Watch Rise Robotics launch on stage here.
This interview with Rise Robotics founders Blake Sessions (left) and Arron Acosta (right) was conducted by the Job Portraits team during the LAUNCH Festival.
Let’s start with your elevator pitch.
Intel for exoskeletons.
Hmm. Can you give us a few details?
We've invented the fundamental breakthrough needed to create powerful mobile robots that can lift things, whether it's in industrial applications or elderly care, in the home or in hospitals. It's kind of like the transistor, but for motion. It's called an actuator. It converts energy from a battery into useful work.
How did you decide to try solving this problem?
It was a space we were interested in. We both wanted to be Iron Man, so we spent a few years trying to do that. We found out that the biggest problem was the power. It's tricky to supply a lot of power in a way that’s comfortable, with components that are lightweight and cheap. That’s the problem we decided to attack.
Think of cars for a moment: the biggest value is in the powertrain, or more specifically, the motor. That's why it’s Ford Motors, General Motors, and Tesla Motors. When Tesla started they built the guts first: batteries, transmissions, motors. We're doing the exact same thing but for mobile robots, especially exoskeletons.
How has the LAUNCH Festival experience been for you guys?
It's been amazing. It's been the rocket fuel we needed. We were in our stealth cave even though we weren't intentionally being stealthy. We were accidentally not on the radar. What we really needed was somebody to credibly boost us and introduce us to the world. That’s exactly what’s happened.
Is there something big up next for you guys?
We want to ship hundreds of these units to design partners that understand how this is going to change their capabilities for making powerful mobile robots. After that, we want to pick a select few, mutually, where we can focus and help them have a huge competitive advantage in their industries. We’ll start with just a few and then broaden out. We want everybody to have this, but to start it's about who and when.
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