Watch: The Rise of Robotics in L.A. Can Machines Learn Human Emotions?

Rachel Uranga

Rachel Uranga is dot.LA's Managing Editor, News. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines.

Watch: The Rise of Robotics in L.A. Can Machines Learn Human Emotions?

The creator of the emotive robot called "Moxie" sees a new wave of machines that recognize human emotions and will change how business is done.

"We are seeing a future that's a lot better than the dystopian future of robots taking over the world," Paolo Pirjanian, founder and chief executive officer at Embodied, Inc. told dot.LA in a virtual strategy session on May 5.

The session, featuring Pirjanian and Calibrate Ventures co-founder Jason Schoettler, featured discussion of Los Angeles' role in making the next wave of emotionally intelligent robots, the ethical dilemmas of having machine companions and how social robots will change people's lives.

Watch below, and sign up for our newsletter to be notified of new strategy sessions.

Strategy Session: The Rise of

Dr. Paolo Pirjanian, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Embodied, Inc.

Dr. Paolo Pirjanian, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Embodied, Inc.

Dr. Paolo Pirjanian oversees technology, research and advanced development. Prior to joining iRobot, he served as chief executive officer of Evolution Robotics, Inc. for seven years. Before that, Pirjanian was the company's chief technology officer. Earlier in his career, he worked as a lecturer in the computer science department at the University of Southern California and as a researcher at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he received the Technical Leadership Award. Pirjanian is the former U.S. chairman of IEEE Robotics and received the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award in 2004. He holds a Ph.D. in robotics from Aalborg University.

Jason Schoettler, Partner at Calibrate Ventures

Jason Schoettler, Partner at Calibrate Ventures 

Jason Schoettler is a partner at Calibrate Ventures, a venture capital firm he co-founded in 2017.

He leads investments for Calibrate Ventures across its areas of focus: advanced automation, B2B SaaS, and managed marketplaces, including its investments in Alpha, Built Robotics, Embodied, FarmWise, Pared and XStream Trucking.

Jason has a proven track-record of identifying disruptive businesses and facilitating their development while generating outsized returns. Before forming Calibrate, he served as a Managing Director for over a decade at Shea Ventures, where he was responsible for numerous investments with notable exits, including: Dollar Shave Club (acquired by Unilever), Evolution Robotics (acquired by iRobot), Osmo (acquired by Byju's), SI-BONE (SIBN), and VictorOps (acquired by Splunk).

Prior to Shea Ventures, Jason served in an operating role at Oak Grove Systems, an enterprise software spin-out from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech, and as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.

Jason grew up in Central California and holds a BA from University of Notre Dame and MBA from Claremont Graduate University.

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5 Takeaways From This Year’s Augmented World Expo

Rachel Kisela
Rachel Kisela is a journalist and freelance video editor based in Los Angeles.
5 Takeaways From This Year’s Augmented World Expo
Photo by Mallika Singh

As the “metaverse” slowly transitions from a buzzword to reality, the Augmented World Expo—a gathering of augmented reality CEOs, engineers, creators, consumers and investors—showcased what the future of the industry might look like.

Since its first event in 2013, AWE has grown to over 250 augmented and virtual reality companies from around the globe. The 2022 conference, which ran from June 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in the Bay Area, was the biggest yet—and flush with new experimental formats and new technology.

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Tom Brady’s Religion of Sports Raises $50M, Plots Expansion Beyond Sports

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Tom Brady’s Religion of Sports Raises $50M, Plots Expansion Beyond Sports

Religion of Sports, the sports media production company co-founded by NFL legends Tom Brady and Michael Strahan, wants to expand its realm of worship beyond athletics with $50 million in new funding.

The Santa Monica-based company announced the Series B on Monday, as well as plans to expand its content beyond sports and into the realms of entertainment, business and music. Shamrock Capital led the funding round and was joined by Elysian Park Ventures (the venture arm of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ownership group) and Cerro Capital.

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SoCal SaaS is Back With Recurring Revenue Conference
Image courtesy Sutton Capital

Sutton Capital Partners’ annual Recurring Revenue Conference returns June 23rd, offering for the first time a hybrid model for in-person and virtual access to the subscription economy-focused event at the Hilton Los Angeles in Culver City.

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