These robots are not suckers, they are anointed by Y Combinator in China

Robots startups are flooding China, infiltrating into entertainment, companionship, dining, shopping, education, farming, medical, manufacture…or any usage you can think of.

Today a robot centric startup coming from nowhere could be much humiliated by investors during the pitch event. But the one with the imprimatur of YC would immediately hush the voice of doubters.

This startup is one of the six winners selected by YC for its first batch in China. The founding team started the country’s first open-source robotic system in 2014 when they were still university students. In 2018, they launched the robotic company focusing on shopping guidance and indoor navigation solution.

 

They aim to put the robots into the supermarket scenario. The basic features of the robot as below:

One pilot project is serving Mars Group which has been struggling with the dropping sales of the chocolate bar and chewing gum in the supermarket. Mars is hoping to leverage robots to attract consumers’ attention and interests so as to trigger purchase behavior. 5 robots are already put into the experiment, walking around the supermarkets belong to Vanguard in Shenzhen, with a high expectation that they can perform better than regular human shopping guides while collecting more accurate customer data. The robot is currently rented at the pricing of RMB100 (USD15) per day per se which the startup is still striving to cut down further.

Coca-Cola also signs on this novelty, orchestrated by YC. It is said Coca-Cola is asking the startup to develop the second-generation robot which can recognize right consumers to greet and sell; for instance, robots would detect a customer who is sweating during the hot summer day, next actively approach the target, then recommend soft drinks based on gender or age preferences.

Although this startup is at the very early stage and the founding members are mostly fresh out of the school, the backup from YC, not to mention those glamorous mentors behind, will probably catapult it into the robot stardom.

 

By: Cecilia Wu