Saying goodbye to Mayfield Robotics
Mayfield Robotics was founded in February 2015 with the dream of making home robots that were joyful, useful, and inspiring. The team’s proudest achievement was creating and shipping Kuri, the world’s most adorable home robot. Based in Redwood City, California, Mayfield Robotics grew to a team of over 60 employees, plus a small army of talented contractors. As a team, Mayfield Robotics included visionary engineers, researchers, and designers, all led by their three co-founders Mike Beebe (CEO), Kaijen Hsiao (CTO), and Sarah Osentoski (COO).
Mayfield Robotics began as part of the Bosch Start-Up Platform. In 2014, Sarah Osentoski (COO) and Kaijen Hsiao (CTO) were working in Bosch Research Center in Palo Alto, where the user design and research department had worked with the robotics team to do need-finding into what robots could do in the home. Initially, the proposal was focused on a home security robot, patrolling for intruders. Mayfield Robotics was officially started in 2015, and Mike Beebe was brought on as CEO to lead the company. The team focused on user research around whether users who were concerned with security actually wanted a home robot.
The team discovered that while consumers liked the idea of a home robot, people who cared deeply about security were more concerned about the perimeter of their home–they would say things like, “Will the robot interact with my outdoor cameras?” and were not very convinced by the idea of a robot that could not guarantee that an intruder would be spotted. Interestingly, they would also ask, “What will it do when I’m at home?” and it became clear that a robot sitting on its charging dock until they left the house was not the right answer. Users wanted their home robot to be entertaining, companionable. They also wanted something they could show off to their friends. The team’s research proved that this consumer marketplace loved the idea of a robot that could take up-close videos of their pets, and even share them while they were at work or travelling. Over time, the robot that Mayfield Robotics was building shifted from being home-security-focused, to providing peace of mind and some entertainment, and finally to Kuri: an adorable videographer and companion robot who provided connection to one’s home and loved ones.
To get more information, read the full exit Story of Mayfield Robotics.