Many companies want to build the “killer app” for personal robots, sell millions of them, and then create a platform for others to build more. This “the iPhone strategy” seems to be doomed to failure because robots are not cellular phones, email, or web browsing.
Both Jibo and Kuri sought to sell a product to mass consumers with the belief that they had found the “killer apps”. Those were thought to be social interaction (Jibo) and live streamed video/photos in the home (Kuri).
In the past two months, Mayfield Robotics, makers of Kuri the robot, has shut down sales and operations, and Jibo, which has run through more than $70 million of venture funding, announced a significant downsizing of the company.