Kuri made me hope that functional, fun and relatively affordable home robots were on the near-term horizon. Those hopes took a hard hit on Tuesday as Mayfield Robotics, the maker of Kuri, announced in a blog post it'll be pausing operations indefinitely.
All Kuri manufacturing will cease and preorders will be refunded. Check out the blog for directions on getting in touch with the team if you have questions about your preorder. Even completely manufactured Kuri robots won't be shipped out.
Mayfield Robotics was an independent part of the
Startup Platform. According to the announcement, Bosch was unable to integrate Mayfield into an existing business unit to help the startup scale production, so production is halting.
I first got to meet Kuri at
in 2017 and the adorable bot reminded me of a Pixar character. Kuri's oval eyes were expressive, and it beeped and booped in response to verbal commands. The bot could patrol your home on its wheels, remember the location of various rooms, listen to your voice commands and keep watch for anything out of place when you weren't around.
Initially due out in December of 2017, Kuri showed up at CES again in 2018 and looked to be further along and almost ready to ship. Unfortunately, it looks like that shipping date won't happen any time soon. I'm disappointed, as I would have loved to test Kuri and have a little robot buddy patrolling my place.