Robot app cash
(New Scientist Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Robot apps get a cash boost
The firstcompany dedicated to investing in consumer robotics stakes $250,000 on robot apps
APPS aren't just for your smartphone. The one-year-old Robot-App Store got a cash boost this week in the form of $250,000 from the first company dedicated to investing in consumer robotics.
Dmitry Grishin, founder of Grishin Robotics, already spent $250,000 on a telepresent robotics company called Double Robotics in September, and plans to invest a total of $25 million in the field.
Grishin says software like the apps on offer at the Robot-App Store is the key to creating a vibrant market in household robots. "Once you find a cool app, it will help to sell robots." He compares robots to computers. "A good application, like a spreadsheet, helped to sell PCs and to grow the PC market."
One app from the Robot-App Store makes the NAO robot (pictured) whistle and say "Hello, gorgeous" whenever it detects a face. Another allows you to steer the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner using your keyboard.
No killer app yet perhaps, but Grishin says that will come with the establishment of a "robot ecosystem", in which more developers create apps for a growing pool of consumers, who are in turn encouraged by the number of apps to choose from.
The world of robot software is certainly maturing. The open source Robot Operating System celebrated its fifth birthday in November.
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