Since moving to Silicon Valley, I’ve been wondering how to combine my interest in human-robot culture (or making and culture hacking) with the strengths of the startup community and the robotics industry. Introducing ‘The Robot Launch Pad’!
We might not see a robot in every home yet, but the democratization of technology is occurring rapidly in robotics. As more robot platforms are developed and more sensor and hardware modules are improved, the price of a robot reduces, while the power increases. This allows more people to enter the robotics research and development cycle, developing new robots, new business models and more robot applications.
Robotics is still primarily industry and enterprise level, but the time is ripe for innovative thinking around robotics uses, new business cases and robotics as a service model. Small and medium enterprises may be the next generation of robot businesses, followed by enthusiasts who can finally afford to ‘play’ with advanced common platforms. This crowdsourcing (as epitomised by the DIY Drone community) can kick start another cycle of improvements and innovations.
… So, in April 2012, the Robot Launch Pad will hold the first of a series of robotics startup weekends, focusing on an existing robotics platform and inviting participants from the start up community, as well as robotics, to build new business models under the guidance of startup mentors and investors. It’s going to be an insanely fun and inventive weekend with really practical results, great panels and a bridge between the successful software space and robotics.