OTTO Motors joins Walter Isaacs on Stage at SXSW 2018

On March 10th, 2018, OTTO Motors CEO and co-founder, Matthew Rendall, will join Walter Isaacson on stage as part of a special taping for the podcast Trailblazers. This will mark the second year in a row for Rendall at SXSW, where in 2017 he was a featured speaker.

During this year’s live recording of Trailblazers, Rendall will join a panel of robotics experts, each handpicked for their unique vantage point on the topic. Included will be a spokesperson about consumer robotics applications, the academic position, and the political views. Rendall has been invited to speak to robots at work, specifically about how the namesake autonomous mobile robots from OTTO Motors is being used by businesses today.

Trailblazers: The podcast about disruption

Trailblazers is a podcast on digital disruption and innovators using tech to enable human progress. Walter Isaacson, former CNN chairman and CEO, is the host who guides listeners through the narratives and nuances of the subjects covered on Trailblazers. Isaacson, the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller "The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution" is also the president of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies organization.

The special SXSW Trailblazers discussion will cover the history of robotics, from Leonardo da Vinci’s “mechanical man” and early mechanical robots designed to mimic basic human movements to the present state of the industry where robots are gaining citizenship… and autonomy, and onto the future where we’ll speculate on how humans will live and work beside robots. From transforming the workplace to transforming our homes, this event will feature the excitement, wonder, and endless possibilities of the era of man and machine.

SXSW: The festival about disruption

In 2017, Rendall presented a talk entitled “Robots vs. Jobs: Technological Displacement is Here”. The talk answered the age-old question: will robots steal our jobs? Rendall’s answer was, and still is, of course they will.

“The robots are coming. After the Great Recession, there was a fundamental change in people’s interest in automation. People started feeling the pain of high-cost labor and there’s an appetite for automation that we haven’t seen before.” Matt Rendall

Technological displacement is an evolution that replaces mundane jobs to improve quality of life and the economy. Robots will replace roles to create new opportunities for a higher quality of life for humans, improve productivity in the workplace, and drive a stronger economy. As the automobile replaced the horse and buggy, so too will robots engender a new industry. 

Catch up on more of Matt’s talk from 2017 with coverage from The Verge.

OTTO Motors: The autonomous mobile robot disrupting the future at work

OTTO Motors

At SXSW 2018, Rendall and OTTO Motors want to extend the conversation began last year. We know now that robots will take some of the jobs out there, so now what? How can we better understand the technology behind the bots who are appearing more frequently in our workplaces? How can robots actually help us work better? How do autonomous mobile robots begin to answer many of the current challenges facing organizations today?

“We built OTTO from day one to do a job that needed attention – to move materials better in factories, warehouses, and distribution centres,” said Rendall. “Our intention then, and continues to be, to build solutions that solve real-world problems facing businesses today. It just so happens that we are doing so with some of the most advanced technology in the world. That’s the message we deliver – technology isn’t only for solving complex processes. Robotics can be used to solve those every day challenges that can hinder significant progress. North American businesses are facing incredible competition and the future of work demands a collaboration between technology and humans.”

Be sure to tune in to Matt’s appearance at SXSW on March 10th, 2018 to hear the full discussion live or follow us on Twitter to learn when the finished podcast will be available.

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