Social robotics company Furhat buys Sphero spin-out company Misty Robotics


Misty has had a grueling road to get here. Several difficulties confronted the firm when it raised $11.5 million from Foundry and Venrock and launched a crowdfunding campaign for its robot. Furhat Robots, a Swedish social robotics business, has offered the troubled startup a soft landing in what the Swedish company claims are an all-cash transaction. Furhat is keeping the financial specifics of the transaction under wraps. Still, the company tells TechCrunch that the purchase was intended to provide Furhat a competitive advantage on the hardware side, enabling it to utilize its social robotics software on new platforms as a result.

Furhat Robotics, a company with the oddly named name, plans to keep Misty Robotics’ Colorado headquarters as the base for its U.S. operations to integrate the two technologies better. The company will also retain eight of its most senior employees to combine the two technologies.

According to Furhat Robotics CEO and co-founder Samer Al Moubayed: “We’re retaining the senior staff, and the head of operations, engineering, business development, and senior software engineers are joining us.” “Misty has done an excellent job in developing a highly scalable manufacturing system, with the items being manufactured by a well-known partner in China.”

Even though the companies claim to be operating under a “unified vision,” they assert that Furhat Robotics will continue to support the Misty Robotics brand, contributing to the development and expansion of the product range, as well as integrating Furhat and Misty features to enhance future social robots, according to the companies.

“Acquisitions in the realm of social robots are quite unusual.” says the author. This might be the first time this has happened in recorded history. “We’re still in the very early stages of the business,” Al Moubayed explains. “This firm was formed as a spin-off from Spiro. What makes the robot stand out is that it is amicable and personable even though it seems to be a toy. Despite this, it is quite sophisticated. What Misty Robotics has accomplished is to incorporate the most cutting-edge technology available anywhere in the world into a charming robot.”

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In its product, the Furhat team claims that their robot with a rear-projected animated face is ideal for social robots that need to have an adult personality, such as those used in airports, railway stations, and medical applications. What Misty brings to the table is much more extendable and expressive, thanks to its little arms and emotive facial expression. Nonetheless, the Furhat team notes that although the two robots seem to be opposed to one another, they have a great deal in common.

“Misty is the missing piece in our puzzle,” said the couple. It allows us to have access to a bigger market that is focused on education, for example,” says Al Moubayed, when asked about the acquisition’s origins. “The technologies are extremely similar, but Misty is excellent on the hardware front, while we are excellent on the software front.” Furhat decided to search for an alternative option rather than constructing a new robot for instructional purposes.”

Founder and Head of Product at Misty Robotics Ian Bernstein expressed his admiration for Furhat Robotics as a “genuine pioneer in its area.” To bring the future of robotic applications into the present, we are joining forces to do so. Combining our specializations means that we will see even more spectacular real-life uses of this incredible technology very shortly. In our daily lives, social robots are already playing an important role, and by combining our collective skills to address real-world problems, the sky is the limit.”


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