New Business Models and User Experiences in Robotics: Highlights from Automate LIVE in Detroit, MI

Are you ready for a ton of insights from FOUR industry leaders? On this episode of Manufacturing Happy Hour, we’re whetting your Automate appetite again, sharing super-interesting highlights from Automate 2022, ahead of the 2023 event later this month. 

We are joined by Misa Ilkhechi, founder and VP of Product and Partnerships at Formic, Kel Guerin, co-founder and CIO at Ready Robotics, Etienne Lacroix, founder and CEO at Vention and Joe Campbell, Senior Manager of Strategic Marketing & Applications Development at Universal Robots. 

Hear insights, tips and experiences on topics such as robotics-as-a-service, predictions for the future, AI, and more.  


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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. AI can be the backbone of how robotics is moving, thinking and adapting to new processes. 
  2. Manufacturers should learn how to better brand their organizations beyond their products. 
  3. Robots-as-a-service provides scalability and ease of automation. 

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “Manufacturing is getting consumerized. More companies need to learn how to better brand yourself in the industry beyond just the specific product you’re providing.” – Etienne Lacroix, CEO and founder of Vention 
  • “When you go out into the real world, you can listen to people’s problems and understand.” – Kel Guerin, co-founder and CIO at Ready Robotics 
  • “AI and machine learning is really accelerating and helping eliminate the need for point-to-point programming.” – Misa Ilkhechi, founder and VP of Product and Partnerships at Formic

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

Do you want to connect with other leaders that are moving the needle in manufacturing everyday? Then make sure to join us in the Manufacturing Happy Hour Industry Community on LinkedIn. 

A3 is the leading global automation trade association of the robotics, machine vision, motion control, and AI industries. Their events are some of the best places to get connected in the industry. Make sure to check out their marquee event Automate taking place in Detroit, MI May 22-25, 2023. Head to to register for free today. 

TRACTIAN is the all-in-one industrial workspace designed to make maintenance more streamlined, reliable and profitable. TRACTIAN’s solution integrates condition monitoring IoT sensors and an asset management software to create the most complete maintenance ecosystem on the market. Hear our full interview with their Founder Igor Marinelli. 

Interested in generating leads through videos, podcasts, or other digital content? Then make sure to check out our 6 Strategies for Growing Your Manufacturing Business Using Social Media. 

What We Discuss in these Interviews

  • A history on robotics-as-a-service 
  • Misa Ilkhechi’s journey as a startup co-founder 
  • What’s exciting about the industry 
  • Transitions in user experiences 
  • What’s changed and what hasn’t in robotics 
  • Why we need to simplify robotics 
  • How VCs are getting involved in startups 
  • How AI can be the backbone of robotics 
  • Top insights from industry leaders 

Recommended Resources

  • Formic, removing the risk, expense and headache of automating your own with flexible, no CapEx contracts. They grow your business by making it easy to afford and deploy robotic automation. 
  • Ready Robotics, making your robots better by eliminating risks and challenges of deploying automation.  
  • Vention, making industrial automation better, easier and more accessible for all manufacturers by reengineering the process of designing, simulating, procuring and commissioning industrial equipment. 
  • Universal Robots, dedicated to making the world a better place, one cobot at a time. They are an innovative robotics company, helping the world work with robots, not like robots. 

Connect with our Guests

Etienne Lacroix | Joe Campbell | Kel Guerin | Misa Ilkhechi