IMG and STEP grantee Robin the Robot secures $2M funding
Armenia’s tech industry has recently received excellent news: IMG & STEP grantee Robin the Robot has raised $2 million in a seed round.
Innovation Matching Grants (IMG) and Science and Technology Entrepreneurship program (STEP) are grant programs implemented by Enterprise Incubator Foundation over the years.
The company is known as the maker of Robin the Robot, Armenia’s first AI-enabled robot. Officially named “autonomous care assistant”, Robin helps front-line medical workers by acting as a caregiver for children patients.
According to the company’s CEO & Co-Founder Karen Khachikyan, Robin is the first of its kind to use emotional intelligence technology to create empathetic conversations. “Hospitals all over the world have a shortage of caregivers,” said Karen, “Our robot addresses that problem. In this regard, Robin has three functions: improving patient access, reducing costs, and enhancing experience.”
The robot provides social and emotional support thanks to the unique technological design that allows Robin to help children cooperate with the medical staff while in hospital. Communicating with Robin alleviates the stress and makes the young patients feel happier, which has a very positive outcome on their treatment.
“Robin’s technology utilizes evidence-based practices such as play-based techniques, behavioral strategies, and active distractions to support children,” explained Karen.
“The technology anchors relevant emotional reactions by analyzing facial expressions and the context of conversations. It also allows Robin to identify the patient’s mood and adjust its behavior. Thanks to the memory network, Robin can store key points from interactions and bring them up in the next conversations.”
The content for the robot’s interactions was designed in cooperation with psychologists, in accordance with the best practices in the field. The patient management system of the robot monitors the patients, collects data about their health status, signals if there are any changes in their condition, and provides mental health and well-being reports for the medical staff.
Robin LLC accelerated production and hired more technical staff to increase the capacity of manufacturing with the IMG. “The funds were invested in the R&D of the product to make improvements in the existing methods or processes,” noted Karen. “The new investment from the seed round will go toward expansion.”
“Over 15 medical facilities already use our robot. We have Robins in California, Texas, and Colorado,” said Karen. Robin the Robot has been recognized as TIME’s Best Invention of 2021 and was featured as an honoree in Fast Company’s 2021 Innovation by Design Awards. The plan for 2022 is to build on the existing success.
According to Karen, raising funds in the seed round has been an important milestone. “We will advance Robin’s technology for pediatric patients and prepare for mass production of the product, considering the number of sales requests we get,” noted Karen. Another item on the agenda is the expansion of the sales and marketing teams. The company plans to hire a Head of Marketing to direct and oversee a strategy for better brand visibility and more qualified leads, while SDRs will work on outbound lead generation.
The success of Robin and his makers marks another step forward for the tech industry of Armenia. We will follow the new achievements of the company and other beneficiaries of EIF grants!