207 – Pete Santora of SOFTWEAR Automation – Robots and Bananas

Autonomous sewn good worklines for home hoods, footwear and apparel…

Pete Santora, Chief Commercial Officer for SOFTWEAR Automation (an Atlanta-based machine vision and robotics startup), joins Pavan Bahl, Marc Raco and guest host Veronika Harbick (CEO, Co-founder & 3D Knitting Programmer for Thursday Finest) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Harbick also offers an announcement about her company. (Santora’s profile)

Genesis with DARPA, robots vs. jobs, Made in USA, and finding your wife in Whole Foods

Santora reveals the genesis of the company, being started by DARPA, and in accordance with the Berry Amendment, requiring the Department of Defense to give procurement preference to domestically produced, manufactured, or home-grown products. Giving attention to the fact that manufacturers are aging out of seamstresses, the growing need for automation in sewing, and the new the ability to scale the creation of goods, anywhere in the world, not just where you can find labor. How apparel manufacturing is manufacturing, fielding questions about loss of jobs, automation vs. robots, and fighting a cloud of fear about robots. How the majority of labor will not be replaced for decades, robots are just tools, and a real timeline of change and adaptation of new set of tools. The requirement to be in the US for SOFTWEAR, and how that stance is working, and bringing manufacturing here, the challenges of change because of generational people and legacy thinking, and how they can be slow to adapt. The tipping point of sustainability is at hand, and personal concerns vs. corporate concerns. Plus, snack time inspires a story of Santora meeting his wife in Whole Foods, his time as a professional soccer player, consuming bananas to play sports — and a droid makes an appearance in the studio.

How the SEWBOTS work, what a brand is, and deconstructing the automation chain

Being a ten-year-old startup with 8 years of R and D, focusing on how to survive as a company, using technology to build a company that works no matter the economic climate, and Alli Baba’s gigantic technology fund as an indication that something major taking place. How the SEWBOT technology works, the way it was conceived coming fro professor, the role of Georgia Tech in wearables with the first wearable tech shirt and much of the IP around wearable tech. Accomplishing proof of concept for machine vision, how goods go through entire process fully, allowing on demand and local production. Determining what a brand is these days, what the pieces are. The need to make in America while keeping quality, implanting sustainability and remaining competitive, and losing the guilt of not buying Made in America. Plus, the Sourcing Summit, having the job discovering how the company could fail, and deconstructing the automation chain to make sure brands can make goods the way they want to while keeping it sustainable.

Soccer, droids, and why kids should run toward robotics

Personal questions with Off the Grid cover remote control airplane assembly, and not getting it to work. Being crushed, joining a robotics club, soccer teams and the profound unbalance of Italy not making the soccer playoffs, women’s soccer vs. men’s soccer, why the U.S. doesn’t have a style, soccer tennis, a robotic film costar, and automation integrating with the lives of kids. Also, running towards robotics, and a desire to meet crazy people.

Thursday Finest

Plus, a special announcement from Veronika Harbick about a new chapter for Thursday Finest.

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