Roboteam, the Tel Aviv company that sells robots to militaries around the globe, is branching into the consumer market.
According to a report in TechCrunch, the new robots are being made to help consumers serve guests rather than scout out bombs or use to haul stuff. Roboteam has raised $50 million from Fenghe Investment Group and from the group’s cofounder, John Wu, the former venture capitalist who is now the chief executive of Alibaba, the eCommerce giant in China. Matt Hu, the group’s cofounder and chief investment officer, also invested in Roboteam.
“Roboteam defense is probably the number one provider of tactical robots in the world,” said the company’s cofounder, Yossi Wolf, predicting it will be also be the first to crack the consumer market on a successful basis. “We’re the only startup in Israel to penetrate the Pentagon [and] have generated over $100 million in revenue [with] thousands of systems right now and completing big programs of $1 billion around the world.”
For the consumer market, Wolf told TechCrunch he envisions robots that were depicted in the cartoon The Jetsons.
“Seven years ago, I went to visit my dear grandma. When I saw her trying to carry a cup of tea and cookies and she was shaking … I knew we can provide the services to help elderly people,” he said.
While Roboteam wasn’t willing to divulge too many secrets about its upcoming consumer-focused robots, the company did say it will be 3 feet high, have an interactive 10-inch display, weigh around 22 pounds and can be carried. The robot will also have 40 sensors that will enable it to move on its own and will be outfitted with a tray to carry items. Roboteam is aiming to have the robots in consumers’ homes by the Christmas holidays and plans to open up pop-up stores in New York City, Los Angeles and Boston as well as a campaign to hawk the first 10,000 units, reported TechCrunch.