 am - 10:50 am MAIN STAGE

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

AI-based tools are proving capable of fabricating or modifying imagery and audio in ways that are nearly indistinguishable from reality. How can these systems and media be detected, and how can we trust anything when everything could be faked?

10:50 am - 11:15 am MAIN STAGE

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

Autonomous vehicles can't be as good as human drivers. They need to be better. Aurora co-founder and CPO Sterling Anderson and Uber ATG Chief scientist Raquel Urtasun dig into the self-driving stack and how AI is used to help vehicles understand and predict what's happening in the world around them and make the right decisions.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm WORKSHOP

SPONSORED WORKSHOP: Transforming Customer Experience with AI with James Conrad (Worthix) - Pauley Ballroom East (2nd Fl. MLK Jr. Student Union)

Learning how Worthix built an AI powered feedback tool to fuel a customer led experience measurement system that is transforming how companies measure and manage their customer experience. Workshop moderator: James Conrad, CCO of Worthix North America

11:15 am - 11:35 am MAIN STAGE

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

Two centuries after the Industrial Revolution, robotics and deep learning are creating another paradigm shift in manufacturing. As more parts of production become automated, what will human workers gain and what will they lose?

11:35 am - 11:45 am MAIN STAGE

DEMO: Manmeet Maggu (Trexo Robotics) - Zellerbach Hall

Trexo Robotics is on a mission to help children with disabilities walk. See the latest wearable robot from these researchers at the University of Toronto.

11:45 am - 12:05 pm MAIN STAGE

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

AI and robots are being adopted by industry after industry, ushering in a new era in technology and services — but one that needs to be built as it grows. Berkeley's Ken Goldberg and Michael Jordan discuss the advances that got us here and what comes next.

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm WORKSHOP

WORKSHOP: How to Launch a Robotics Startup with Eric Migicovsky (Y Combinator) - Pauley Ballroom East (2nd Fl. MLK Jr. Student Union) - Zellerbach Hall

Y Combinator partner and founder of Pebble Eric Migicovsky will lead a session targeted at early stage robotics startups. What are investors like YC looking for in robotics co’s?

12:05 pm - 12:30 pm MAIN STAGE

AI Startups That Enable AI with Daniela Braga (DefindedCrowd), Ali Farhadi ( and Daryn Nakhuda (Mighty AI) - Zellerbach Hall

Building AI is a difficult task on its own, and building a startup around building it is even harder. Mighty AI, Xnor, and DefinedCrowd have shown that it's possible to create powerful AI tools as well as empower others — while running a real business as well.

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm MAIN STAGE


1:30 pm - 1:45 pm MAIN STAGE

DEMO: Skydeck (UC Berkeley) - Zellerbach Hall

See the latest creations from KiwiBot and Squishy Robotics

1:45 pm - 2:05 pm MAIN STAGE

Greener Pastures with Colin Angle (iRobot) - Zellerbach Hall

iRobot’s CEO will discuss the company’s work to make robots a household mainstay, from the Roomba to Terra, the new robotic lawnmower that was 12 years in the making.

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm Q&A

Q&A with Founders - Pauley Ballroom East (2nd Fl. MLK Jr. Student Union)

Your chance to ask questions to some of the greatest minds in technology with Daniela Braga (DefinedCrowd) ), Daryn Nakhuda (Mighty.AI), and Melonee Wise (Fetch Robotics).

2:05 pm - 2:25 pm MAIN STAGE

INNOVATION BREAK: XR1: Intelligent Service Robot with Cloud Brain and Smart Joint with Bill Huang (CloudMinds) - Zellerbach Hall

Powered by two ground breaking technologies: the Smart Compliant Actuator (SCA) as the joint and Human Augmented Robotics Intelligence with eXtreme Reality (HARIX) as the cloud brain, XR-1 is the first humanoid cloud robot with vision-guided precision grasping and manipulation capabilities. Sponsored by CloudMinds.

2:25 pm - 2:55 pm MAIN STAGE

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) - Zellerbach Hall

Leading investors will discuss the rising tide of venture capital funding in robotics and AI. The investors bring a combination of early-stage investing and corporate venture capital expertise, sharing a fondness for the wild world of robotics investing.

2:55 pm - 3:20 pm MAIN STAGE


3:00 pm - 3:45 pm Q&A

Q&A with Investors - Pauley Ballroom East (2nd Fl. MLK Jr. Student Union)

Your chance to ask questions to some of the greatest investors in robotics and AI with Peter Barrett (Playground Global), Helen Liang (FoundersX Ventures).

3:20 pm - 3:30 pm MAIN STAGE

DEMO: Gui Cavalcanti (Breeze Automation) - Zellerbach Hall

Leading roboticist Gui Cavalcanti, formerly of Megabots and Boston Dynamics, launches a new company, developing a soft robot for research and exploration.

3:30 pm - 3:55 pm MAIN STAGE

Putting Drones to Work with Grant Canary (Droneseed) and Arnaud Thiercelin (DJI) - Zellerbach Hall

Drones can be used for more than buzzing around the beach or recording weddings. In the last few years, we've seen drones that help stop poachers, deliver packages, inspect pipelines, and more. What's next?

3:55 pm - 4:15 pm MAIN STAGE

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

Boston Dynamics rocked the world with the robots like Big Dog, Cheetah and Atlas. As one of the company's latest creations SpotMini comes to market, CEO Marc Raibert will discuss the company's journey to productizing. 

4:15 pm - 4:35 pm MAIN STAGE

Fireside Chat with Anthony Levandowski (Pronto.AI) - Zellerbach Hall

Anthony Levandowski, the former star Google engineer and serial entrepreneur who was at the center of a trade secrets lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, is back with a new startup. TechCrunch sits down with Levandowski for a wide-ranging discussion on autonomous vehicles and his new startup

4:35 pm - 5:00 pm MAIN STAGE

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

Can robots help us build structures faster, smarter, and cheaper? Built Robotics makes a self-driving excavator. Doxel develops a robot powered solution that uses computer vision to help track and monitor progress on job sites. We'll talk with the founders of these two companies to learn how and when robots will become a part of the construction crew.

5:00 pm - 5:05 pm MAIN STAGE

Wrap Up - Zellerbach Hall

5:05 pm - 7:00 pm NETWORKING

Closing Reception - Pauley Ballroom (2nd Fl. MLK Jr. Student Union)

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