Sphero is mainly known for its connected toys, like Star Wars’ BB-8, but now the company wants to bring advanced robotics into homes and offices with its own spin-off Misty Robotics. The newfangled robotics startup aims to build personal robots for home and office use, and it’s secured $11.5 million in Series A funding to grow its team and ship its first product.
Misty Robotics employs half a dozen former Sphero members. Ian Bernstein, co-founder of Sphero, will lead Misty Robotics as Head of Product with a seat on the Board of Directors. The team has been secretly working on its first robotics product for about a year and a half under the Sphero brand, Bernstein tells TechCrunch.
The company isn’t sharing any details on its robot, but we do know Misty envisions a personal robot in every home and office. TechCrunch reports that Misty’s first product will be targeted towards the hobbyist/maker market. The robot could end up being a glorified motorized tablet like the robots from CES (Kuri and Jibo), but Tim Enwall, the company’s CEO, hints the robot will be more sophisticated.
Misty’s vague promotional image gives the glimpse of what appears to be a prototype’s head and shoulders. The mysterious robot bears a odd resemblance with the Japanese Rapiro kit.
“Soon robots will be a constant touchpoint throughout our lives, becoming commonplace and serving a variety of purposes that are very different than what exists today. We have a rough idea as to what this will look like from science fiction and glimpses of brilliance that have happened in this space,” said Bernstein in a prepared statement. “My vision is for Misty Robotics to lead this charge toward delivering the future we were all promised. We’ve already started to build an amazingly passionate team of roboticists and are looking for more talent to help us build the future.”
Misty Robotics’ vision includes ubiquitous domestic robots. A press statement reads how robots will be “treated as our friends” and “a part of our families.” The company will begin with the launch of its first robot and “a collaborative ecosystem for robotic development.”
Sphero and Misty Robotics will work closely together to make their personal robots a reality. The first of which will be unveiled in 2018.
Source: Misty Robotics