September 27, 2016      

“We are not true to our own tradition unless we seek what is new.”
-Peter Thiel

RoboBusiness in the Valley

After an all-day flight from Boston to San Jose by way of LAX, I finally got my wrinkled self into Mineta Airport at dusk. Off in the distance the hills glowed orange, but not from a gorgeous sunset, which there was, but from fires burning out of control.

Welcome to Silicon Valley.

It’s a place without its name on a map yet it has its own international airport. Go figure. That’s the measure of influence that this place has on things. Even the airlines give it big-time recognition way out of proportion to its size: there’s a whopping number on nonstops out of here to far-flung places like Beijing, Shanghai, Frankfurt, and London; all just about half way around the world, and all nonstop!

It’s an unusual place with unusual inhabitants-all young or mostly so-who possess a special knack for showing the world how to go digital…and how to make gazillions of dollars in the process.

In fact, all the airlines flying from far-flung places to get here use autonomous avionic technology developed in this famous place, with its name not on any map.

As Tom Wolfe remarked in the 1980s about the folks who inhabit Silicon Valley: “They’re young people in jeans and T-shirts who were casual, spontaneous, impulsive, emotional, sensual, undisciplined, and obnoxiously proud of it.”

Seems not much has changed here in over three decades.

Actually, the electronic lineage of Silicon Valley goes back even further, at least to Lee De Forest and his Audion tubes from 1909.

So, in addition to lots of impulsive young people, lots of digital goings-on, and limitless amounts of money, there’s a bit of magic in the air as well and it seems to rub off on most anything that takes place here.

So, it’s with a bit of excitement and expectation for magic that RoboBusiness has pitched the tents of its travelling show here for the second year in a row, and will so again in 2017.

RoboBusiness 2016: Let the magic begin!

If you are here with us, welcome to two days of intelligent forays into what robotics is all about here in 2016, and where it is headed. The near future-2017 to 2020-is stacking up to be the four greatest years yet for robotics. Lots of the whys of that four-year ascent will be tumbling down from speakers at center stage in the main ballroom, from the podium in the Expo Center, and from the dozens of conference rooms in the San Jose Convention Center.

If you’ve been under a rock lately or traveling in North Korea and have yet to get the news that we were coming-but live in the environs of Silicon Valley- it’s not too late to join us, even if it’s only for an Expo Pass for $75. Cheap! An exhibition space jammed with the hottest tech in robotics, all right here waiting to chat up their technology with you.

If you’re not with us, I wish you were here.

You can still tap into the goings-on by clicking daily (September 28-29) right here at Robotics Business Review each day. Welcome to our pages.

Seeking the “new”

Peter Thiel, one of the princelings of Silicon Valley (started PayPal; was one of the first investors in Facebook; you get my drift here) gave an awesome commencement speech (most times these things are sleepers) this spring in which he exhorted the new graduates always to seek out the “new”. As he artfully put it: “We are not true to our own tradition unless we seek what is new.”

Here in Silicon Valley everyone seems to eat the “new” for breakfast, then, with a full stomach, go out and make it happen.

RoboBusiness 2016 is all of that…and more: the newest of the “new” is here aplenty, but what is most exciting is the incredible nearness of the future of robotics that’s just rolling into view.

Both the new and a gaze toward the future will be on display here for the next two days.

Here, check out the conference schedule to get an eyeful: Conference Schedule.

If you do drop in, come by for a chat. I’ll be in the Expo Center drinking it all in or lounging in one of the many conferences learning about the “new”….what’s next, and why.

Tom Green
Editor in chief
Robotics Business Review