7th Super Silicon Valley Robot Block Party

April 6th was a super 7th Silicon Valley Robot Block Party and the first to be hosted at Jabil Blue Sky Innovation Center in San Jose. The free event was ‘sold out’, with more than 2000 RSVPs and 40 companies in attendance, and was one of a record breaking 258 events celebrating National Robotics Week. National Robotics Week is an opportunity to showcase the technologies that 21st century prosperity will depend on.

The robotics ranged from research to industrial to educational and one of the stars of the show was Pepper, the humanoid robot from SoftBank Robotics. Pepper was delighted to be making a new home in the US and the new SoftBank Robotics studio in Silicon Valley is interested in partnering with robot app developers. 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.

Of course there were 40 other robotics companies on display! We had some 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 and 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 was super interesting new spines for robots from the Berkekley Emergent Space Tensegrities Project, which are not only strong science but were a great hit with the kids. The US Patent & Trade Office had an info booth and Silicon Segway rides were very popular!

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

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


Did you see us in the news? The video at the top went out on USA Today AND Huffington Post, and there was also coverage on ABC7, and on sciencedaily.

The only BAD thing about the Block Party is that we made Buddy cry tears of robot sadness at 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 Silicon Valley Robot Block Party.

And big thanks to our sponsors: