Less than a month after Mayfield Robotics said it was stopping production on its Kuri home robot, the company announced today on its blog that the company will be shutting down. Mayfield Robotics launched in 2015 as part of Bosch’s Startup Platform, but struggled to integrate with and find a business fit within Bosch. Since the cancellation of its Kuri robot, Mayfield Robotics had been looking for external partners for long-term technology development, but was unable to find investment to support its future. The company will cease all operations by October 31st.
We first met Kuri at CES 2017, and it wasn’t yet able to showcase all the features it was promised to have in the future. The robot was supposed to have smart assistant functionalities like an Amazon Echo, but with a much cuter face and movable body. Promo videos showed it working as a moving home security camera that was controllable through the Kuri app, but in the demonstration we saw, it only had as much functionality as a Bluetooth speaker. Customers who preordered for $699 were given refunds when it was canceled in July. As for affected employees, Mayfield will be offering them severance packages and the option to apply to open positions at Bosch.
It’s a sad ending to a robot that seemed to have a lot of potential, but was quickly outpaced by competing smart assistants offering the same features for much cheaper.