Russian Internet CEO launches robotics fund in NYC

Associated Press Modified: June 15, 2012 at 7:30 am •  Published: June 15, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) — The co-founder of a large Russian Internet company wants to invest in the types of robotics envisioned in "The Jetsons" — that 1960s cartoon portraying a family from the future, with flying cars, robot maids and all sorts of push-button inventions.

The robots that Dmitry Grishin is looking for are aimed at the mass market. Beyond vacuum-cleaning devices, this could include robotics technologies used in transportation, entertainment or health care. He compares where the robotics industry is now to where computers were early 1980s, when companies were first bringing PCs to regular people's desktops.

Grishin, the co-founder and chief executive of Mail.ru, believes robotics is ripe for the same sort of revolution, but the industry needs funding. So he is putting up $25 million to start a venture fund that will invest in robotics aimed at daily life.

Grishin Robotics will be based in New York, a city trying to establish itself as a technology hub to rival Silicon Valley. He says he picked New York in part because of its central location, its status as an international financial center and Mayor Michael Bloomberg's support of technology and innovation.

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