Most Innovative New Product Awards: Robotics & Unmanned Vehicles Finalists

Nov 22, 2016

Robotics and Unmaned Vehicles:

Get to know the finalists for this year’s Most Innovative New Product Awards Robotics and Unmanned Vehicles category! 

CleverPet, Inc. – CleverPet Hub

The CleverPet Hub is a connected game console that intelligently trains and engages dogs using their normal daily food.  Think simon for dogs. To your pup, home is boring. So we combine world-class design with PhD-level expertise in computational neuroscience to reduce the loneliness and anxiety caused by daily isolation. Founder & CEO, Leo Trottier, joined us to answer a few questions about CleverPet here:

CONNECT: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

For the first time in history, we have remotely trained hundreds of members of another species in an uncontrolled environment, and developed in them new skills using software. 

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

New category consumer hardware products for dogs pose significant challenges to every aspect of the business, from hardware design to software design, and from marketing to customer education. The principal obstacle has been the integration of all the pieces into a coherent whole that is usable and understandable to consumers, while also being compelling for investors.  

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?

CONNECT’s Most Innovative New Product Awards are unique in featuring the incredible innovation that San Diego is able to produce. We are honored to have been selected and to be peered with so many other great companies and products. Regardless of who wins, we’re delighted to have been able to participate. 

Robolink – CoDrone

The CoDrone is a tiny quadcopter drone you can program to do whatever you want: follow you, engage in laser battles, go through a maze, among others. Whether you are brand new to drones and programming or you’re a longtime drone lover, there is no shortage of things you can customize the CoDrone to do. CEO, Hansol Hong, answered a few questions about Robolink here:

CONNECT: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

It’s hard to choose! We’ve done so much in the last year, but probably the biggest achievement is launching such a successful Kickstarter for CoDrone.  We quadrupled our $50K goal and raised $205K, and we managed to ship within 3 months, which is pretty fast for a Kickstarter.  We managed to get pretty strong press coverage, community support, and praise along the way, doing CES and being a Last Gadget Standing finalist.  I think getting the product into people’s hands and seeing them really working with their hands, writing code, and getting the drone flying and provide positive feedback really drives the feeling of accomplishment home.  Of course, we’re always working to improve, so we’ve got more work ahead.

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

It’s probably learning the whole distribution process, and everything that’s involved with it.  The largest volume within a short period of time that we’ve had to handle was at the end of the Kickstarter.  We’re still overcoming the obstacle, but we’re much more experienced now in handling all the details and logistics of distribution.  Now we’re taking the experience and expanding into more distribution channels.  We’re already on Amazon—learning and getting better each day—and looking at more retail channels.

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?

It means that all the sweat and hard work we put into designing our product, testing and iterating it with our thousands of students, then launching the Kickstarter campaign, is being recognized and validated.  We’re a San Diego company, so it means a lot to have CONNECT recognize that we’re doing something good for our community and educating the children of tomorrow.  We’ve got our fingers crossed that we make it to the next step!

For more information on the 2016 Most Innovative New Product Awards click here.