Dash Robotics has been a leader in combining robotics with mobile devices to create a play experience that is a fun, do-it-yourself introductory course to the basics of robotics. Now, Dash has announced its acquisition of Bots Alive, which specializes in robotics and artificial intelligence, specifically the creation of ‘artificially intelligent, autonomous robot creatures.’
Dash became more widely known after its partnership with Mattel toys produced Kamigami Robots, widely released by major toy retailers on October 11th. Unlike many remote or app-controlled predecessors, that Kamigami Robots come as flat sheets which require assembly by the user, who could then customize and control the toy’s movement patterns, interactions, and light features such as the color of its eyes.
Aside from its entertainment value, Mattel and Dash also stated their desire that they Kamigami bots would cater to younger demographics with the long-term aim of promoting interest in STEM fields, particularly among the female demo. Bots Alive specializes in ‘affordable’ toy robots with ‘intelligence and creative autonomy’, a goal with significant overlap to Dash Robotics’. Like Dash, Bots Alive’s modernized rendition of the Hexburg Spider utilizes cell phone technology to control the device.
The apparent impetus for Dash’s acquisition of Bots Alive is to further hone the capabilities of its DashConnect platform, which it used in its partnership with Mattel. This platform, ‘allows companies to develop connected toys for both up-and-coming and long-loved brands in record-breaking time with significantly reduced development costs’, according to Markets Insider. The primary benefit that Bots Alive’s tech will bring to Dash is reliance upon smart device cameras, computer vision, and AI to make Dash’s existing and future robots more life-like in their movements, behavior, and ability to learn. Instead of merely being controlled, the toys will now have the freedom to act autonomously.
CEO of Dash Robotics Nick Kohut added that “having Bots Alive join the Dash Robotics team is an instant win. We can now deploy life-like motion, life-like behavior, artificial intelligence, and full connected toy development capabilities to our platform and partners.”