Say goodbye to the company that made the cute Kuri robot

Mayfield Robotics couldn't find someone to back its vision of the future.

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Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

It's a sad day if you're fond of robotic assistants. Mayfield Robotics, the company behind the awww-inducing Kuri robot, is shutting down on October 31st, 2018. Simply put, the company had run out of options after cancelling Kuri. The company was "unable to reach an agreement" with other partners to help finance and develop its technology. Longtime partner Bosch will ease the burden for employees by offering severance packages and helping them find new jobs (including at Bosch).

The closure underscores the central problem home robot makers like Mayfield and the Jibo team have faced: there just isn't a lot of demand for household bots in their current form. As adorable as they are, they tend to be voice assistants with an adorable look. They do offer some extra functionality over a smart speaker (such as recording family moments) and are sometimes mobile, but rarely so much more that they can justify their higher prices. It's not that home robots will never take off -- just that the technology isn't there yet.

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