Misty starts shipping its programmable robot to backers

When we met with Misty back at CES, the Sphero spin-off had an April time frame for its programmable robot, Misty II. But the best laid plans, and all that. The startup announced this morning that it will start shipping the robot to its 500 or so crowdfunding backers over the coming weeks. It’s a few months late, but that’s just kind of the life of the robotics startup.

And as we’ve mentioned in previous posts, the company’s got a pretty long runway for its ambitious plans. They started last year with the modular, handmade Misty I. The Misty II is still more platform than product, with the intention of giving developers a place to create various robotics tasks.

Two early-gen models have already been seeded to a handful of developers, who have begun to create a wide range of different functions for the plucky little robot, including property inspection, environmental monitoring, eldercare and autism therapy. The potential applications go well beyond that, leveraging the robot’s different on-board technologies, including locomotion, facial recognition and programmable personality traits.

“Delivering Misty II to our crowdfunding backers is a major milestone for the company as they will play a special role in helping us prepare Misty for her official market launch later this year,” founder Ian Bernstein said in a release tied to the news. “Our backers are investors in the vision of personal robots becoming a reality in our lives. We are very excited to see how hundreds of developers bring Misty to life.”

Five-hundred developers is a drop in the bucket, but it does prove that there’s some interest in the product. The company will continue to offer pre-orders on the robot for $2,399, with a full market launch set for later in the year.