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Qualcomm seeks robotics startups to boost Snapdragon

The company says it's looking for 10 companies to participate in a robotics accelerator. The win for Qualcomm: open up a new market for its Snapdragon chip.

With the Snapdragon Rover, Qualcomm itself is putting its smartphone chip to work in a robot. Qualcomm

Qualcomm said Wednesday that it will launch a robotics accelerator aimed at funding entrepreneurs to create smart machines and robots.

The win for Qualcomm is more processors sold. The robotics accelerator, which is powered by startup-mentoring program Techstars, will select 10 companies to participate.

Qualcomm said in a statement that the accelerator will be based at its San Diego, Calif., headquarters. The mobile chipmaker said it will contribute $1 million to the program, which aims to combine robotics, smart machines, navigation and wireless technology.

For Qualcomm, the robotics efforts boil down to opening a new market for its Snapdragon processor, which is a staple in mobile devices. The robotics accelerator will complement its other efforts that revolve around pattern matching, robotics and toys.

Qualcomm said it will take applications for its accelerator until Feb. 22. Each participant will get $120,000, mentorship, $350,000 in "partner perks" and space at Qualcomm to work.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet under the headline "Qualcomm launches robotics accelerator."