Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

December 14th, 2012

Robots: Sphero - Transcript

In today’s episode we speak with Ian Bernstein about the hugely successful Sphero robot and the company he co-founded, Orbotix.

Ian Bernstein
Ian Bernstein is cofounder of Orbotix which produces Sphero, a small ball-like robot which can be controlled from your smartphone. Launched one year ago, the robot has been hugely successful and is now available in the Apple store, Brookstone and Target to only cite a few. Key to their success has been a growing community of users writings apps for and making videos of their robots. Demonstrations include swarm control using the kinect or swimming Spheros augmented with “fish tails”.

Bernstein has been a hardware tinkerer and robot enthusiasts since age 12 when he attended the International BEAM Robotics Games (see Mark Tilden ROBOTS interviews from 2008 and 2012). He then studied at New Mexico Tech and Colorado State University, all while working at Road Narrows Robotics and running his own web-development company.

In 2010, Bernstein and Adam Wilson (also co-founder) joined a 3-month program at a startup accelerator called Techstars that led to their new company. Bernstein tells us about finding funding for hardware companies, setting up a production line and certifications needed to launch a product.

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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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