Jetpack Cognition Lab is a science driven robotics startup from Berlin. The lab was founded in 2019 by Oswald Berthold and Matthias Kubisch, two roboticists that came to know each other at Humboldt University of Berlin. The mission is to engage in science communication, and the chosen means to achieve this is through consumer robots. The idea here is to enable a direct experience of cutting edge research, as it drives the motion of what you hold in your hands. On the concrete scale this involves product development, and storytelling for a new kind of robotics.

A wave of social robots is coming at society and it is being developed right now. Jetpack wants to be part of this development and push towards favorable outcomes. Social robots, by definition, need to step up robot skills in interacting with humans on eye level. The major skill required here is the ability to quickly adapt to unforeseen situations. The science inside is that of developmental learning, which powers the next breakthrough in robotics and intelligent machines. Because true intelligence is always about adaptivity, a fancy word for the ability to learn.

In 2021 the team has launched flatcat – a pet-like robot that responds to touch. It has the feel of a furry animal while it does not resemble any existing animal. This is a conscious choice in the design of the robot, because resemblance raises expectations, and compared with any real animal, current robots can only fail. flatcat is like a flat caterpillar consisting of three joints. These joints are smart in that they are not only able to move, but also to register their own motion, and any resistance they meet while they are moving. With such sensor and motor capabilities combined in a single device, it is called a sensorimotor. These sensorimotors connected in a row via the flatcat chassis is all it needs to create the entire behavioral spectrum of the robot.

Watch Jetpack at work on their website or any of their social media channels.


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Oswald Berthold
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