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Company Six Spins out of Sphero Robotics 

 May 23, 2020

By  Mike Oitzman

Company Six is a new venture focused on commercializing intelligent robots and AI-based software applications for first responders, government, defense, and those who work in dangerous situations. The company just uncloaked, but they are still slim on details about the company, the product and the team behind the innovation.

Company Six Takes its Leadership from Sphero

​Company Six is headed by former Sphero COO Jim Booth. Sphero also announced that Paul Capioli is the new CEO for Sphero. Paul Berberian, former Sphero CEO, is now the Chairman for both companies.

Sphero, ​is an industry leader in edtech programmable robots and STEAM-based educational tools. Company Six started as Sphero’s Public Safety Division, brought to life from Paul Berberian’s and Jim Booth’s backgrounds in military service and their passion for providing innovative tools for first responders and those who put themselves in harm's way.  By applying the experience used to bring more than 4 million robots to market at Sphero, the Company Six team believes it can create products that are not only robust and feature-rich enough for professional applications, but also affordable enough to be adopted by the majority, rather than the minority, of civilian and military personnel.

​“Our team is excited to build critically-needed robotic hardware and advanced software solutions that help first responders and people with dangerous jobs,” says Booth. “Our mission is to build powerful and affordable technology that we can put in the hands of as many people as possible.”

Booth was one of the early mentors to Ian Bernstein and Adam Wilson, Sphero’s two co-founders, as part of the Techstars Boulder Accelerator 2010 class. He joined Sphero after the Techstars program and helped launch and scale the company and managed numerous key areas, including operations, HR, legal, sales, finance, marketing, and business development. 

In connection with the spinout and formation of Company Six, they also closed a $3M seed investment round led by Spider Capital, with participation from existing Sphero investors including Foundry Group, Techstars, as well as new investor GAN Ventures to fund commercialization and market entry of their initial products.  At Company Six, the founding team is continuing to develop groundbreaking and affordable robotic technology as they have done over the past 10 years with Sphero. The products and services they will deliver to this new market are essential to maintaining safety, situational awareness,and improving decision making in the field for critical incidents and everyday operating environments. 

​What to Expect from Company Six

Sphero is most known for their Bolt (a robotic rolling ball) and RVR Robotics Kits. These solutions are affordable STEAM based education tools that are adored by science teachers and kids around the globe.

sphero products

Sphero RVR Robot (L) and Bolt (R) products (image courtesy of Sphero)

​While not much is known yet about what the Company Six products will look like or how they will operate, we're guessing that the initial solution will take it's design queues fro​m the RVR Robot, the Bolt and even the Sphero Ollie. The clue that Company Six will develop tools to help ​first responders remain safe implies that they will introduce a hardened, teleoperated robotic device that will enable first responders to safely gain situational intelligence before they enter into a dangerous situation. 

This could include situations/environments such as:

  • ​Burning buildings
  • ​Collapsed buildings
  • Pipelines, culverts, ductworks, crawlspaces
  • ​Tactical situations (SWAT team, police)
  • ​Surveillance Operations

​The only solid clue is in the product outline, currently in place on the Company Six website. It appears to be two wheeled, differentially driven, lightweight, handheld device. This wouldn't be too much of a leap from the wheelhouse of current Sphero technology and engineering experience.

They have certainly learned how to design and build "kid-hardened" devices/toys. This is a well thought out extension of the Sphero brand.

company six product outline

​Outline of the upcoming Company Six product? (from the Company Six website)

For more information on Company Six, please visit http://www.companysix.com/

ABOUT SPHERO: 

Sphero inspires the creators of tomorrow through remarkably cool, programmable robots, electronic building blocks, and educational tools that transform the way kids learn and create through coding, science, music, and the arts. Sphero goes #BeyondCode and drives kids to turn their imagination into reality. The skills students unlock through play-based learning prepare them to thrive, no matter what subject or career they pursue. Based in Boulder, CO, Sphero has become the #1 STEAM-based learning solutions company, loved by millions of parents, kids and educators worldwide. Learn more at sphero.com.

ABOUT COMPANY SIX:

Company Six (CO6) is a venture-backed robotic and cloud technology company headquartered in Boulder, CO that is dedicated to advancing the awareness and protection of those who put themselves into harm’s way. By combining advanced robotic platforms with a highly secure cloud-based technology suite, their products will fundamentally transform the way first responders operate in dangerous environments. CO6’s products are based on nearly a decade of technology development, and are designed to deliver a lightweight, yet highly advanced robotic solution that provides critical awareness for those we depend on the most, including police, fire, EMT, military, and others with dangerous jobs.

About the author 

Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman brings 25 years of product management and product marketing experience to the role of publisher and editor for Mobile Robot Guide. Mike is a respected expert in the mobile robot market and is a frequent panel leader and speaker at events and tradeshows.

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