Miko Robotics acquires majority stake in AI chess startup, Square Off • TechCrunch

Sq. Off charmed us at CES 2019, when the startup confirmed off its robotic chess board at our {Hardware} Battlefield occasion. Watching the items transfer on their very own, courtesy of underlying AI, grabbed the eye of a jaded crowd of showgoers.

This morning, it takes the subsequent step within the startup lifecycle, as Bay Space-based youngsters robotics agency Miko pronounces that it has acquired a majority stake of 70% of the agency. “We’re thrilled to affix forces with Miko on this journey to revolutionize edutainment for teenagers,” Sq. Off’s co-founder and CEO, Bhavya Gohil, says in a brief press launch tied to the information.

Miko, in the meantime, is a Disney Accelerator grad finest identified for its eponymous toy robotic. Along with its plans to take a position $12 million into the board sport startup, the corporate plans to tie the product choices collectively, with the Miko robotic, “taking up the position of instructors that educate youngsters to play chess and different board video games,” per the corporate.

Toy robots have, admittedly, been hit and miss (principally miss) through the years, and as corporations like Sphero and littleBits have proven, even its entry to Disney content material from Toy Story, The Lion King and the like aren’t a surefire predicter of success. Sq. Off’s merchandise, nevertheless, ought to show a pleasant little bit of diversification to the corporate’s portfolio — it’s a intelligent and stunning tackle the 400-year-old sport.

Miko notes that each corporations, which launched their first merchandise in 2017, noticed an uptick in curiosity over the previous couple of years, as extra households have been caught at dwelling because of the pandemic.

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