Bringing a new robot to market is exciting: new capability, new hardware, new services. The problem is when you get to software, where everything feels harder and takes longer than you think it should. Like Tesla’s full self-driving, which has all the hardware and intelligence it needs — with the possible exception of LIDAR — but is perpetually just … about … to … arrive … and even so, was recently savaged by Consumer Reports as buggy and ineffective.
Hardware is necessary, but software provides the animating intelligence that allows it to do useful, efficient, and safe work.
That’s why Nader Elm, CEO of autonomous drone company Exyn Technologies, compared robots today to the iPhone before the App Store: the hardware’s there, but the software layer is immature.