Celebrating robot makers and enthusiasts at the 7th Annual Silicon Valley Robot Block Party

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12 April 2016

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SVRBP-1-robot-block-party-silicon-valleyOn April 6th, Jabil Blue Sky Innovation Center hosted the 7th Annual Silicon Valley Robot Block Party. The free event was ‘sold out,’ with more than 2000 RSVPs and 40 companies in attendance. The event was part of National Robotics Week, showcasing the latest technologies, and was one of the events participating in the record-breaking 258 across the US!

The robotics ranged from research, industrial to educational, and one of the stars of the show was Pepper, the humanoid robot from SoftBank Robotics. Pepper was delighted to be moving house in the US, with the new SoftBank Robotics studio in Silicon Valley. Softbank Robotics are interested in partnering with robot app developers. At the event, two Peppers kept the crowd entranced.

The Silicon Valley Robot Block Party is now the largest and longest running celebration of robotics in the USA and is organized by the not-for-profit industry group Silicon Valley Robotics, an organization dedicated to supporting innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies.

“It’s about bringing together all of the roboticists in Silicon Valley and giving them an opportunity to show off their latest technologies,” said Jabil VP of Global Automation and Silicon Valley Robotics President John Dulchinos.

Did you see us in the news? The video by Associated Press went out on USA TodayHuffington Post, ABC7, and ScienceDaily.

Of course there were 40 other robotics companies on display! We had remote visitors attending via Revolve Robotics, including Bob Doyle of A3 Association for Advancing Automation (and the Robotics Industry Association). A3 and RIA sponsored. Plus, a visit from George Darakos of CMU in Pittsburgh talking about the National Robotics Manufacturing Initiative.

And there were also social robots for health care from Catalia Health and Moti.

There were the industrial robots from ABB, Jabil Automation Lab, Rethink Robotics, and Kawasaki Robotics.

There were sensor companies like SICKEandM Engineering, Silicon Sensing Systems and Scanse, robot arms and grippers like Sake Robotics, Pneubotics, the Programming Robots Study Group from Robot Garden and the Open Source Robot Arm Project.

Fetch Robotics showed off their delivery and pick robots, while Tempo Automation showed off their pick and place electronics robot. SUAS News kept us all up to date on drone industry issues and the upcoming SUSBEXPO event. Lastly, Dronesmith showed off their developer tools for the drone industry. 

GIGAmacro showed off their robot optics for research. Point 1 Seconds had a humanoid robot ‘Watson’ originally developed for the DARPA Robotics Challenge. MAXed-out are competing in the Lunar Sample Return Challenge. Homebrew Robotics Club and Ubiquity Robotics had a selection of entertaining and educational robots, and Intellisight demonstrated a robot assistant for the visually impaired.

There were super interesting new spines for robots from the Berkeley Emergent Space Tensegrities Project that are not only strong in science, but a hit with the kids. The US Patent & Trade Office had an info booth and Silicon Segway rides were very popular!

And some other robots for kids came from ArcBotics, CutThroatRobotics with Zozbot for gaming, Kamigami Robotics with their foldable insect inspired educational robots (use to be Dash Robotics). FutureLeague Engineering + Coding Programs were running workshops, as were ROBOTERRAstar kids academy and

What is a Robot Block Party without food prepared by robots? Sereneti Kitchen showed off their cooking robot and there were big crowds were at Bistrobot, who gave away free sandwiches all day. Each individual order and prepared right in front of your eyes by the Bistrobot. Carrot, hummus, and sesame seeds proved popular. The Bistrobot team have another robot for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Big thanks to A3, the Association for Advancing Automation for sponsoring the Bistrobot team.

The only BAD thing about the Block Party is that we made Buddy cry tears of robot sadness missing out on the event. Maybe next year!

And the die hard roboticists kept going. We finished the night off with a well-attended ‘Bots&Beer’ event at Hacker Dojo. Our last Bots&Beer at Comet Labs in SF had a great write up in the SF Chronicle.

Thank you all for making it a super 7th Annual Silicon Valley Robot Block Party!

And a big thank you to our sponsors: Jabil Blue Sky, Softbank Robotics, A3 Association for Advancing Automation, Comet Labs, E&M, SICK Sensor Intelligence.

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Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, founder of Women in Robotics and is a mentor, investor and advisor to startups, accelerators and think tanks, with a strong interest in commercializing socially positive robotics and AI.
Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, founder of Women in Robotics and is a mentor, investor and advisor to startups, accelerators and think tanks, with a strong interest in commercializing socially positive robotics and AI.

Silicon Valley Robotics the industry association supporting innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies.
Silicon Valley Robotics the industry association supporting innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies.

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