It’s time for another episode of Cribs, the TechCrunch TV series that takes you behind the gates of some of the tech industry’s hottest companies to see the factory floors where your tastiest app and gadget sausage is made.
It’s great to go beyond TechCrunch’s San Francisco headquarters to check out Cribs in other locales — and our latest sojourn was particularly worth it. Earlier this month we were in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, and while we were in town we headed over to the Ogden Building, which is the home of a number of startups — including smartphone-controlled robot maker Romotive.
Romotive is one of the most buzzed-about companies in the quickly growing Downtown Vegas tech scene, so it was great to have co-founder and CEO Keller Rinaudo give us a tour of his company’s digs and give us a hands-on look at the “Romo” robot. While the Romotive team has built hundreds of Romos themselves right there in its Sin City headquarters, the company just recently signed a production contract with an Asian manufacturer that will help the company scale up its output dramatically. That means that Romos will now be poised to enter the homes (and hearts) of millions of people across the globe.
That idea might sound a bit scary at first, but I think after seeing the gadgets in action you will soon welcome our new Romo robot overlords with open arms. Who can resist those big blinking eyes?
We’re Romotive, a team of nerds obsessed with building an affordable, fun personal robot. By combining smartphones with a mobile base, we create robots that do awesome things (telepresence, autonomous navigation, machine vision). Our first product, Romo, is an iDevice-powered robot that lets you video chat with anyone, anywhere in the world. You can customize Romo’s behavior through a graphical programming interface that’s n00b-friendly. Teaching our bot new behaviors is easy - just update the app. Our investors believe...