From the first day that Misty Robotics grew out of its roots within Sphero, our objective has remained the same: bring robots to every home and office. How? By providing a general-purpose platform robot through which regular software developers – no longer shackled by the requirement of being a roboticist – could deliver useful robot assignments (a.k.a. “robot apps”), ultimately building a marketplace of assignments that make a robot valuable to anyone and everyone.
No platform and application marketplace goes from zero to a thousand or a million apps overnight. We knew from the beginning (see: 10 Year Plan) that our business would grow in three stages:
• The developer/education stage, where customers lean in to discover the robot assignments that need to be built, prototype, test, and deploy those assignments, and students engage to learn about robots and software.
• The vertical use stage, where robot assignments are sold into a number of useful situations.
• The multi-use stage, where we see the growth of a marketplace (an “app store”) with robot assignments of all kinds.
We launched the mass-produced Misty II into the market in early November, into the beginning of the developer/education stage, and we’re extraordinarily happy with the initial application development that’s underway. Misty II unleashed regular software people to take on roboticists in eldercare, hospitals, autism therapy, elder therapy, reception and greeting, marketing at trade shows, remote security monitoring, and countless other useful applications. We’ve been tickled to see applications we never would have thought would exist, like a magician’s assistant for a New York City magic act. We can’t wait to share some of these commercially built applications as they become market-visible. Many non-commercial developers have been working hard on early applications, too, several of which we recently documented to highlight the work of Misty’s amazing customers.
At the same time, we’re knee-deep in the education world. Young developers-of-the-future are utilizing Misty in high schools, libraries, and colleges around the world to learn computer science, algorithms, machine learning, and AI. We’re confident there is at least one Bill Gates (see: Wikipedia) among those younger than 21 who are already using Misty to build towards amazing robot usefulness.
All this activity has thrilled us, and it’s about to get even more exciting. As we’ve listened to prospective customers, it’s become clear you want more from Misty II:
• Some of you want Misty for a more affordable price.
• Some of you want Misty to do more processing, faster, so that she can map larger environments, hold more in her memory, and have faster response times.
Today, we’re pleased to announce two new models of Misty II – the Misty II Basic and Misty II Enhanced editions – to help make the community of organizations and individuals who can build with (and learn from) Misty even bigger.
Misty II Basic Edition: A powerful & affordable platform
Many prospective customers don’t need Misty to be autonomous. They don’t need her to be available for robot assignments 24 x 7, to automatically handle assignments when triggered, and to return to her charger on her own to wait for the next assignment. Instead, they value Misty’s onboard AI capabilities, face recognition, and her voice and conversational capabilities. They value Misty’s robust locomotion, hardware extensibility, programmable personality, ease of development, and all the other capabilities required to build great robot assignments – robot-as-therapist, robot-as-greeter, robot-as-teaching-aid, and countless other applications that don’t require a fully autonomous, self-charging robot with sophisticated 3D mapping and SLAM capabilities.
For these customers, we’ve created the Misty II Basic Edition (MSRP $1,999). The basic model includes all the great hardware and capabilities of the original model, with the exception of the 3D depth sensor that enables Misty’s sophisticated autonomy (for example, leaving her wireless charger, performing an assignment, and returning to the charger on her own), and the wireless charging pad itself (we figured it was now an extraneous accessory, and excluding it allowed us to make this model even more affordable).* The Misty II Basic Edition is ideal for organizations on a tight budget, for high schools, libraries, STEM programs, designers of applications for therapy and socially assistive robots, and anyone who doesn’t need the sophisticated autonomy that Misty’s depth sensor provides.
Misty II Enhanced Edition: Misty II, leveled-up
On the other end of the spectrum, some prospective customers not only want that sophisticated autonomy, but they want as much of it as they can get – and even more. They want faster mapping. More mapping. Better navigation. More capacity within Misty’s core processing to handle more tasks simultaneously.
For these customers, we’ve created the Misty II Enhanced Edition (MSRP $3,299). The enhanced model has the same hardware and capabilities as the original model, while boosting the power of Misty’s larger microprocessor by 10% and doubling her memory capacity. The Misty II Enhanced Edition can map a much larger space (~2K sq ft in a 10-minute mapping session), and this model doesn’t require as much map-swapping and map-management to handle larger environments. What’s more, her responsiveness to CPU intensive onboard tasks – like face recognition – is 10% faster. The Misty II Enhanced Edition is ideal for organizations that have larger autonomous tasks in mind, like security patrol, office attendant, data collector, environmental monitor, and other similar assignments that require Misty to have both a large degree of autonomy and to operate in a relatively large space.
As for the original model – the Misty II Standard Edition – all of the original hardware and functionality will remain the same. You can purchase the Misty II Standard Edition at an MSRP of $2,999.
We are very excited to have the Misty II Basic and Misty II Enhanced editions join the Standard Edition in our lineup of robots. When you combine these choices with the option to build larger and more capable locomotive platforms – like the recently-announced Robo-Chariot – Misty becomes capable of taking on a tremendous number of useful robot assignments. We’re invigorated by the range of robot solutions that our current customers are building for Misty, and we’re fired up to see the growing scope of inbound customer needs. We knew there were millions of developers and technology leaders capable of becoming roboticists; it’s gratifying to see so many stepping in with gusto.
Thank you to all of our existing customers who are pushing the boundaries of robotics, to all those prospective customers who join in with the Misty II Basic or Enhanced edition, and to all of Misty’s fans across the world.
* In theory, a very talented/aspiring developer can use a combination of Misty’s camera, time-of-flight sensors and IMU to navigate back onto a wireless charging pad so, in theory, that talented developer could write their own auto-docking software for the Misty II Basic, buy the wireless charging pad as an accessory, and save a few Benjamins.