Kuri — the robot that captivated many (including GearBrain) when first unveiled at CES 2017 is never to be. The company that brought Kuri to light has decided to scrap all plans at making the pint-sized robot companion, without elaborating on specific reasons.
"Sadly, our Kuri manufacturing will cease, and the Kuri robots that have been made will not ship to customers," wrote the company on its blog. "All pre-order deposits will be refunded to our customers."
At CES in 2017, Mayfield Robotics presented Kuri, saying the robot would have four microphones which were meant to let Kuri locate sound, react the people speaking and even listen to know which way it should turn. There was a camera and speaker, and the plan was to include facial recognition in the robot as well.
Unlike those climbing, animal-like robots out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kuri was always meant to be more of a cute creature, one that, at the time when it launched, was meant to be "adorable and approachable, but still earnest and helpful like the best pets."
Like a Roomba, Kuri was going to be able to know when it needed charging, and return to its pad, record video which people could tap into when they wanted. As of two years ago, 20 prototypes had been built, and the company expected to sell pre-orders for $699.
Launching out of the Bosch Startup Platform — and the company says that the next course of action for launches like Mayfield is to have them brought back into a business unit of Bosch. Apparently, there wasn't a place within Bosch "…support and scale our business," Mayfield said.
Mayfield Robotics itself is not necessarily folding, but instead wrote it is taking a "pause in operations." The company also implied that it is "optimistic for an adorable robot future that aligns with our vision."