There are actually a lot more than five great reasons, but these five should be enough to make just about anyone eager to join TechCrunch’s robotics and AI show April 18 at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall.
1. Fireside & Panel Discussions TechCrunch’s editors will have a busy day with more than 20 riveting sessions — including Marc Raibert and the latest SpotMini; AI and synthetic media experts Hany Farid and Alexei Efros; autonomous-vehicle expert Anthony Levandowski; Kiyonori Inaba, chief at Japan’s robotics giant FANUC; and Affectiva’s Rana el Kaliouby and UC Berkeley’s Anca Dragan on human-robotics interaction. Check out the complete agenda here.
2. Q&A Sessions with Founders & Investors Who doesn’t have an AI or robotics startup in mind? The Main Stage programming includes panels with prominent VCs and founders in the robotics and AI domains, and for the first time the audience will get a crack at asking their own questions in a separate session devoted to Q&A. Come prepared with questions for Playground Global’s Peter Barrett and FoundersX’s Helen Liang on the investor side and in the founder session Daniela Braga (DefinedCrowd), Daryn Nakhuda (MightyAI) and Melonee Wise (Fetch Robotics).
3. Robotics & Y Combinator Smartwatch pioneer and entrepreneur Eric Migicovsky, who now leads Y Combinator’s robotics category, will conduct a workshop on how to get started in robotics, as well as tips for getting into Y Combinator.
4. Robots! Drones! Yes, there will be lots of hardware that rolls, walks, flies, thinks and even uses airborne AI to plant seeds to rejuvenate forests wiped out by fire (Dragonseed). There will be robots that help physically handicapped children get around (Trexo), robots that mow lawns (iRobot’s Terra), robots that rule warehouses (Canvas), robots that comfort the lonely (Paro) and mystery robots under wraps (until the show) from intriguingly named companies percolating at UC Berkeley, like KiwiBot and Squishy Robotics. And, of course, Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini.
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5. Networking with CrunchMatch Attendees will have ample time during lunch, breaks and the closing reception to meet the rich mix of engineering students, entrepreneurs, technologists and investors that turn out. To make networking more science and less art, there is also CrunchMatch, our proven app-based service to help attendees find contacts who line up with their interests.