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Misty now comes in three models: Basic, Standard and Enhanced

The past few months have been a thrill. Since we started shipping Misty II, we’ve seen a flurry of activity as commercial application developers, educators, and technology leaders alike explore the problems you can solve with a powerful, general-purpose robotics development platform. A platform (and this is important) that you don’t have to build yourself. Misty has everything you need to start coding innovative robot assignments out-of-the-box, and what she doesn’t have, you can design, build, and connect. That means software developers, educators, entrepreneurs, and everyone else who doesn’t have an expert’s level of robotics knowledge is now free to start using robots for interesting and useful tasks.

Today, it gets even more exciting. We’re announcing two new models of Misty II – the Misty II Basic and Misty II Enhanced editions – to help make the community of organizations and individuals who can build with (and learn from) Misty even bigger.

How do these models differ?

  • The Misty II Basic Edition ($1,999) provides a professional-grade platform robot at an affordable price. This model comes with all of the hardware and functionality of the original model (the Misty II Standard Edition), except the Occipital Structure Core Depth Sensor and wireless charging pad.

  • The Misty II Standard Edition (now selling for $2,999) will continue to ship with all of its original hardware and capabilities.

  • The Misty II Enhanced Edition ($3,299) comes with all the hardware and functionality of the Standard edition, plus an upgraded 820 processor. The Enhanced Edition features an Open-Q™ 820Pro µSOM (which replaces the Open-Q™ 820 µSOM used in the Standard Edition). This improves Misty’s response time by about 10% during CPU-intensive tasks (like face recognition), and enables Misty to cover a larger space during a single mapping session. For example, depending on environmental factors, a single mapping session with the Misty II Enhanced Edition can last for up to 10 minutes and cover around 1600 - 2000 square feet, whereas we typically expect mapping sessions with the Standard Edition to last for up to 5 minutes and cover a space of around 800 - 1000 square feet.

Adding these models to the lineup makes Misty II a great choice for everyone, whether you need a powerful and affordable platform but don’t require sophisticated mapping, or whether your assignments require Misty to generate individual maps of larger spaces. You can read more about the new models on the Misty Robotics blog by following the link below. If you have questions or comments, join the conversation by responding to this thread!

Will it be possible to upgrade from one edition to another? In particular,

  1. if I originally purchase a Basic Edition, can I purchase an upgrade kit to make my Basic Edition robot into a Standard Edition without having to purchase another Misty robot entirely? (If yes, presumably the upgrade kit would cost at least the difference, i.e., 1000 $.)
  2. similar question, but upgrade from Standard to Enhanced.

No decision has been made on this yet, primarily because it’s not simply a matter of easily plugging in a new part. Most likely, if we do decide to allow upgrades, it will be a matter of shipping the robot back to us to upgrade it (or replace it). But like I said, we haven’t reached a decision on this yet.

Thanks for explaining. I understand ultimately upgrades might not be supported. My motivation was not so much to avoid buying multiple robots, but rather, thinking about a future with an app store and compatibility among different models.

I think this is a bad business decision … it fractions the market for which developers can deploy the same features. Too quick changes in the hardware lineup discourages investment into the platform. Also, incremental changes in performance can make one feel to be working with an outdated version shortly after having bought the platform. Sorry to hear that!

Hi @ksuhre, thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I can understand the concerns around a fractured marketplace, and under different circumstances, I think I’d agree. What we’ve learned since we started mass-producing Misty II, though, is that while Misty is a general purpose platform that can do many different jobs, most of our customers (and potential customers) at this juncture are interested in solving a single specific problem that’s unique to their business.

We decided to react quickly to what we’ve been learning, so we can make Misty a valid option for a wider group of developers and the organizations they work for. One such learning is that a big barrier for many organizations is cost. This is especially true for those building solutions in peer-bots, socially assistive robotics, and K-12 edu, as many of these groups rely on grants & other types of special funding. What’s more, we’ve learned the solutions these groups are building tend not to require the capabilities Misty’s depth sensor provides, so we can effectively lower the cost for them by removing an expensive piece of hardware they don’t need in the first place.

On the “Enhanced” end of the spectrum, the upgraded 820 doesn’t split the marketplace in quite the same way. It lets Misty create bigger maps in a single mapping session with her Structure Core sensor, and it should improve the performance of anything that runs on Misty’s Android system – so, any mapping and tracking that uses Structure Core capabilities, onboard face recognition, AV streaming, handling mic/camera input, and any custom Android apps you run on the 820. Misty’s SDKs remain compatible across all three editions, and any solution you build for the Enhanced model can also run on the Standard (let me know if you’re interested in learning how robots without a depth sensor will handle situations where you attempt to run a skill that requires Structure Core capabilities, and I’ll ask the team to share implementation details). The purchasing decision is largely about the kind of environment in which the robot will operate, and how important it is to have longer SLAM mapping sessions.

Your concern around compatibility is valid; in the long term, this does make things more complicated for developers building generalized solutions for the broader Misty marketplace. When we get to a point where there are tens of thousands of Misty robots running lots of applications built by lots of different developers…well, that will be a good problem for us to have :). In these early days, however, we need to do everything we can to respond to customers and make Misty a viable solution for more organizations. For individual developers, our hope is that this will actually broaden the marketplace, and that you’ll have a bigger pool of customers for whom you can build robot solutions. We do plan to offer some kind of upgrade plan for customers who need to level up their Misty robots. The details aren’t quite ready to share, but we’ll make that information available soon.

Thanks for your detailed response, which makes clear that the move is motivated by evidence.

I think this is extremely important and, if handled well, essentially makes my concerns and those of @ksuhre immaterial.