February 09, 2015      
Going back to the start

She’s back–and with a new bankroll of $3 million!

Melonee Wise has returned to the robotics game with a bang: new company–Fetch Robotics, new IP and a new machine, which she says will be shipping in 2Q2015. That was fast.

In 2014, she and her mates bounded into the new-product limelight of robotics (after a stint at Willow Garage) with a well-received robot, the UBR-1, under the umbrella of her then-new company, Unbounded Robotics.

The UBR-1 was a big hit at RoboBusiness 2013, picking up a Game Changer Award, and a short time later was heaped with more praise at the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 where the UBR-1 turned heads and got lots of people thinking her creation was a sure hit.

All the fanfare, however, was soon followed by “business” problems. End result: Unbounded was quickly shuttered, and Melonee went stealth, but promising a big return.

See related: Unbounded Robotics’ Melonee Wise Sees Boundless Potential for Startup

See related: Unbounded Robotics Shutdown: A Lesson for All Startups

The return

As its CEO, she helms startup Fetch Robotics,and its still-under-wraps new robot–or as she indicates may actually be two robots. Someone must know what it or they look like and what it or they can do, because Shasta Ventures and seed-stage O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV) just filled her corporate coffers with $3 million.

“We are developing more than one robot,” she told the IEEE’s Evan Ackerman, “I can tell you that one is a mobile manipulator and one is a mobile base, and they’ll work together. We’re targeting the logistics market, looking to do order fulfillment with robots.

“It’s going to be similar [to the UBR-1] in the way that all mobile manipulators are similar. They have an arm or arms, a mobile base, and sensors. We’re not talking about price right now, but tens of thousands of dollars, not hundreds of thousands.”

Likely targets might well be the like of industrial warehouse jobs at Amazon or Alibaba.

What’s the vision here?

Here’s that “inflection point” again.

Coneybeer thinks “robotics is reaching an inflection point where you start to be able to do interesting things because of advances in actuators and processors and machine vision that allow robots to work in close proximity to people.”

About Fetch Robotics:

Fetch Robotics was originally founded as FYS Systems, which stands for Fetch Your Stuff. It was founded by Steve Hogan at Tech-Rx [a technology incubator], who founded FYS Systems to try to create a company to go after the robotics market.