Disney’s BB-8 Toymaker Launches Robotics Startup for Police

Joanna Estrada
May 23, 2020

Company Six, which has already raised a $3 million seed round from investors including Spider Capital, Foundry Group, Techstars, and GAN Ventures, was originally formed as Sphero's Public Safety Division.

The company, intriguingly, will apparently develop robotic and AI helpers specifically aimed at those working in unsafe situations, such as first responders, the military and police.

The company's most famous product were remote controlled toy versions of BB-8 and R2-D2 from Star Wars, which it developed as part of a licensing agreement with Disney that expired in 2018.

The company hasn't announced any clients or new projects, but promises to focus on '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 unsafe jobs'.

There's a bit of corporate reshuffling taking place as a result of the new company, with Sphero's previous CEO becoming Chairman of both businesses, while a new CEO takes the reins at Sphero itself.

Although Sphero did not explicitly state that Company Six will make robots for the police, it seems that such machines will become an important product for the new company. Paul Berberian, the former head of Sphero, will take command of Company Six alongside Jim Booth, the two men with military training.

In the press release, the company specifies that it will use its experience to offer "lightweight but highly advanced robotic solutions that provide a critical advantage to those we most depend on, including the police, firefighters, the military, and other unsafe jobs".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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