Qualcomm announced the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, powered by Techstars, a four-month mentorship-driven startup program aimed to accelerate the development of the next generation of robotics and intelligent machines. Approximately 10 companies will be selected to participate in the program and will be based on Qualcomm's corporate campus in San Diego. These companies will build next generation smart machines that combine mechanics and intelligent controls, computer vision, sensors, navigation and wireless communications.
Qualcomm Incorporated is committing over $1 million in aggregate funding to the program participants. Additionally, the participants will be offered business and technical insight on robotics during the program. Upon completion of the four-month accelerator program, companies will be able to leverage Techstars' network of over 3,000 successful entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and corporate partners.
The Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, powered by Techstars, aligns with Qualcomm's current efforts to develop "smarter," more efficient robotics platforms with more enhanced connectivity built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. These platforms aim to provide an integrated, low power solution for multiple robotics applications. Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
For instance, Qualcomm has already announced work on Qualcomm Zeroth, a technology that enables robots and smartphones to excel at perceptual pattern matching tasks that can be executed fully on device. Last month, Qualcomm demonstrated the Zeroth technology embedded in the Snapdragon Rover, a robot that learned to successfully classify different types of toys including specific models it had never seen before. It was able to then pick them up and sort them into different bins.
"The scale and pace of smartphone technology development is having a growing impact on many other technology sectors, and robotics is no exception," said Matt Grob, CTO, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "At Qualcomm, we work to provide entrepreneurs and innovators worldwide with the technologies that will help them transform the way we work, live and play, and this robotics accelerator is just one example of how we are trying to achieve that goal."
"We have already had a number of successful robotics companies coming out of Techstars and are excited to see what this new batch of companies will achieve given the support they'll receive from Qualcomm, particularly given the Company's deep expertise in mobile," said David Cohen, Managing Partner, Techstars. "Robotics is a hugely untapped frontier that is quickly becoming a focus for Techstars given recent tech advances that let machines be prototyped faster and easier than ever before."
Those companies interested in participating in this accelerator program can submit their application starting today at qualcommaccelerator.com. The application submission process will be open from now until February 22, 2015. The program will commence in May 2015 and conclude in September 2015 with a Demo Day, where each team will have the opportunity to present their work to investors, industry leaders, and the community at large.