Best Quotes from Colin Angle

People are fascinated by robots because they’re machines that can mimic life.

Colin Angle

Robotics has been around forever, and it’s been the next big thing forever, and it is so exciting and compelling that it’s easy to get carried away. People almost always do, and that’s one of the things that has held back the industry.

Colin Angle

It’s going to be interesting to see how society deals with artificial intelligence, but it will definitely be cool.

Colin Angle

I learned to canoe at summer camp and thought I’d pursue Olympic whitewater canoeing. In my senior year of high school, I instead decided to attend M.I.T. I like to say I’ve had only two jobs in my life: whitewater canoeing instructor and wilderness guide in college, and C.E.O. of iRobot.

Colin Angle

Starting out, iRobot was not an economic rocket ship. It took six and a half years before we had enough money in the bank at the beginning of each month to make payroll. We always made it – we paid salaries at the end of the month, and I always had four weeks to figure things out.

Colin Angle

The idea that a robot will become more aware of its environment, that telling it to ‘go to the kitchen’ means something – navigation and understanding of the environment is a robot problem. Those are the technological frontiers of the robotics industry.

Colin Angle

The reason it has taken so long for the robotics industry to move forward is because people keep trying to make something that is cool but difficult to achieve rather than trying to find solutions to actual human problems. Technology can be extremely expensive if you don’t focus.

Colin Angle

Robotic toys can be very interesting, but it is important that the toy not ‘dictate’ how the child should play with it. Rather, it should take its cues from the child and enhance, teach, and enrich the play experience. We incorporated some of these features into a robotic baby doll we built for Hasbro in 1999.

Colin Angle

The way that the robotics market is going to grow, at least in the home, is that we’ll have a number of different special purpose robots.

Colin Angle

In the beginning of Roomba, we all took turns answering the support line. Once, a woman called and explained that her robot had a defective motor. I said, ‘Send it back. We’ll send you a new one.’ She said, ‘No – I’m not sending you Rosie.’

Colin Angle

I was focused on building things from an early age. When I was about 3, our toilet broke, and my mother was ready to call the plumber. I told her I would fix it and asked her to get my Richard Scarry book ‘How Things Work in Busytown.’ Between the picture of a toilet and the text she read to me explaining how the parts worked, I fixed it.

Colin Angle

My very clear vision for the ideal Roomba is one you never see and you never touch. Our research priorities are explicitly focused on the Roomba of the future that will deliver on the promise of automatically cleaning your floor.

Colin Angle

Building a robot that has legs and walks around is a very expensive proposition. Mother Nature has created many wonderful things, but one thing we do have that nature doesn’t is the wheel, a continuous rotating joint, and tracks, so we need to make use of inventions to make things simpler.

Colin Angle

We’re going to have robots in the home, but they’re not going to be walking. Legs are complicated, unreliable and costly. Robots are going to look and be designed to meet the function they’re supposed to perform. People will still name them and connect with them.

Colin Angle

It’s hard not to love Roomba. Roomba had such an amazing impact on the field. When we launched, we asked people, ‘Is it a robot?’ and got an overwhelming no – ‘robots’ have arms and legs; they command data. There was a very strong perception that robots had to look like people.

Colin Angle

When I was building robots in the early 1990s, the problems of voice recognition, image understanding, VOIP, even touchscreen technologies – these were robotics problems.

Colin Angle

At MIT, in Professor Rodney Brooks’ lab, I was involved in a project, led by Anita Flynn, to build robots using techniques similar to those used in building silicon chips. We got some silicon micro-machined motors to move a bit, but this didn’t lead to an actual product.

Colin Angle

I believe one day nano-robots will play an important role in medicine.

Colin Angle

In the original ‘Star Wars’ movie, there is a small toaster-sized and shaped robot on the Death Star that guides Stormtroopers to where they need to go. I always liked that robot because I could imagine how to build it – and it served a real purpose.

Colin Angle

Building robot versions of people is very expensive.

Colin Angle

The ideal vacuum cleaner would be one you never see. It needs to not just be a cool gadget, but a product that cleans your floor correctly. I can imagine people having a cupboard full of robots that only come out when you need them to fulfil a specific purpose.

Colin Angle

Did Google need to make robot cars in order to make Streetview work? Absolutely not. It’s the equivalent of saying you need a walking robot in order to push an upright vacuum cleaner. It’s gratuitous robotics!

Colin Angle

We will not have humanoid androids. It’s interesting: when you start trying to make robots look more human, you end up making them look more grotesque. It takes very little to go from super-attractive robot to hideous robot.

Colin Angle

When we built Roomba, we explicitly designed it to not have a face. We didn’t want to think it was cute; we wanted people to take it seriously, so we gave it more of an industrial look. People personified their Roomba anyway. Over 80 percent of people name their robot. We did nothing to encourage people to do that, but they do it anyway.

Colin Angle

It is clear as you look at the team why Data Point Capital has so quickly become one of the premier venture capital firms. I look forward to adding to the firm’s very bright future.

Colin Angle

Our 2015 financial performance will continue to be driven by our Home Robot business. Home Robot revenue is expected to grow 10% to 12% in 2015 and comprise 90% of total company revenue.

Colin Angle

My Roomba’s name is Roswell. There is the moment when you are sitting on the couch and Roomba turns itself on and goes out and starts working. You really appreciate it because it works hard for you, and it deserves some kind of recognition.

Colin Angle

When my daughter was 3, she was eating Cheerios and spilled some on the table. So she swiped them onto the floor. I said, ‘Darcy, what are you doing?’ She said: ‘Don’t worry, Daddy, the robot will get it.’ I didn’t know whether to be horrified or proud. It was this idea that homes take care of themselves and robots are part of that.

Colin Angle

At the World Cup, there is a constant risk that you might find a bag or some object that has been left behind, and no one is quite sure what it is. To bring in a full bomb-disposal team for each item can be very time-consuming. The PackBot can go over rough terrain, climb stairs, pick things up, and also be operated from a safe distance.

Colin Angle

One of the big things coming out of healthcare reform is a thing called the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act (CLASS) which is a mechanism to reimburse people staying at home for technology and services that allow them to stay at home.

Colin Angle

I thought boxes were the best toy. When my parents got a new car, I ran to my mother and said, ‘Did it come in a box?’

Colin Angle

If you ask the typical two- or three-year-old or a teenager what a robot is, they will think about a humanoid that does my homework for me or walks the dog. When I go and talk to kids and pull out the Roomba, it’s not this big ‘Wow!’ moment.

Colin Angle

There are so many opportunities to make a bad decision in building a robot company on top of all the normal ways that entrepreneurs screw up that it is incredibly difficult to truly create value because it is so cost-sensitive.

Colin Angle

In the end, robots do things that people can do. So there is a cost above which you can hire somebody to do it, and that bounds the opportunity.

Colin Angle

If you want to make a serious, rugged, reliable robot, you can start with the Create platform and just build stuff on top of it.

Colin Angle

In the smart home of the future, there should be a robot designed to talk to you. With enough display technology, connectivity, and voice recognition, this human-interface robot or head-of-household robot will serve as a portal to the digital domain. It becomes your interface to your robot-enabled home.

Colin Angle

I grew up mostly in Schenectady, N.Y. From an early age, building and creating things was a real passion for me.

Colin Angle

The name iRobot comes from ‘Internet-connected robot.’

Colin Angle

Hollywood likes to imagine robots as mechanical copies of ourselves – which is a terrible idea.

Colin Angle

What did everyone think robot vacuuming was going to be? Well, they think Rosie the Robot from ‘The Jetsons,’ a human robot that pushed a vacuum. That was never going to happen.

Colin Angle

You’re not going to talk to your vacuum cleaning robot: in fact, you may never see your vacuum cleaning robot because, ideally, you come home every day and your floors are freshly vacuumed.

Colin Angle