2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

AI & Robotics: From the Labs to the Living Room

#sxsw #TheLabs

For decades, government has been the primary funder of robotics and AI initiatives – from NASA projects to DARPA challenges and autonomous driving research. But recently, large companies such as John Deere and Amazon have invested in robotics and AI as key business enablers. Now the technology born and perfected in the labs years ago, is paying-off for consumers in a very real way.
Never before has the foundational technology, proliferation of mobile devices and availability of inexpensive but capable components merged to create such opportunities for AI and robotics. Things like Siri, the Nest and Anki Drive are now letting consumers experience robotics and AI that was once locked in the labs.
With this shift, will government still lead funding in these fields? Will companies or VCs start to invest more heavily? Will private sector explore Mars before government? What industries will be disrupted by robotics? This panel of experts will discuss what the future looks like.



Dror Oren

Exec Dir, Ventures

SRI International

Dror Oren is an executive director in the SRI Ventures team at SRI International. In this role, Oren focuses on commercialization of technologies in information and computer sciences. He helps lead venture efforts from raw business concepts, through value proposition and business plan development, to the creation of a stand-alone spin-off company.

Oren has more than a decade of experience in software development and management, sales, marketing, and product management. Prior to joining SRI, he worked at VMware's product marketing group helping bring cloud computing to market.

Previously, he was a product manager at NICE Systems Ltd., where he led a homeland security software product line. In that position, he oversaw marketing, business development and sales activities with customers and partners in more than 20 countries.

Earlier, Oren worked as the project manager and engineering team leader at Genesis System House Ltd., where he managed development teams and engineering projects for large-scale projects.

Oren holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a double-major B.S. degree in computer science and biology from Tel Aviv University.


Hanns Tappeiner

Co-Founder & Pres


Hanns is co-founder and President of Anki, an artificial intelligence and robotics company. Anki DRIVE, Anki's first product was named as one of the Top 25 Best Inventions of 2013 by TIME Magazine. Hanns is passionate about creating products he always wanted but didn’t exist. He has worked extensively at refining the connections between operator and robot, developing deeper senses of feel and control. Hanns has designed robotics across the globe for companies in Germany, Italy, Austria and the US. Hanns studied at the University of Technology in Vienna before earning an M.S. in Robotics from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

Liz Gannes

Sr Editor


Tony Stentz

Research Professor & Dir

Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute

Tony Stentz is a Research Professor at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute and Director of the National Robotics Engineering Center which focuses on transferring maturing technologies from Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute to government and commercial entities. His research expertise includes unmanned ground vehicles, unmanned air vehicles, dynamic planning, multi-vehicle planning and coordination, perception for mobile vehicles, robot architecture, and artificial intelligence in the context of field-worthy systems.

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