When we started OhmniLabs, soldering on the floor of Jared’s apartment, we had a vision—decreasing development costs, while increasing product utility to deliver robots to connect families across the globe. Today, we’re closer to achieving our objective, and our hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Forbes.com describes our “sophisticated” production pipeline and 3D printing as key implements in the fight to cut costs in home robotics. The article further discusses how we focus on adaptive manufacturing technology to iterate more efficiently.
Meet The Hardware Startup That’s Manufacturing Their Telepresence Robots In California
Robots have begun making their way into our homes, albeit cautiously. Softbank’s Pepper was first created as an empathetic companion for the home, but now mainly exists as a greeter in select retail stores.
So why has the development and adoption of robots for the home been such a slow process?
“For a long time, the promise has been that we’ll soon have general-purpose robots in the home that are capable of doing complex tasks such as cleaning, laundry and cooking. But for decades, we’ve only had toy robots, or something very specific – such as Roomba, the vacuum cleaner. So we’re a long way from having the dream become reality,” said Thuc Vu, co-founder of OhmniLabs, makers of a telepresence robot for families.
Which is why OhmniLabs is harnessing the power of 3D printing technology and making everything in their California-based lab themselves. Unlike other hardware startups that still rely on going overseas to work with factories in Asia, Ohmni is actually able to keep costs down by producing their robots locally.He thinks that this slow introduction of robots into the home market has to primarily do with the challenges of robotics development. Besides needing expertise from a wide range of backgrounds, including software, mechanical, electrical and production – the process of prototyping and scaling up production is still slow and expensive.
“We have a very unique production pipeline based on adaptive manufacturing technology. And with recent breakthroughs in the field, we believe the cost would come down very quickly and become very competitive instead of just sending it to China. It allows us to iterate much faster and we can roll out a new model every week” he said.