In the robotics industry, drone startups are hot right now. There are so many cool innovations in this field though, like these tiny eye surgery robots, that I want to give you a taste of many flavors of robotics to watch in 2017—drones included. According to Fortune, the robotics industry is set to pass $135 billion in 2019, so expect to see even more innovative robotics startups in the coming years.

Momentum Machines

Momentum Machines is blending robotics with food preparation. They already have a machine that can custom grill gourmet burgers and add an array of toppings, seasonings, and sauces. They have robotics experts from places like NASA and Tesla on their team, and together they’re changing the face of culinary automation.

In combination with AI technology that is being used in fast food restaurants in China to assist users in ordering using facial recognition, this could completely disrupt the food service industry.

 

 

Starsky Robotics

When I first read this I saw “Stark” and I thought, “Yeah! Iron Man suits!”

I soon realized the Iron Man company is Stark Industries, fictional, and most closely replicated by this man in the real world.

But then I started reading about Starsky Robotics, and they have an action movie vibe about their whole branding.

“According to a major thought leader in the space ‘this is a very very good idea. If you play this right, you can have 5 years before anyone else can catch up with you.’ Accordingly, we’re highly stealth right now, but are happy to disclose more information in person.”
Even though they are highly stealth, Starsky’s Angel profile does give us a bit of insight. They’re designing robots to automate vehicles which, of course, has major disruption potential.

We’re watching, Starsky. We’re watching.

 

 

Neurala

Neurala makes smart, deep learning machine “brains” for products and services including drones, cars, interactive toys, and more. It can be used singularly or networked in the cloud, can be used anywhere, and learns quickly with pre-training customization. The brain design is based on research the company conducted for NASA and the USAF Research Labs.

You can get a brain for any product with one click on their website.

 

 

NanoRacks

NanoRacks is making space research open to everyone and provides everything you need to help get your research underway on the ISS. They support researchers, educational users, and governments using their highly disruptive space technologies to offer this as a service.

It’s not just the ISS they cover, they offer low Earth and deep space opportunities for research as well.

 

 

Open Bionics

Open Bionics makes prosthetics that kids can be excited about including a whole new generation of bionic hands.

They have a glowing “Jedi” Star Wars hand, and Iron Man hand, and a Frozen hand, to name a few. Check these out:

They are making bionic hands affordable for amputees and hobbyists worldwide. They’re an award winning startup with a dozen awards to their name and have been featured in various major publications.

 

 

Bond

I’m a sucker for personalization, and that’s true for many other people as well.

Bond makes the world of handwritten notes scalable using robotics. You type your message, the Bond robot writes it on customizable stationery. Of course, this technology may cause a handwritten note to lose value to consumers, but for now—no one can tell the difference. And, no matter what, it’s always going to have a special something missing with plain type. They start out at about $5 per recipient.

 

 

Jibo

Jibo is a social, interactive robot. Jibo learns faces and voices of family and friends, can take photos, send messages, tell immersive bedtime stories to the kids, and more. He’s backed by a community who is always teaching him more. The Wall Street Journal said Jibo was “…Tech that will change your life.”

Jibo is still in pre-order, but any company bringing robotics into the daily lives of consumers should be on your watchlist for 2017.

 

 

Pillo

Pillo is a consumer-level family health robot. He can dispense vitamins and medications and even order refills. Pillo uses facial and voice recognition to get to know your family, answer health questions, connect with doctors via telemedicine, and sync with smart devices. Pillo is like having a doctor with a friendly face in your home to help you and your family with their wellbeing. Although they’re fully funded, you can still order a Pillo on IndieGoGo.

 

 

Robelf

Robelf is another IndieGoGo funded project of the household robot variety. Robelf has multiple cameras attached to patrol your home as a functional security system. But Robelf is much more than a security system in that Robelf can “can talk, tell stories, take voice commands, teach lessons, make phone calls, even tell jokes!” As home robots become more commonplace, companies who offer these in production have great capacity for growth in coming years.

Robelf is due out in July 2017, so there’s still time to order one on IndieGoGo.

 


MegaBots

There is no way to discuss robotics companies to watch without mentioning the Giant Fighting Robot League!

15 foot, 15,000 pound robots for football stadium sized battles.

There’s no way not to watch these things. Check ‘em out in this video!

What about you? Which robotics companies are you watching in 2017? Let us know in the comments!