Zorabots plans robot takeover with temi. So far they’re friendly.

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on February 28, 2019
Worried about robots teaming up? It looks like robot companies beat them to the punch.

Belgium-based ZoraBots, which makes operating software for other robots along with its own robot series teamed up with temi — that funky little bot that roams around with what looks like an iPad.

With Mobile World Congress under way Grit Daily caught up with ZoraBots CEO Fabrice Goffin to get a better grasp on the robot market right now and what the latest deal with temi means for the European market.

GD: For the uninitiated, what’s all the buzz about temi? How are you involved with that series of robots? 

Fabrice Goffin: This is the first time that temi will be available in European and Middle East markets. ZoraBots will provide new functionalities like mart programmed tasks and languages — there are 53 languages we provide — to temi thanks to its software. It’s a partnership. The experiences of over five years of ZoraBots in the field we will lend to temi’s hardware. temi will be one of the first personal assistant ‘bots able to move and help elderly in a private home.

GD: Where have you made your biggest inroads into the consumer market? Healthcare? Why? 

FG: Healthcare is one of the most important markets for ZoraBots. Our work started with the idea and vision that robots can help people and really improve daily life. That’s why healthcare has been the first sector we’ve explored. We started with elderly and children in re-validation sessions. And it quickly showed great promises, at least according to this study.

GD: Why focus on the elderly? 

A ZoraBot gets cuddled.

FG: Our results are impressive. And an aging population is a core challenge around the world. Loneliness and the needs for personal assistance are challenges we’re taking on. Robots can help and ZoraBots is one of those supporters.

GD: What are the factors that “give a robot life?” 

FG: Robots have to be friendly. The have to look natural but not too human like because that could be creepy — like “uncanny valley” creepy.

A robot has to speak fluently, understand easily what people say, answer quickly, make eye contact and of course the robot has to be helpful and not only there for entertainment.
Operating a robot has to be easy, seamless, and intuitive. The Zora solution, for example, doesn’t require any coding, programming, or even basic computer skills. In two hours, you’ll be able to fully enjoy all the abilities of the robot. Also, you need to be able to compose your own behaviors and not only preset attitudes.

GD: What are your relationships to  Nao, Pepper, and UO5? 

FG: These are hardware robots that run our solution. We’ve signed exclusive partnerships with SoftBank Robotics, Canbot and Siasun, among others.

GD: What does Billy-Billy do? Why does that robot have two first names, hyphenated? 

FG: This smart flower pot is there to take care of you while you take care of the plant. Dedicated to elders, it can remind you to take your medication, invite you to cool the temperature down if it’s too hot — or the other way around. It can tell you to drink a little bit or to open the curtains if too dark in the room. It’s linked to your agenda or the agenda set by the care givers or closed relatives. So far, it works.
By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Jordan French is the Founder and Executive Editor of Grit Daily Group, encompassing Financial Tech Times, Smartech Daily, Transit Tomorrow, BlockTelegraph, Meditech Today, and flagship outlet, Grit Daily. The champion of live journalism, Grit Daily's team hails from ABC, CBS, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, Fox, PopSugar, SF Chronicle, VentureBeat, Verge, Vice, and Vox. An award-winning journalist, he was on the editorial staff at TheStreet.com and a Fast 50 and Inc. 500-ranked entrepreneur with one sale. Formerly an engineer and intellectual-property attorney, his third company, BeeHex, rose to fame for its "3D printed pizza for astronauts" and is now a military contractor. A prolific investor, he's invested in 50+ early stage startups with 10+ exits through 2023.

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