The Social Implications of Robotics

Hosted by The Hive, we gather women leaders in AI to explore the future relationships between humans and machines.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 800, San Francisco, California 94111 United States


January 18, 2019 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)



This event is organized and co-hosted with The Hive

Surviving the Robot Apocalypse: Will R2-D2, C-3PO, Rosie the Maid, or RoboCop take our jobs – or worse – will Terminator rewrite our history? Or are we all just overreacting and about to experience a promising, transformative societal change? Join us in a spirited panel discussion with leading women in the industry on the social implications of robots in work and education.


6:00-6:30 – Registration & Networking
6:30-6:40 – Intro: swissnex SF (Emina Reissinger, Head of Partnerships)
6:40-6:45 – Intro: The Hive (T.M. Ravi, Managing Director)
6:45-7:45 – Panel Discussion
7:45-8:00 – Audience Q&A


Erin Rapacki, Owner & Product Consultant @ Machine Inbound
Erin is the founder/CEO of Machine Inbound and has worked with Industry 4.0 and robotics organizations for over 10 years. She has her MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts a BS in Industrial Engineering from Northeastern University. Erin enjoys bringing disruptive technologies to market as a product consultant and strategist.

Cynthia Yeung, COO @ CafeX
Cynthia Yeung is the COO of Cafe X, which delivers a superior customer experience that will set the standard for human-robot collaboration in hospitality, one cup of coffee at a time. Cynthia’s previous roles have taken her around the world: leading development of next-gen product solutions for SoftBank Robotics; running platform for CheckMate, a hospitality SaaS startup that was acquired in 2016; sailing on a ship through Asia to launch a social enterprise startup accelerator whose mentors included the Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Obama White House CTO Megan Smith; and leading product partnerships for Google and Google [x] initiatives.

Tessa Lau, CEO/Founder @ Dusty Robotics
Dr. Tessa Lau is an experienced entrepreneur with expertise in AI, machine learning, and robotics. She is currently Founder/CEO at Dusty Robotics, whose mission is to address construction industry labor shortages by introducing robotic automation on the jobsite. Prior to Dusty, she was CTO/co-founder at Savioke, where she orchestrated the deployment of 75+ delivery robots into hotels and high-rises. Previously, Dr. Lau was a Research Scientist at Willow Garage, where she developed simple interfaces for personal robots. She also spent 11 years at IBM Research working in business process automation and knowledge capture.

Joann Heberer, VP Product Development @ TauTona Group
Joann Heberer is the Vice President of Program Management at the medical products incubator, TauTona Group. In her 27 year career in Medical Devices, Joann has held roles in manufacturing, R&D, sales, regulatory, and clinical. She has degrees in engineering from Cal Poly SLO and Stanford. Joann is also a long-time volunteer for FIRST – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Joann brings the perspective of robotics as a change vehicle for students to develop their confidence and skills to influence their life choices.

Marta Bulaich, VP Marketing @ Ridge Ventures (MODERATOR)
Marta carries with her with more than two decades of working in the trenches with venture capital firms, incubators and startups focused on information technology, insurtech, and healthcare. Previously, Marta was the VP of Marketing and Chief Yoga Officer at Canaan Partners. Marta was a Network Associate at Draper Fisher Jurvetson where she managed marketing and collaborated on business development initiatives with the DFJ Global Network comprised of 16 funds and 400 portfolio companies.

swissnex San Francisco

swissnex San Francisco is part of a Swiss global network for international collaboration located at Pier 17. Our mission is to connect people and ideas from Switzerland and the West Coast of the USA, and to foster exchange in research, education, innovation, and the arts.

The Hive Think Tank

The Hive Think Tank is a community of AI and data innovators. The Think Tank is hosted by The Hive, an AI fund and co-creation studio. The Hive is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and our community consists of data scientists, entrepreneurs, corporate users and academicians.The Hive Think Tank hosts talks and panel discussions that are focused on four key areas: AI based Applications, Data Infrastructure, Data Science and Entrepreneurship that span enterprise, consumer and Internet of Things (IoT) segments. Visit The Hive on Medium, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.