It’s an ideal opportunity to state farewell to Kuri — a home robot that was basically an Echo on wheels. Mayfield Robotics which designed the bot announced on 25th July 2018 that it’s pausing production and will refund customers who placed preorders. The organization seems to be putting most of the blame on Bosch, which supported the company through its Startup Platform program. Mayfield says the company couldn’t find a “business fit” within Bosch to “support and scale” the business. It goes on to say that it doesn’t know what “the coming months will bring.”It sounds like Kuri itself probably won’t happen, however, Mayfield as a whole still exists.
Here is what was posted on the Kuri blog, which is just about the extent of what we know.
An Important (And Difficult) Announcement
To all of our Kuri fans, we are crushed to let you know that effective today, Mayfield Robotics will pause operations as we evaluate the company’s path forward. Sadly, our Kuri manufacturing will cease, and the Kuri robots that have been made will not ship to customers. All pre-order deposits will be refunded to our customers.
So what happened?
As many of you know, Mayfield Robotics was launched in 2015 as an independent entity of the Bosch Startup Platform. From the beginning, we have been constantly looking for the best paths to achieve scale and continue to advance our innovative technology. Typically, startups in the Bosch Startup Platform are integrated into existing Bosch business units, but after extensive review, there was not a business fit within Bosch to support and scale our business.
Since Kuri’s award-winning launch at CES 2017, our adorable home robot has been demoed and celebrated at TED, SXSW, The Aspen Ideas Festival, The Economist Innovation Summit, and many other high-profile events. It’s an understatement to say that we are all hugely disappointed by this pause to operations. We remain proud of the work we’ve done to push home robotics forward.
What happens now?
The vision that began Mayfield Robotics was to make robots that are joyful, useful, and inspiring. Kuri struck each of those notes, and we remain optimistic for an adorable robot future that aligns with our vision. We want to sincerely thank everyone who supported us: our families, our friends, our suppliers, and of course, you, our customers.
Creating a robot like Kuri is a massive undertaking. We don’t know what the coming months will bring. Regardless, we stand firm in our belief that the home robot Renaissance is just beginning, and it’s going to be amazing.