Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

September 4th, 2015

Robots: Fotokite Phi - Transcript

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Sergei Lupashin about Perspective Robotics upcoming flying camera, the Fotokite Phi.

The Phi is a rotor-craft unmanned aerial vehicle, called a quadrocopter, that a user controls with a retractable leash. As the quadrocopter flies, it keeps tension on the leash; this tension allows it to determine where it is in space with respect to the user holding the leash. Because the Phi figures out where it is from the leash, it can follow the user without a vision system or GPS. Lupashin says that the leash also allows users to learn to fly the Phi in a short time and that it provides a natural way of controlling the quadrocopter.

For easy transport, the four arms with propellers of the Phi can be folded up so that it can fit in a large-thermos-size cylinder.

Perspective Robotics is running an Indiegogo campaign to fund production of the Fotokite Phi. The campaign’s video is below.

 

 

Sergei Lupashin

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Sergei Lupashin is the founder of Perspective Robotics, the Swiss company behind the Fotokite. Previous to that he worked in aerospace and participated in robotics competitions such as the DARPA Grand+Urban Challenges (autonomous cars). He was chief architect for the ETH Flying Machine Arena, where he enjoyed torturing little quadrocopters until they learned to do flips. He holds a BS in Elec & Comp Engineering from Cornell, an MSc + PhD in Mechanical Engineering from ETH Zurich (topic: aerial robotics) and is a TED Fellow. Sergei is passionate about building devices that are usable and useful in the real world.

 

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June 12th, 2015

Robots: CyPhy LVL 1 Drone - Transcript

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Helen Greiner, CEO and founder of CyPhy Works and co-founder of iRobot, about CyPhy Work’s LVL 1 photography drone. The LVL 1 drone has six propellers that are angled up and rotated slightly, which allows the drone to fly without tilting; flying without tilting is significant because, Helen says, it makes the drone more intuitive to control, as well as removing the need for a costly and high-maintenance camera stabilizing gimbal system.

CyPhy Works has an KickStarter campaign for the LVL 1 drone that ends June 18th, 2015. The Kickstarter video and a link to the campaign are below.

 

Helen Griener

Helen Greiner co-founded iRobot in 1990 and served as President until 2004 and Chairman until 2008. During her tenure, Ms. Greiner guided iRobot into its position as a global leader with the release of the Roomba™, the PackBot™and SUGV military robots. She built a culture of practical innovation and delivery that led to the deployment of 6,000 PackBots. In addition, Ms. Greiner headed up iRobot’s financing projects, raising $35M in venture capital for a $75M initial public offering. Greiner holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in computer science, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

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January 24th, 2014

Robots: Startup Funding

In today’s episode Per Sjöborg speaks with Jan Westerhues, Investment Partner with Robert Bosch Venture Capital, about how they fund companies in robotics. As stepping stones towards their long-term goal to build autonomous cars, they invest in a wide range of robotics technologies with real world applications. Westerhues tells us when in a project’s life they can help and what to expect throughout their involvement. He also promises exciting news in the coming months, so stay tuned.

Jan Westerhues
Jan Westerhues is Investment Partner with Robert Bosch Venture Capital in Frankfurt, Germany. Jan is responsible for robotic investments within RBVC and board member/observer of Aethon, USA and a low cost autonomous navigation company in the EU (soon to be disclosed). RBVC is the corporate venture arm of Robert Bosch GmbH, one of the largest private conglomerates with over 50 billion Euros sales. The VC fund invests worldwide in start-up companies either directly or via Venture Capital Funds. Investment focus is technology companies that fit Bosch’s current and future business. RBVC provides capital for minority stakes in start-ups from early to expansion stage. Prior to this position, Jan was responsible for Bosch Corporate Strategy in the Asia Pacific region, based in Shanghai, China. He gathered extensive experience in strategy consulting before joining the Bosch Group. Jan holds a degree in engineering and business administration (Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing.) from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany and is a CFA charter holder. He speaks German, English, and Spanish fluently and has a basic knowledge of Mandarin.

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August 23rd, 2013

Robots: Venture Capital in Robotics - Transcript

Diana Saraceni is a Venture Capitalist at 360 Capital Partners. In this interview, she tells us about her first investment in robotics 3 years ago with Invendo Medical, and her views on how the market has changed since then. Hardware is now perceived as less risky, even though it is more challenging to scale than software. Recent success stories have further helped promote VC funding in robotics.

Saraceni discusses the importance of the founding team, as well as their advisors, for the success of a company. Finally, she shares her view on open source vs. proprietary technology from a venture capitalist’s perspective.

Diana Saraceni
Diana Saraceni is a partner at 360 Capital Partners, a Pan-European Venture Capital firm. Before becoming a Venture Capitalist in 2001, she was Senior Advisor at Lazard Investment Banking. At Lazard she was part of the Technology Team and primarily worked on M&A transactions and IPOs. Prior to Lazard, Saraceni spent several years as strategic consultant with A.T.Kearney in Milan and London. She was/is part of several national and international start-up selection committees and holds a degree in Engineering from the University of Rome and an MBA from LUISS.

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November 2nd, 2012

Robots: Grishin Robotics - Transcript

In today’s episode we speak with Dmitry Grishin about Grishin Robotics, his global investment company dedicated to helping robotics startups distribute already working products to the mass market.

Dmitry Grishin
Dmitry Grishin is co-founder and chairman of the Mail.Ru Group, the largest Internet company in the Russian-speaking world and one of the biggest in Europe. He joined the company in 2001 after graduating from the Faculty of Robotics and Complex Automation at Moscow State Technical University.

This background led him to believe that personal robotics, with a market potential estimated to be over $18 billion in 2015 (ABI Research), is ready to become mainstream and poised for massive growth, similar to the internet industry in the past decade. To help drive mass-market penetration of new robotics products, Grishin founded Grishin Robotics in 2012 with an initial personal investment of $25 million. His firm, located in New York, funds start-up companies that are ready to ramp-up production of already proven robotic prototypes. Grishin recently announced their first investment in Double Robotics, a company that makes telepresence robots.

Grishin tells us about the changes that are need in the robotics culture to start developing successful startups, including building simple robots that are need-driven rather than technology-driven and emphasize user experience.

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