Sphero startup will make robots for government and first responders

Sphero, the company best known for its BB-8 toy robot, has announced the successful spin-off of its Company Six into a startup that will make robots for the government, military use, and more. Company Six will operate as an independent company, according to Sphero, which says that it will also work on artificial intelligence-based software designed for customers 'who work in dangerous situations.'

Company Six was originally known as the Public Safety Division at Sphero; it will be led by now-former Sphero COO Jim Booth, according to the company, as its new CEO. Multiple other unspecified individuals will also be moved from Sphero to the Company Six team. They raised $3 million in a seed investment round.

Though it didn't provide info on any single specific product, Sphero did say as part of its announcement that the Company Six startup will provide both products and services that are 'essential to maintaining safety, situational awareness, and improving decision making in the field for critical incidents and everyday operating environments.'

In a statement, Company Six CEO Jim Booth said:

Our team is excited to build critically-needed robotic hardware and advanced software solutions that help first responders and people with dangerous jobs. Our mission is to build powerful and affordable technology that we can put in the hands of as many people as possible.

In addition to the spinoff, Sphero has announced that it has appointed Paul Copioli as its new CEO; he has been with the company since August 2019 following the acquisition of littleBits. Sphero is focusing on its educational kits and robots, home products like the Sphero Mini Soccer 'ball,' and it sells littleBits products, as well.