Robot Launch global robotics startup competition announces top 15 finalists

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09 September 2015

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Robot Launch is the first international startup competition designed specifically to help robotics entrepreneurs get off the ground. Now in it’s second year, Robot Launch has attracted a diverse range of applicants that show just how quickly the business of robotics is maturing. Narrowed down from almost 100 robotics startups from around the world, the following 15 finalists represent 16 countries and cover an amazing cross-section of consumer, service and industrial robotics … We are extremely impressed with the quality of the finalists! Check them out!


ArtiMinds is redefining how we program robots with their intuitive and semi-automatic interface for controlling complex industrial robot tasks , including sensor-adaptive motions. (Germany)


Blue Frog Robotics is the company behind the open-source BUDDY companion robot , whose crowdfunding campaign recently ended with over 6 times their original funding ask. (France)


CleverPet has built a smart dog feeder that lets you play, teach, and connect with your pet all day. (USA)


Erle Robotics creates artificial brains for robots and drones that run on Linux and are based on ROS. (Spain)


GaitTronics is helping patients recover more quickly and with their rehabilitative robot walker , which makes early mobility therapy safe and secure for both patients and caregivers. (Canada)


Mimetics is the company behind the Jade, a fully-developed educational robot designed to engage and excite the next generation of scientists and engineers. (Canada)


Luvozo is developing SAM, a robot-based concierge for senior living communities to supplement staff with non-medical tasks and activities. (USA)


Mecademic has built an exceptionally compact and accurate tabletop collaborative robot arm for education and research. (Canada)


Mobotech is the company behind the Mobot, a light and compact all-electric smart forklift for maneuvering in tight places and preventing workplace injuries. (New Zealand)


MUSE Robotics enables developers to build custom robots with less time and money using their complete package of plug and play actuators, motor control and sensory modules . (formerly SkyRobotics of Greece; USA)


Redtree Hydra lets developers easily connect sensors, actuators, components and other parts to the robot without all the hassle of complicated circuits, specialized hardware or device drivers. (Canada)


Scannable are reinventing LiDAR so that low cost ground and aerial vehicles can avoid obstacles and create precise maps . (USA)


The Construct lets developers run simulations in the cloud and share them with colleagues via web interface. (Spain/USA)


Zyro Robot Therapy System is building a personalized robot coach that addresses a variety of educational, social and therapeutic needs. (USA)


PLUS a stealth female-led startup (USA) that we will share with you after the finals!! TBA!!


“These are all high quality early stage robotics startups, and that’s about all they have in common!” says competition organizer Andra Keay (Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics). “They address all areas of robotics … This an incredibly positive signal for investors and the robotics industry as a whole.”

The finalists will pitch to an audience of investors and robotics entrepreneurs on September 18 at WilmerHale in Palo Alto, CA. The winners will receive around $100,000 in prizes and services tailored specifically for robotics companies, from sponsors that include CSIRO, Siemens, Amazon, WilmerHale, SMBC, iRobot and Robolution Capital.

Judges include Shahin Farshschi (Lux Capital), Rich Mahoney (SRI International), Peter Kambouris (CSIRO), Glenn Luinenburg (WilmerHale), Hanns Anders (iRobot) and Carolin Funk (Siemens).

Providing global reach to local tech clusters

The Robot Launch global startup competition is co-organized by Silicon Valley Robotics, a regional robotics cluster, and, a global robotics research and community news network. Both are not-for-profit organizations supporting innovation in robotics, and together they form a strong bridge between robotics innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Silicon Valley is ideally positioned to connect robotics startups to investors, and the global robotics research community is producing some exciting new business ideas. But while there is now more money flowing towards early stage startups, robotics and hardware entrepreneurs need to be incredibly focused in how they move from prototype to beta customer and business model,” says Keay.

“Robot Launch connects clusters of robotics innovation at the critical early seed stage, and showcases the best new robotics businesses from around the world.”

Meaningful prizes for robotics startups

Robot Launch prizes are geared toward providing real business acceleration for the winners, such as:

A series of regional awards for best US, Canadian, Australian and European startups are geared toward developing local partnerships between tech clusters and mentors who can provide regional business, legal or investment support. For example, the law firms WilmerHale and LaBarge Weinstein will provide the regional US and Canadian winners (respectively) with free legal startup services; the regional Australian winner will get business mentoring from QUTBluebox ; and Robolution Capital will provide pitch coaching to the best European startup. Awards such as these help get more robotics startups onto the global stage while supporting entrepreneurship locally.

Siemens is offering the winning industrial robotics startups membership into their new Frontier Program, which includes access to Siemens’ PLM software suite and mentorship with industrial manufacturing partner companies. Robotics is a new area in the Frontier Program, which was initially only for 3D printing startups. The first robotics startup in the Frontier Program was Clearpath Robotics (Canada), who is also an award sponsor in the Robot Launch competition. Learn more.

Clearpath Robotics  is sponsoring the Robot Launch ROS Award to the startup best using the Robot Operating System. The availability of the open source Robot Operating System ROS has played an important role in speeding up the growth of startups (including Clearpath Robotics), and more than 1/3rd of the Robot Launch startups use ROS in some way. Clearpath will be providing 10 hours of ROS consulting to the winner.

The Olander Company and KRTKL are also providing custom hardware for robotics startups in the finals of Robot Launch, showcasing how even early-stage robotics companies can help each other get to market faster.

The Robohub Readers Pick award celebrates the crowd favorite through online voting. Now that crowdfunding can play a significant role in the pathway for many startups, success in attracting votes here sends a strong signal of support to CEOs and potential investors.

Key Info

The finals will take place online and in person on September 18, 2015 at WilmerHale in Palo Alto, CA. Videos from the event will be available on Robohub, data and time TBA. See Twitter hashtag  #RobotLaunch2015 for details.



About Silicon Valley Robotics

Silicon Valley Robotics (SVR) is the not-for-profit organization supporting innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies in Silicon Valley. SVR organizes investor and startup events, networking and a job board for robotics companies, and strategic reports on the robotics ecosystem.


About Robohub

Robohub is a non-profit online communication network for the international robotics community. With over 70K unique visitors each month, Robohub features news and opinion from experts in all facets of robotics, including research, ethics, law, start-ups, business, arts and education.


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Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, founder of Women in Robotics and is a mentor, investor and advisor to startups, accelerators and think tanks, with a strong interest in commercializing socially positive robotics and AI.
Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, founder of Women in Robotics and is a mentor, investor and advisor to startups, accelerators and think tanks, with a strong interest in commercializing socially positive robotics and AI.

Hallie Siegel robotics editor-at-large
Hallie Siegel robotics editor-at-large

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