New Look, New Blog, New Direction
When we started Interbots nearly five years ago, we didn’t know much about business plans, BOMs, or patent claims. We did, however, have our robot Quasi and a fantastic, close-knit team of talented people who were passionate about creating engaging, believable, emotionally expressive robots. Our original vision was to sell high-end animatronic robots like Quasi to science centers, museums, and theme parks. Eventually we built Quasi’s younger sister, Moxi, and spent several years entertaining audiences at over 40 events around the world. Watching children (and adults) interact with Quasi and Moxi, we discovered that there was something magical about puppeteered animatronics – something you don’t get with an autonomous experience and something you don’t get when you interact directly with another human being. It was something unique that stemmed from the puppeteering itself.
Since 2005 we’ve watched with excitement as the consumer robotics market has grown consistently larger. Each year there are more robotic pets, more bipedal robots, and more robotic kits. It’s an exciting time to be a kid – the landscape of technological play is evolving so rapidly! Over the past few years we’ve begun to realize that the experience of Quasi & Moxi, both from the audience perspective and puppeteer’s perspective, is missing from the landscape of consumer robotics. People all over the globe, especially kids, love playing along with our robots. Everywhere we went we got the same question: “Can I take him home?” And the more we thought about it, the more we wanted to be able to say “Yes!” So about 18 months ago we began work on adapting our proprietary high-end technology to an affordable robotic toy.
Even though technology is changing, kids still have the same fundamental desires from their play experiences. The form of play that Interbots is most excited about is “dramatic play” – our human desire to tell, share, and experience stories. We all fondly remember sending our action figures on exciting adventures, setting up our stuffed animals to act out stories, and listening over and over to tales told by Teddy Ruxpin. So we took those memories and our experiences with Quasi & Moxi and we started designing a toy. What we ended up with is a totally new type of robotic toy – “digital puppets.”
Digital puppets incorporate all the creative aspects of storytelling and make-believe that traditional toys provide and, when combined with robotic technology and a little web 2.0, have become something fundamentally new.
Interbots will be offering a closed door preview of our first digital puppet on a limited basis at the 2010 New York Toy Fair. Stop on by booth #3111 if you’d like a tiny sneak peek. We have a few other surprises to announce in the months to come, but until then, Viva la Robolucion!
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