Maybe the world isn’t ready for robots in the home just yet.
Kuri, the robot billed as a machine that can interact with families and pets but can also record video and monitor the house, has been canceled by its maker, Mayfield Electronics.
Mayfield Electronics said it will cease manufacturing of Kuri and the robots that have already been made will not ship to customers. The company said all pre-order deposits will be refunded.
Mayfield, which was launched in 2015 as an independent entity of the Bosch Startup Platform but was never integrated into existing business units within Bosch, said it was unclear what the future holds for the company and for the social robot. The company gave no information as to why it was canceling Kuri (if it was lack of sales or lack of funding for production or other reasons) or the status of the company, whether it was folding or being sold or looking to other product offerings.
Social robots are at a phase where they have come out to much fanfare and media exposure including launches at CES and other industry trade shows but have struggled to find a footing among consumers. This might be because the robots often cost a pretty penny to acquire, because they might promise a bit more than can actually be delivered or just due to a general fear of having such a device run loose inside a house.
This is in direct comparison to other robotics in the home such as vacuums, which have found a good foothold among consumers, because while the cost is still high, the product actually delivers on what it is supposed to do.