You get robotics in unrehearsed corners of Playground Global’s Palo Alto headquarters. They are in the lobby and sporadic amongst the cubicles. Inside the venture fund’s labs, an older Spot Mini stands next to RightHand Robotics’ place and pick mechanical arm.
A current video shoot in the space displays Boston Dynamics new creation meeting. Playground-funded bipedal wunderkind Cassie for the first time. The former also had a run-in with Andy Rubin’s dog in the company parking lot. The poor small terrier was less impressed. Robotics is a core section of the firm’s portfolio. No wonder, really. And also it was, later all, co-founder Rubin’s lifelong perplexity with the technology that gave Google’s phone operating method its name. CTO and Co-founder Peter Barrett neatly shares that enthusiasm, as he gives us a tour almost space. And also pointing out every and each ‘bot surrounding Playground’s delightfully on-brand swings and slide.
They’re becoming a good investment, the ministerial begins. Robotics is really in its childhood for some of these scale applications. What’s missing has been the link various what are now tour de force controls and physical methods with the perception and intelligence to make them useful. And also at last count, the company lists almost 10 robotics investments. And also in its portfolio following some that are still in theft mode. Those that it has published represent a fairly robust cross-section of technologies. There’s warehouse achievement method Agility and RightHand. And also the Oregon State spin-off that makes Cassie. Zippy FarmWise builds autonomous methods and develops delivery robots designed to harvest food for short-staffed farmers.
There is reverberation here of Google robotics, Rubin’s post-Android realization. Which left the world wondering what, exactly the company was building amid an acquisition inebriety. And that found the company snapping up Boston Dynamics, Industrial understanding. And also Bot & Dolly, among others. We tend not to look for little-term returns, says Barrett. In VC, you have to do something that is nearly for sure wrong otherwise each else will do it. The real advantage is somewhere between the impossible and the unlikely. It is difficult to invest on the other side is not possible. And also it’s difficult to make money on another side of impossible.