The Robots Are Coming with Peter Barrett, Helen Boniske, Claire Delaunay and Cyril Ebersweiler | Summary and Q&A

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September 27, 2018
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TechCrunch
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The Robots Are Coming with Peter Barrett, Helen Boniske, Claire Delaunay and Cyril Ebersweiler

TL;DR

The robotics industry has seen rapid growth in recent years, with new startups receiving funding and large exits. There is a shift in the required background for founders, and the focus is now on applications rather than just technology. Collaboration and standardization are key for the industry to thrive, and while automation may cost jobs, it also creates new opportunities.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What kind of backgrounds do people need in the robotics space today?

The required backgrounds for founders in robotics have changed. While a robotics PhD was previously critical, the focus has shifted towards applications rather than technology. Technical knowledge is still important, but there is more flexibility in the profiles of founders who can build successful robotics companies.

Q: Are startups in the robotics industry coming more from the hardware or software side?

Robotics combines both hardware and software, and the line between the two is blurring. Startups often focus on assembling hardware and integrating software to solve specific problems. However, there is also a growing emphasis on software disciplines that were previously not closely correlated with robotics.

Q: Are there improvements for early-stage startups to bring their minimum viable products (MVPs) to market more quickly?

The goal for startups should be to devote most of their capital to new technology rather than reengineering existing robots. Platforms that offer more efficient solutions and allow startups to assemble components faster can help startups bring their MVPs to market more quickly.

Q: How do robots communicate and collaborate with each other?

Robots can collaborate and communicate with each other through network approaches. By enabling robots to exchange data and experiences, they can act in ways that surpass human capabilities. This collaboration can occur within a network of robots or with cities and other entities.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The robotics industry has experienced significant growth, with numerous startups being funded and achieving success.

  • The required background for founders in the robotics space is evolving, and a robotics PhD is no longer necessary for success. The focus is now on applications rather than purely on technology.

  • Collaboration and standardization are crucial for the industry's advancement. Open source software and standardization of sensors are seen as important developments.

  • Automation may lead to job loss in certain industries, but it also creates new opportunities for businesses and individuals.

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