Russian to fund personal robots quest

June 15, 2012 at 5:00 PM

NEW YORK, June 15 (UPI) -- A Russian entrepreneur says he hopes to speed up a robotics revolution by creating a $25 million investment fund in New York focused on personal robots.

Dmitry Grishin, co-founder of the Mail.Ru Group, said the technology exists to make personal robots a reality and he hopes to fund an effort to take personal robotics from technology demonstrations to consumer products available in stores, InnovationNewsDaily reported Friday.

"Industrial robotics is pretty much developed," Grishin, co-creator of Russia's largest Internet company, said. "Now is a good time to bring robotics to millions of people -- personal robotics related to people's general lives and for the mass market."

Worldwide sales of industrial robots in 2010 totaled $5.7 billion compared with just $538 million for personal robots, the International Federation of Robotics said, but the group added it expects the personal robot market to reach $4.3 billion by 2014.

The newly founded Grishin Robotics would invest about $1 million or $2 million in small- and medium-sized personal robotics companies Grishin said have trouble obtaining venture capital.

"A big problem for venture capitalists is that they focus on limited time investments [that pay off within] five to seven years," Grishin told InnovationNewsDaily. "In this area, personal money is ready for risk-taking."

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