15 mins read
A robot that experienced a real adventure on a journey halfway round the world. A grumpy man who despises progress. And a little girl reunited with her long lost friend. #MyRobotExperience — a story of agility and acceptance of new technologies.
Reconstructing an adventure
Mike Beebe, CEO of Mayfield Robotics, and Bosch associate Davie Sweis meet each other at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In an impromptu session, they talk shop about the future of robots. Davie mentions that his daughter Layla is obsessed with robots. So Mike offers to let Layla be a beta tester for a prototype of the new Kuri home robot.
When Davie tells Layla, she can hardly wait to start testing Kuri. She decides to blog her experiences with the robot:
Life with a robot
Layla had no idea how much work beta testing a robot is in reality. It includes things like mapping wifi strength at home and taping over all obstacles for the robot. But with the help of Davie and Ellen from Mayfield Robotics, Layla successfully completes testing. And, not only that, the robot becomes her friend. One day, she decides to rename him Levy.
Kathryn and Peter
At the same time, cantankerous Peter is visiting his daughter Kathryn in San Francisco. Kathryn loves the technological progress associated with the internet of things. In Silicon Valley, she shows her father start-ups such as Faraday Future, which is working on the electromobility of tomorrow, and takes a walk with him across the San Francisco Shipyard, where a smart city is being built.
But Peter has no use for the new technological achievements. The two start to argue.
Levy is gone!
After testing Kuri (or Levy), Davie and Layla are invited to the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival to talk about their experiences with the robot. But on the way there, their luggage gets lost — with Levy on board!
While Layla hangs up “Lost robot” posters at SXSW, Davie sets up the Agile Robot Rescue Team (A.R.R.T.) to find Levy.
A sign of life from Levy
Somewhere out there
ood news! The A.R.R.T. manages to gain remote access to the robot's camera function. Now the team can see what Levy sees. They upload the material they view to the internet in the hope that the digital community can find out exactly where Levy is. Could it be Berlin?
The beginning of an unexpected friendship
But who took the wrong suitcase? It's Peter, the guy who couldn't care less about technology — and can't stand robots! As you might imagine, he is anything but thrilled at first. But even Peter has to admit that Levy is a lovable companion. The next thing you know, he is treating her to a currywurst...
We've made contact!
Finally, the Agile Robot Rescue Team manages to activate the robot's voice messaging function. Layla and Davie are able to get a message to Peter. Meanwhile, Kathryn returns from a three-week canoe tour and sees how her father has since become friends with a robot...
Together, they all decide to hand over Levy — appropriately enough — during a tour of the robotics lab at the Bosch research center in Renningen.
All's well that ends well
Layla is happy to have the robot back in her hands. And so the story of a lost robot draws to a close — as does the story of how robots light up the everyday lives of people like Peter who are skeptical about technology, helping him reconnect with his daughter Kathryn and her enthusiasm for digital trends.
The characters and their roles
#MyRobotExperience is a story in which multiple narrative threads are woven together one by one. It contains genuine as well as fictional elements. Some of its characters are real, while others are made up.
Levy's real name is Kuri. She is a new home robot and was developed by the Bosch start-up Mayfield Robotics.
Levy's eyes are not only lovable, but are also equipped with cameras for video recording and photography. She can even recognize faces and check on the house when no one is there. Of course, Levy had no idea that these capabilities would one day help her find her way back to Layla...
The Kuri being shipped in the U.S. in December 2017 can do even more:
In real life, Davie is also a Bosch associate in the U.S. He is the vice president of digital business – and an excellent storyteller, by the way: his presentations make even complex software topics understandable for everybody.
Just like in #MyRobotExperience, Davie also uses agile working methods in real life to solve problems quickly and efficiently.
In reality, Layla likes almost all robots, not just Levy. So she was also excited to take a tour of the Bosch robot lab and see the many new gadgets she got to check out during filming at SXSW. In our story, she represents the next generation, for whom living and interacting with robots will probably be a matter of course.
While Davie and Layla are “real,” the characters of Kathryn and Peter have been created for #MyRobotExperience. Their roles illustrate the conflicting attitudes that currently exist in the debate over technological progress. In real life, Peter is named Matthew Burton. He was born in Australia and currently lives in Berlin. He would have loved to have kept Levy ;-)
The Agile Robot Rescue Team (A.R.R.T.) is another fictional element of the story. Nevertheless, the work of A.R.R.T. represents precisely what will be important in an increasingly complex world shaped by rapid progress: To be successful, it will be necessary to network and enter into alliances with new partners. What is more, people will have to rethink traditional working methods and may need to apply new methods as part of an agile orientation toward new trends and realities — a challenge that companies will also have to face. Another plot thread that is told on a hidden level in #MyRobotExperience tells us why that is.
Story within a story
In one of its hidden plotlines, #MyRobotExperience touches on the subject of agility. In a world characterized by coexistence with robots and connectivity via the internet of things, acting quickly and flexibly will be part of everyday life for people as well as companies.
“This develops like a thriller. Never saw something like this before. It feels like following a mystery show — live — on the web.”
Gernot Maltes, March 18, 2017 at 8:42 PM
How things can become your partner
Can robots help make a house a home? Can robots inspire people? Can they even help families connect and bond? #MyRobotExperience is all about these current social issues. Home robots such as Kuri — or Levy — are just an example of how things can become real partners. In the future, cars, kitchens, industrial facilities, and even entire cities will be connected. These two examples from the upcoming annual report show how: