Last night we hosted our fearless leader and co-founder, Dr. Thuc Vu, in our community AMA. Thank you to all of the Kambrians who came out to ask great, thought-provoking questions. Below is a summary of our conversation. For clarity, the original text has been lightly edited for grammar and spelling.
If you could not catch the AMA live, please post your question in our main Telegram channel. The team will get back to you quickly.
Why is open innovation important for entrepreneurs?
Open innovation important for entrepreneurs because they help save a huge cost of development. They can focus on unlocking the market potential instead.
How does Kambria support women entrepreneurs?
We are trying to be inclusive as much as possible. And, of course, we are very supportive of women entrepreneurs. In fact, our team has a huge ratio of women on the executive team compared to other tech companies. We are working with Phu, the founder of Women in Blockchain, to support her initiatives and launch similar projects in Vietnam.
How is micro-licensing different from the current IP ownership system we have today?
Micro-licensing is a huge step up from the current IP system. Let’s say we have technology from several companies and universities that can be pooled together to make the best robots in the world. Now instead of having to negotiate with each of the entities, which is very time consuming and unclear, an entrepreneur or company can just deal directly with Kambria to be able to license the robots for their use cases. This will help make things a lot more streamlined and easy for universities as well.
Do you think collaboration between strangers to work on a project is practical and not idealistic? What is the value of collaboration?
It is not easy for sure, which is why blockchain and decentralized protocols we are developing will play a huge role in facilitating this process. And we have seen how much collaboration can help create amazing impact, something equivalent to an Android or Linux platform but including advanced technologies that include hardware, robotics, etc.
How does revenue sharing from a finished project work on Kambria?
That’s part of our decentralized attribution protocols in which we have a very interesting way of fairly evaluating the contributions of developers and then we will split the revenue proportionally to these contributions.
What is your vision for Kambria today? What would Kambria look like in 2030?
My vision for Kambria is to build a decentralized portfolio of the most advanced technology and to help bring huge value to our societies, generating $Trillions in revenue/profit and share that with the community.
Dr. Thuc Vu, first of all, thank you for taking the time out of your day to come and answer our questions. Can you tell us what your experiences with 5Desire, Katango, and the Google Android team were like, what your roles were, and how they shaped you into the entrepreneur that you are today?
I was the cofounder of Katango, which was then acquired by Google, and then later on joined the Google Android team. I have been through various roles and different types of environments, but I have to say I still like startup environment the most. Much faster pace, with a bigger impact from each individual. I have learned a ton from the experience though. Would take too long to list them here. Lots of lessons on the entrepreneurship journey but the main ones are that in order for a startup to have lasting impact and success, we need to have determination and grit, to believe in our visions, and we need to deliver value to society, make the world a better place.
I see you have your Doctorate from Stanford in Computer Science, machine learning and AI. That is very impressive, so I assume with your background, the transition into robotics was fairly seamless?
Actually, not at all. The transition from software, AI to robotics was quite painful. And I learned so much along the way. People said hardware is hard, but robotics is even harder. However, the lessons learned allowed us to come up with the concept of Kambria. We have two key observations:
1. There is very little collaboration in this space, and robotics development requires a lot of different expertise.
2. There are many big traditional companies who want to develop robotics technology but they failed or don’t even know where to start.
So Kambria is how we build a collaborative platform to help address these 2 pain points.
Hi Dr. Thuc Vu. Nice to see you again. I just want to know about different robotic products under development which will be real-world use cases in the coming year.
We have a couple of products we are working on. One is a low-cost, high-performance robotics arm that can manipulate objects in the real world. This has opened up a lot of doors for us (literally and figuratively 😂). The real world use cases will include cooking robots or cleaning robots. Another feature/functionality we are working on is autonomous navigation which will enable food delivery robots or hotel room service robots.
When you will launch these products? They are awesome.
Check out this demo video: https://youtu.be/TgxulACj-BA
in which our CTO, Jared, is controlling the two arms through a VR headset. We are making good progress, so hopefully soon 🙂
As a serial entrepreneur both in the traditional startup world and now the blockchain world, what do you see as the unique challenges of being an entrepreneur in the emerging blockchain space?
Entrepreneurship is challenging anywhere, but it is even more so in the blockchain space. First of all, there is uncertainty in regulations. This could throw a lot of planning and strategizing of the startups into disarray. Second is mass adoption. I don’t think there is any blockchain company that has quite achieved mass adoption yet. And third is educating the consumer. Blockchain is not a straightforward, easy to understand technology. So it will take a while for people to understand and accept it.
How does Kambria plan to grow the developer community?
We are planning to grow the developer community through the following initiatives:
1. Building innovation labs with top universities worldwide
2. Educational programs to train more engineering and research talents
3. Bringing other partners who are open source projects
4. Organizing hackathons worldwide with social missions
Very well thought out plan for platform growth and adoption!
What do you think of the latest announcement from MIT where they are allocating $1B for AI development?https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/technology/mit-college-artificial-intelligence.html
Yeah, this is a great news. I truly believe we are still under-investing into AI and robotics. Initiatives like this will unlock a lot more potential for AI and robotics to bring values to our world.
You intend to change the tides in the robotics innovation game by incentivizing sharing innovations and penalizing defectors, which is great, but how do we get the big players to take part in Kambria’s version of the game?
By the fear of missing out 🙂 We are starting with large corporations who have vast resources and already have specific needs and use cases for robotics technology but don’t know where to start. With that we can develop a lot of advanced technology already. Once other big robotics players see that there is a fast-growing community of talent and technology that they are not a part of, they will feel the pressure to join the movement.
What is the role of Prof. Manuela Veloso in your project?
Prof Veloso was our research advisor while Jared and I were in the undergrad program at Carnegie Mellon. Her lab has developed a really cool autonomous navigation tech for robots. So she is working with us to port this technology over to Kambria to make it available for any mobile robots. She also recently just joined JP Morgan as their Head of AI. There are a lot of exciting projects over there and we are exploring how to collaborate, to bring some of those projects over to Kambria to help speed up the development time and reduce the cost.
[Moderator] Kris, you can also read more about Prof. Veloso in this article: https://learn.sparkcognition.com/sparkcognition-originals/11-thought-leaders-in-artificial-intelligence-2
There have been significant arguments against the longevity of the Ethereum blockchain. I personally believe in Vitalik’s vision, but I will not discount the possibility that there are other blockchains out there that might be able to scale better. Will Kambria be willing to relocate to another public blockchain if ETH becomes too cumbersome/expensive to use?
Yeah, absolutely. Kambria is chain-agnostic. And we have been developing our platform with interoperability in mind. It won’t be challenging for us to relocate. Moreover, we have put down some thoughts on how to build some public chains ourselves as well. We’ll see how things go.
I heard you are also planning in the healthcare industry.
The healthcare industry is one of the areas where I strongly believe AI and robotics will make a huge impact. We are developing certain technology and use cases in this space, starting with telemedicine. We are also in discussion with a couple of AI partners who have really interesting diagnostic technology to open some of those components on Kambria.
[Moderator] @Jayrm, you can also read more about Kambria’s different verticals, including healthcare, in this article: https://medium.com/kambria-network/series-2-kambrias-key-verticals-cacad170c460
Great to know that there’s such an expert like Prof Veloso working with the Kambria team!
And she is an amazing research mentor as well. We are blessed to have her working with us.
Any other Token holder perks planned aside from the Roboticist minimum tiers outlined in the white paper? Many of us crypto veterans see value beyond the standard use case, such as nodes or other models that otherwise increase scarcity and decrease sell pressure.
Yes, we are developing several other perks for token holders. For example, token holders can stake their tokens behind a project to signal their interest in the project and we will give them early access to the technology as well as a discount when they want to buy the product. We are also experimenting with some other advanced token models where one can buy a robot with a built-in wallet with tokens and these tokens can be used to pay for services provided by other users or robots.
Can you tell us your favorite testimonial of how a robot has helped or impacted someone in a positive way? For example, maybe an OhmniLabs robot?
Yeah absolutely. Many users have said that our robots actually changed their life for the better. We had several users saying “The robot is a godsend.” In fact, we did save one life through our Ohmni robot.
Other than AI & Robotics, what are the other verticals that Kambria is excited about?
I am very excited about Open Drones, and Urban Aerial Mobility (flying cars), and Autonomous Intelligent Assistant (your robotics or AI butlers.)
In fact, we are organizing an upcoming hackathon at Stanford at the end of October to develop data analytics, which is one of the key components to develop a smart business assistant. The hackathon will be in partnership with Vingroup to help them navigate their vast amount of data from several of their business verticals. Vingroup is the largest conglomerate in Vietnam with many business areas from real estate to retail to hospitals to car manufacturing. We are super excited about this partnership with them. Hope you guys can help spread the words of the hackathon.
[Moderator] You can find additional details for the hackathon at Stanford here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ideas-blockchain-hackathon-silicon-valley-tickets-49578195718
Your bio said that you are a social entrepreneur in Vietnam, involved in several community projects. Does the social entrepreneur experience have any impact on how you manage and grow Kambria?
Yeah, absolutely. This journey has really shaped me as an individual, my philosophy in life, and my passion as well. I always feel very fortunate to be able to be where I am today, of course with the help of many other people. And I want to pay it forward, building something that can create meaningful impact to the world, and bring value to other people.
Dr. Thuc Vu, thank you so much for answering all of my questions. I believe in your vision, and cannot wait to see what the best and brightest innovators in the space can do when they work together on the Kambria platform for the betterment of this world.
Yeah, absolutely. I am very excited about what we can come up together! And thanks for all the interesting and insightful questions.
Thank you, everyone, for your questions! Looking forward to the next AMA with you. We are also rolling out many exciting activities, such as a robotics tour of our production facility 😉 Please stay tuned for the details. -Thuc Vu
ABOUT Dr. Thuc Vu — Co-Founder & CEO
Dr. Thuc Vu is a serial entrepreneur, with multiple company acquisitions, the last one by Google. He has deep expertise in game theory, tournament design and multi-agent systems. He earned his PhD from Stanford and BS from Carnegie Mellon, both in computer science. Thuc Vu is a social entrepreneur in Vietnam, involved in several community projects.
Kambria is an open innovation blockchain project that enables and incentivizes collaboration in R&D, manufacturing, and commercialization of advanced technology. We are developing our own public chain with protocols uniquely designed to address the current waste and inefficiencies in today’s innovation model. Kambria will allow for many verticals, including Biotech, Space, and Autonomous Vehicles, to be developed and thrive in the ecosystem. We are focusing first on the AI and Robotics vertical with the backing of our well-established robotics company, OhmniLabs. Through existing partnerships with top universities and large international corporations, as well as access to talented developers, we aim to build an ecosystem that can bring the next wave of frontier technology to provide value to billions of people around the world.
Thank you for your time!
Thuc Vu & The Kambria Team
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