Van Robotics is one of the first few companies to bring education technology into the tank. The company recently designed an AI robot called Abii which can tutor elementary students with learning disabilities. It’s one of those robots that will help children get over their disabilities, so it’s one of the rare products we see that are meant to help children in need.
What sets the Van Robotics team apart is that Laura Boccanfuso, the entrepreneur behind the operation, actually has quite the insight into the working of the product. She has a Ph.D. in Engineering and Computer Sciences. Furthermore, she has also focused on socially assistive robots that help the company stand out as they know exactly what they’re doing with robot Abii.
The product Abii is designed for kids who need extra help and is specifically designed for these kids and their education. However, when trials were running for the robot, the team understood that it could help all children with Math troubles. The robot has been fed a specific Math curriculum to help children handle their problems better.
Now that we know more about the product and the company, we can see how the shark tank pitch went.
Laura arrives in the tank, asking for an average $300,000 for 10% of the business. She starts to talk about her business and all she’s done so far to ensure it grows steadily. She talks about Abii, which is the company’s primary product. She spoke of the fact that Abii not only works for kids with special needs, but it works for all kinds of kids. It’s one of the best examples of Artificial Intelligence out there that help children with their education and also specifically with their Mathematics problems.
She further goes on to explain that the robot combines math curriculum with its own intelligent features, which can say for surety when a child is losing interest in the subject matter. It can then deter the student right back on track. It can store and process all the times that the child has lost interest in the subject matter and bring them right back to it. It can teach the child in a way that allows them to have success in the best way possible.
Laura also talked about how the product has gone through intense testing. She spoke about how she has tested the product on three tests in many different schools with over 700 students. She then shares that the students using the robot saw a significant increase in their working of up to 34% of growth. She also talked about the fact that she’s sold 700 robots ever since she came up with the idea for the robots.
Laura then successfully demonstrates the robot to the sharks, who seem thoroughly impressed. However, the fact is that the company and its main product Abii are still in the initial stages. The education market is also challenging to break into, which means that there are barriers to entry that could make investing in the project too significant a risk. Due to these reasons, all of the Sharks ultimately could not say yes to investing. However, they are all commending the product that Laura has put forward and wish her the best for the future.
The company Van robotics is still active, and they’re going strong. In 2022, they have a new robot in the works that works as a musical assistant and helps people have better musical development that could potentially revolutionize the way music is taught.
Our Review of Van Robotics
Van Robotics seems like a company that’s highly thought out. All companies and products have some positive or negative aspects to them. Let’s take a look at these.
Pros of Van Robotics
- The company is fresh. Van robotics is a relatively new company, meaning they have an ear to the ground and can transform as the days go on.
- The company is constantly growing. Van robotics has not only developed the likes of the robot, Abii, but it’s also created a new robot called MARii in recent years, which means that they’re only going to grow from now on.
- They are helping an educational cause. The company has developed robots that revolve around assistive learning, which is beneficial for the company and all those around them. Thus, it’s great for society.
- It uses enhanced innovative technology. The robot can detect when the child is about to lose interest and bring them back to the subject matter. This kind of technology is necessary for children with learning disabilities.
Cons of Van Robotics
- The company is too young. They haven’t fleshed out what they’re going to do in the next couple of years, so things may become extremely difficult for them moving forward. This is also a significant reason they didn’t get any shark tank money.
- The devices are expensive. The Abii robot retails for $999, and this may be pretty expensive for some people, but it’s not as accessible as you want it to be.
Who is Van Robotics For?
Van Robotics is for everyone who wants to learn more about how assistive technology can help a child in their educational development. Van Robotics is also beneficial for people who want to help their child with Math problems and don’t have time to do it. Buying an Abii robot could give the child just what they need.
Are There Alternatives?
Many different companies are looking into assistive technology. There are also many robots out there that can carry out other tasks in all kinds of fields. However, as far as education goes, very few companies have succeeded in getting to the stage Van Robotics is at.
Our Final Thoughts
Van Robotics is an up-and-coming company, and they have achieved a lot in its short time of inception. However, they have a lot of time to go before they can grow to a point where they would have consistent and sustainable growth.