Sphero spinoff Misty Robotics launches a robot for programmers

TechCrunch | 1/11/2018 | Brian Heater
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Recent Sphero spinoff Misty Robotics brought a decidedly non-consumer-focused device to the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas this week. The Misty I Developer Edition is the first baby step for a startup with even grander ambitions than the one that gave birth to it. In June, the company announced a $11.5 million Series A led by Venrock and Foundry Group to aide in its plans to build a mainstream household robot with a much broader skillset than the industry leading Roomba.

An early attempt at that will arrive later this year, in the form of Misty II, a more highly-polished and commercially-minded version of the company’s robotic’s platform. For now, however, its focus is far more narrow, with plans to court developers, as it works to build something more suitable for the home market.

Misty - Developer - Edition - Sort - Apple

Misty I Developer Edition is sort of the Apple I to the Misty II’s Apple II. There will likely be a developer version of the II, but the company’s forgoing the consumer version of the I. It’s all understandably a little convoluted a first glance, but the startup’s working on getting its sea legs, as it prepares for the seemingly impossible: a home robot that can do it all. In a briefing in a hotel suite at CES this week, CEO Tim Enwall and Head of Product Ian Bernstein laid out a fairly grandiose roadmap for me.

It’s a ten-year plan, according to Enwall, and the startup’s investors have apparently agreed to that extremely long runway. After all, someone has to bring robots into the mainstream, right? So why not Misty? Bernstein was the founder and CTO of Sphero, which quickly moved from remote control ball to Disney darling, and Enwall headed up Revolv, which ultimately got sucked up into Google/Nest.

Army - Misty

There’s a small army of Misty I’s in the...
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