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Remember Company Six (CO6), the Sphero spinoff working on a situation awareness robot? Well, we now have our first look at ReadySight, a one-pound throwable robot that is expected to be available in Q3 2021. It’s designed for first responders and other commercial industries.
While ReadySight doesn’t look anything like Sphero’s RVR robot four-wheeler, it does share a similar color scheme. ReadySight streams video over dedicated LTE networks, and CO6 claims the range and number of viewers is unlimited. ReadySight is controlled by a user’s phone.
According to CO6, ReadySight can be used during the day or night. It offers autonomous and semi-autonomous operations and two-way audio communication. There is no upfront cost for the robot itself, but there are multiple video streaming plans available that have a one-time initiation fee. CO6 will start taking reservations and deposits for ReadySight in Q1 2021.
“Making a small, portable, video-enabled robot has really been a goal of our founding team since 2012 while we were at Sphero – but the networks and core technology simply were not ready,” said Jim Booth, CEO of Company Six. “Having used robots in the field while in the Army, they can be large, expensive and difficult to operate. What we’ve built is unlike any tool out there at a fraction of the price – truly to the point that they can be expendable if necessary. We want to put our robots in the hands of the many – not the few. We want our users to have all the information that is possible before they put themselves or others in harm’s way.”
CO6 said ReadySight can be used for a variety of applications, including accident investigation, exploring tight or unknown spaces before sending in a human, and acting as a security guard for a critical area such as a crime scene.
“A tool like ReadySight is what we’ve been wanting for years – a low-cost, expendable, throwable video robot, that runs over the cellular LTE network,” said John Abbey, retired Chief of Police from Silicon Valley and public safety innovator. “In many critical situations our police and fire first responders incur the risk of ‘going in blind’ to an uncertain situation. ReadySight is a game changer for these situations where more information is needed quickly,”
CO6 isn’t the only company to spin out of Sphero. In 2017, Misty Robotics split out from Sphero after raising an $11.5 million Series A. Foundry Group also backed Misty Robotics, which is headed by Ian Bernstein, co-founder and former chief technology officer of Sphero. Booth was one of the early mentors to Sphero co-founders Bernstein and Adam Wilson as part of the Techstars Boulder Accelerator 2010 class.
There are, of course, competitors to ReadySight. Other companies selling similar robots include FLIR, ReconRobotics and Roboteam. FLIR’s FirstLook, for example, is a throwable, rugged, and expandable robot that provides situational awareness to keep its operators out of harm’s way.