The startup “Sphero” became known for its “connected toys”, most notably for the Star Wars-inspired “BB-8 drone” droid.
Recently, he founded a new spin-out company, “Misty Robotics”, which has highlighted its relatively “modest” goal of equipping every home and office with robots. “Misty” aspires to create robots like “R2-D2”, or “Rosie” from “The Jetsons”· a useful friend with personality.
“Misty Robotics” was founded by former Sphero Technology Leader Ian Bernstein and businessman Tim Enwall. On Tuesday, the company announced that the first $11.5 million funding round was completed. It is also noted that “Sphero” holds minority interests in the company.
There are two basic robotics approaches that the company follows and thinks make it stand out in the industry. The first approach concerns the construction of robots that can do more than one thing. It’s not practical, Bernstein remarked, to have a bunch of robots doing only one thing, such as robots cleaning gutters, or those cleaning the pool, or other things like cleaning the floor.
“Robots for the home should be multi-purpose,”
“Our big vision is a robot like “Rosie” from “The Jetsons”; a robot that will actively participate in our everyday life, cook, clean the house and do all kinds of activities!”.
For this, “Misty” sees robots as platforms that other developers can use to be creative with potential robotics applications such as smartphones or PCs.
“One could go to the lab and build a robie like “Rosie” and put it on the market but I do not think it would be a success”,
said David Pakman, a partner of “Venrock”, one of the companies that invested in the first round of funding.
“See the example of Apple II; sold to amateurs with the idea that they can program it as they want. Here is a common tactic: To create many applications on a platform, allowing more and more developers to intervene”.
The second robotic approach, in which “Misty” is differentiated, is the behavior of the robots.
“They must look familiar”,
“They can not scare us!”.
This is another reason why the company attracted the interest of investors, Pakman says.
As he notes, one of “Misty’s” goals is to put robots into the lives of people; almost like pets. Even reaching the point where each robot has its own personality!
“It’s a great vision”,
“A Robot for Everyone!”.
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