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November 01, 2008

Interview with Faysal Sohail, Managing Director of CMEA Ventures on Robotics


Faysal Sohail of CMEA Ventures believes recent technological breakthroughs have made service robotics viable for domestic application, especially in the areas of home security, vision and sensory robotics, elder care, and lawn care.

CEMA Ventures has funded robotics and is looking for more robotics related investments:
* Funding companies like Evolution Robotics and WowWee who are providing technologies and services that literally bring products to life and to market


WowWee is most famous for its toy Robosapien. They have many more toys and devices. (flying robots, mobile webcam, robopets and much more)

* Rovio, by WowWee, has a WiFi enabled mobile webcam that can see, speak and hear from anywhere in the world

Interview with Faysal Sohail

This site had a phone interview with Faysal Sohail, managing director of CMEA Ventures. This conversion with Faysal Sohail concentrated upon his view of the current opportunities in robotics and the future of robotics.

Faysal Sohail joined CMEA Ventures in 2002 as a Managing Director. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Applied Wave Research, Catalytic, Inovys Corporation, Pyxis Technology, Symwave, and Telsima; and Faysal previously served on the board of Alien Technology. Mr. Sohail brings with him more than a decade of senior executive experience in engineering, marketing and business development. He was CEO of Cadabra Design Automation and managed its acquisition by Numerical Technologies (NMTC) where he served as Sr. Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations. Prior to Numerical Technologies, Faysal was Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy for Synopsys Inc. (SNPS). In 1990, he co-founded Silicon Architects, which was acquired by Synopsys in 1995. Earlier in his career, Faysal spent several years in IC design engineering and marketing positions with Actel Corporation (ACTL) and LSI Logic Corporation (LSI).

- Robots have finally reached the critical level for mass consumer and industrial commercialization
- Robots are not a large market yet, but fundamental technology is approaching vital price points with necessary functionality
- Robotics is enabled by lower cost of computing, wireless networks, autonomous navigation, local sensors and components that are cheap and reliable
- The key price points are $50-500 per unit with a sweet spot of $100-300 per unit
- Rovio is combining 3G cellphone control, wifi and Northstar navigation

Applications
- Rovio may open up its API for third parties to develop applications
- Hospital delivery is an opportunity. Nurses walk 5-6 kilometers a day to deliver medication. This is a repetitive task done in a controlled multi-room environment.
- Other tasks need to be identified that are highly repetitive, in controlled environments which can enable savings in time and money
- Target areas are offices, warehouses, elderly care, toys, home care and education







Evolution Robotics has Visual Pattern Recognition and Navigation Technology
Evolution Robotics develops superior visual pattern recognition and autonomous navigation technologies that can be easily integrated into robotic and intelligent devices. Evolution Robotics main product ERSP® is a software development platform designed to provide core infrastructure for robotic application development projects.

ER Search is a mobile search engine operated by Bandai Networks and powered by Evolution Robotics' ViPR visual pattern recognition system.














Some WowWee Products


WowWee has a range of flying robots from Tinker Bell to Dragonflies.


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