Misty Robotics Introduces Misty I, a Mobile Robot Developer Platform

From the creators of Sphero, this robot is designed to allow non-robotics programmers to create useful applications

In May of last year, Misty Robotics raised US $11.5 million and spun itself out of parent company Sphero. From the sound of things, Sphero cofounder Ian Bernstein had been working on an idea for a new kind of robot inside Sphero for a while, and Misty is the manifestation of that. According to the spin-out press release:

Misty Robotics’ vision is to put a personal robot in every home and office. These robots will be seen and treated as our friends, our teammates, and a part of our families—performing helpful tasks, providing safety, and interacting with humans in entertaining and friendly ways that have only been seen before in science fiction. Misty will begin its mission with the release of its first robot and a collaborative ecosystem for robotic development.

That’s quite a vision, especially in the context of the sky-high expectations that Jibo isn’t (yet) living up to, and that Kuri may struggle to meet. Of course, this is Misty’s long-term vision, and they fully expect it to take years to get there. In the short term, they’re starting with a platform for developers. Not roboticists, but software developers, and people without much in the way of experience programming robots.

Today, Misty is announcing the Misty I Developer Edition prototype, designed to “provide developers and inventors with everything they need to create the ‘killer app’ for personal robots.”

The press release about Misty I doesn’t contain much in the way of detail, but here’s as much as they’re giving us:

The Misty I Developer Edition prototype provides non-robotics programmers simple but powerful tools and capabilities allowing them to create skills that leverage APIs for autonomous navigation, seeing, hearing, and speaking capabilities of the robot. Developers who purchase the Misty I will be able to dive in quickly with a Blockly GUI and/or code using JavaScript. The mobile companion app will enable control and map interaction. The Misty I will also include serial and USB ports that will encourage makers to enhance and extend their robots with new hardware. Additionally, those who are selected to purchase the Misty I will get real-time access to the Misty Robotics product and engineering teams and will both influence and shape the next generation of advanced, personal robots—the Misty II.

The Misty I Developer Edition robot will begin shipping next month and is priced at $1,499.

For more on Misty, we spoke with Misty founder and head of product Ian Bernstein and head of company Tim Enwall. [READ MORE]