Arun Venkatadri
May 9, 2023
4 minutes

Five Bullet Points From Cascadia Connect RAAI

We thought we’d give you 5 bullets on our takeaways from Cascadia Connect RAAI

Five Bullet Points From Cascadia Connect RAAI

(Photo Credit, Pittsburgh Robotics Network)

We had the pleasure of attending Cascadia Connect RAAI conference in Pittsburgh. RAAI is an event that focuses on the robotics industry holistically, as opposed to specific technological advancements. 

We thought we’d give you 5 bullets on our takeaways from Cascadia Connect RAAI:

  • Investors really want to see robotics businesses that are healthy from a business standpoint – in particular, strong unit economics, a clear growth trajectory, and the ability to deliver on customer solutions. Investing in tech for the sake of tech is over. We saw this theme repeated over and over again in almost every investor panel. 
  • Self-driving trucks are progressing at a steady rate. Aurora’s Senior VP of Engineering, Yanbing Li, gave the keynote speech and walked us through an Aurora “Investor Day” deck, which highlighted their progress. Most notably, the Aurora self-driving system is now feature complete. 
  • Erik Nieves of Plus One robotics walked us through what it takes to build a robotics business in 2023. Great story, not just from his eureka moment that moving packages addresses a big need in the world, but also how he “accidentally ended up in robotics” by programming his first robot at a summer job in a cement mixing factory.  Plus One Robotics recently raised a Series C, bucking today’s macroeconomic doom and gloom.  
  • Manufacturing presents a really large opportunity for robotics. Currently it only represents 12% of GDP; however, advances could increase domestic manufacturing and grow this number significantly 
  • Robotics is still early in realizing its potential impact on society. While robotics has yet to change consumers’ lives, we will see more and more changes in non-consumer

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