Vector and Cozmo, originally developed by the Silicon Valley robotics company Anki, are getting a reboot.
Their new owner, Digital Dream Labs, plans to relaunch the bots, which represent some of the most advanced robotics capabilities in the world, and repurpose them for use in therapy.
“The products themselves reach people’s emotions, and communicate on such a peer-level, in ways that no other robot to date has been able to do,” said Jacob Hanchar, founder of the educational technology start-up.
Hanchar sees the robots, especially the cloud-based Vector, as more than entertainment.
“There’s veterans who suffer from PTSD,” he said. “The elderly who need to be reminded to take their medications, or who feel lonely. Children who have learning disabilities or behavioral disabilities really connect with this robot. Adults with various disabilities. … For many people, he is the portal to the outside world. Vector opens doors in ways that technology has not been able to do.”
Digital Dream Labs has expanded its staff to 13 since the acquisition and raised over $1 million in an online campaign.