Over the past decade, the advances in robotics have been breathtaking, as seen with innovations from universities, startups and mega tech companies like Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL,NASDAQ:GOOG). A big part of this has been due to the remarkable developments with artificial intelligence. And to get a sense of how AI and robotics can be transformative, just take a look at Miso Robotics.
The company is the developer of Flippy. It’s an AI-powered kitchen assistant that can cook and grill a myriad of food items. The system is also self-cleaning, which is certainly critical in the novel coronavirus era.
So how does this whiz-bang technology work? Well, let’s take a look:
What Makes Flippy Tick
Miso Robotics is based in Pasadena, California. This is crucial since the city has local top-notch universities like Cal Tech. Because of this, Miso Robotics has been able to recruit extremely talented engineers.
I actually live in Pasadena and know one of the co-founders, David Zito. He’s certainly an accomplished technologist, having served at breakout companies like Overture, Paymybills and Tickets.com. In terms of education, he got a degree in mechanical engineering at Cal Tech.
When he initially talked to me about Miso Robotics, I thought it was a great idea. He actually gave me a demo of it at a local restaurant, called Cali Burger (this was a couple years ago). Flippy was cool and attracted onlookers, who were taking photos of the robot with their smartphones!
David then took me to another office that was crammed with engineers. They were coding the AI and working with the mechanical robotic parts and systems. This was essentially the “brain” of Flippy, which was a work in progress.
The Advances Of Flippy
One of the big issues with robotic kitchen assistants is that they usually take up lots of room. But Miso Robotics has been able to solve this problem creatively – that is, by creating Rail for Flippy to maneuver (the robot is suspended above the kitchen equipment). This has not only meant freeing up more room and making for a safe environment but also helping with lowering overall costs.
In the meantime, Miso Robotics has been continuing to invest in the AI. The result is that the system is getting more accurate and smarter. For example, Flippy has been able to learn how to cook more types of foods like popcorn shrimp, chicken wings, onion rings and corn dogs.
But of course, when it comes to food technology, there also needs to be a focus on high standards. To this end, the company has received a full certification by the NSF for sanitation standards for commercial kitchens and the Listed Mark by Intertek for meeting UL electrical safety requirements.
Something else: In May, the company announced a partnership with PathSpot Technologies, which has a hand scanning system. Thus, after someone washes his or her hands, the device will verify the safety. The scan only takes two seconds.
Bottom Line On Miso Robotics
To help accelerate commercialization, Miso Robotics recently hired Mike Bell as the new CEO. He has a solid track record as a operator, such as previously being an executive at companies like Ordermark, Bridg and Infrascale. His experience spans from working at startups to publicly traded companies.
In the meantime, he will help to manage the company’s crowdfunding campaign. Let’s face it, there are heavy expenses for early-stage robotic companies.
The good news is that Miso Robotics has had much traction with the funding. So far, the company has raised about $7 million from over 3,200 investors and the pre-money valuation has been set at $80 million.
The shares are currently being distributed on SeedInvest and the minimum investment is $1,493.
On the date of publication, Tom Taulli did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article.
Tom Taulli (@ttaulli) is an advisor/board member for startups and author of various books and online courses about technology, including Artificial Intelligence Basics, The Robotic Process Automation Handbook and Learn Python Super Fast. He is also the founder of WebIPO, which was one of the first platforms for public offerings during the 1990s.
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