Russian technology entrepreneur Dmitry Grishin has launched a $25 million investment programme in personal robotics startups – and Cambridge UK innovation is already on his radar after Business Weekly passed on contacts from the University of Cambridge to his company Grishin Robotics to see if there is any basis for collaboration.Grishin is funding investments from his personal fortune and while the entrepreneur is based in Europe, he will invest in projects globally.
Cambridge University robotics expertise spans a number of engineering disciplines including neuroscience, muscles, touch and dexterity in humans to understand biological learning.
Machine learning, robust and fault tolerant control, robotic vision, speech recognition and synthesis and signal processing are all on the research agenda and The Computer Laboratory is also doing some interesting projects, including Peter Robinson’s work on representing/reflecting emotion.
Grishin Robotics (http://www.grishinrobotics.com) launched today as the first global investment company focused exclusively on the personal robotics sector.
The company, which says it will initially invest $25 million but hints at more future funding, was created by Dmitry Grishin, who was also co-founder of Mail.Ru Group – the largest Russian Internet company.
The mission of the new venture is to bring personal robotics technologies into every household around the world – not only through investment in emerging companies in the field, but also by helping to foster a global robotics community.
“Over the last few decades, global investment in innovation has mostly been focused on computing and Internet technologies, to great success. Despite the potential of robotics to impact our everyday lives dramatically, investment in this area has been limited,” said Grishin, a graduate of Robotics and Complex Automation from Moscow State Technical University.
“To date, the main areas of investment and innovation in robotics have been to support manufacturing. To reach its mass-market potential, the personal robotics industry needs both increased capital and global awareness. Grishin Robotics aims to lead the charge to support the industry in both of these areas.”
The huge cultural, societal and economic shifts over last few years are driving dramatic changes in life as we know it, he added. He said that robotics had the potential to play a big role in responding to those changes and positively influencing the lives of everyday people around the world, from aging populations who need service and assistance, to young people who crave unique and more accessible leisure activities.
Grishin Robotics aims to facilitate the development of the personal robotics industry by creating a supportive environment for startups and entrepreneurs and injecting much-needed capital to help turn their inventions into viable, long-term businesses.
The broader mission is to increase public awareness of the robotics industry and establish its relevance for businesses, academic and scientific communities, and the general public. To accomplish this goal, the company will work with organisations across a variety of sectors.
Grishin Robotics plans to focus its investments on robotics technology that is ready for mass-market implementation in areas such as home maintenance, education, healthcare, entertainment, transportation etc. It will invest in companies interested in distributing their already working products to the mass market.
In addition to finance, Grishin Robotics will provide hands-on expertise in building scalable, successful hi-tech companies, and help with business and infrastructure support, including public relations and HR activities needed during early business stages.
Dmitry Grishin added: “Our planet has not seen revolutionary breakthroughs in the offline world for many years. The robotics industry is uniquely positioned to leverage recent innovations made in software, Internet and smartphones, combining them to make a tremendous global impact.
“We are at the start of a transformative period for robotics that requires a new breed of risk-takers to drive mass-market adoption.”