Robotics Update: Investment Fund Established for Rapid Commercialization of Human Helpers

Grishin Robotics has launched a $25 million capital fund to promote the robotics industry, helping businesses to get their new robot inventions to mass market. The company’s mission is to turn robots into everyday objects in human lives.

Today’s market is divided between industrial and service robots. Industrial robotics and particularly military applications receive lots of investment from both government and the private sector. Grishin, however, intends to focus money on the under served side of the business, personal robots for everyday use.

Grishin’s founder, Dmitry Grishin, is an entrepreneur who graduated from the Faculty of Robotics and Complex Automation at Moscow State Technical University. Today he is CEO and Chairman of the Mail.Ru Group, Russia’s largest Internet company, the seventh largest in the world. Mail.Ru offers email services, an Internet portal, online games, social networking and e-commerce services.

But Grishin’s first love is robots and it his personal funds that are behind the launch of the Grishin Robotics. Grishin argues that robots are today where personal computers were in the early 1980s.

Companies like iRobot have made robotic vacuum cleaners attractive consumer items but the potential  is so much greater particularly since the cost to build robots has dramatically decreased.

Where does Grishin see robots taking off? In areas that affect people’s daily lives. Here are some examples:

  • Robots that provide healthcare assistance for seniors
  • Robots that do home maintenance like the vacuum or robotic lawnmowers that we are already seeing on the market today
  • Robots that fly and observe to provide home security
  • Robots that help children with homework and learning
  • Robots that take pictures and record family daily activities and special events

Grishin is looking at making investments between $1 and $2 million with a focus on small and medium-sized personal robotics companies. These are companies that are seen as too risky by venture capital firms and as a result get overlooked. The seed capital that Grishin will provide is designed to get these smaller entrepreneurial inventors to the point where they can make a mass-market impact.

Grishin Robotics plans to invest in companies that develop personal robots for the mass market. These domestic robot prototypes were developed at Cornell University’s Robot Learning Lab.                         Source: Cornell University

Will robots become as ubiquitous as smart phones, tablets and notebook computers? Grishin thinks so and he is putting his money on the line the same way private companies are putting money into developing space technology.

Your personal world in 2030 may be teeming with robot helpers of all kinds. I can’t help but think about the Jetsons and Rosey the Robot.

Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...


  • Johan S

    I think a robotic chef that can cook gourmet meals would be great. I think there would be a market for it if it can be done for under $10,000 (after which the price will hopefully drop so the avg. person can afford it). Even if it requires the initial ingredients to be manually loaded, that’s fine. It can have its own spice storage compartments etc. It doesn’t have to be humanoid looking. The roomba isn’t humanoid but it gets the job.

    • lenrosen4

      Dear Johan,
      Interestingly enough there is a robot butler who microwaves meals, bakes cookies, cooks sausages and pours beer. But as for a gourmet chef, it is not. If you want to read about this not yet commercial invention created at Carnegie Mellon University, please go to The complexity to accomplish working in a kitchen is not a small task. Space to manouevre is limited and kitchen appliances can be on many levels – microwave on a counter, oven and stove top at different positional levels, and a refrigerator, multi-shelved. But Herb (he should be a gourmet chef with that name) is still finding his way around basic kitchen activities and represents a good start on achieving your desire.