Small to Big: That’s no baby chair. It’s a two-axis, co­or­di­nated-mo­tion robotic plat­form

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Contents -

4Moms makes high- tech baby gear for the kind of par­ents who use an iphone app to keep track of their in­fant’s feed­ing sched­ule and buy Hug­gies on Di­a­pers. com. Its lineup in­cludes a stroller that folds at the touch of a but­ton ($850), an os­cil­lat­ing baby seat ($ 240), and a self- in­stalling car seat ($ 500). Rob Da­ley, who has a back­ground in ven­ture cap­i­tal, teamed up with Henry Thorne, a roboti­cist, to start the Pitts­burgh- based com­pany pany in 2005. The two were con­vinced vinced that the old- line mak­ers of baby gear would be slow to grasp asp the op­por­tu­nity cre­ated d by rapidly fall­ing prices for sen­sors and other au­to­ma­tion equip­ment. The 160- em­ployee com­pany l ogged sales of $ 48 mil­lion in 2014, but like any small busi­ness, it’s en­coun­tered glitches along the way. Here, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Da­ley re­calls one hair- rais­ing prod­uct launch. —— As told to Cristina Lind­blad

Edited by Cristina Lind­blad and Dim­i­tra Kessenides

The ma­ma­roo’s specs: Two mo­tors, four mo­tion sen­sors, one screen, com­pan­ion app Our first prod­uct took us about 18 months to bring to mar­ket. It was an in­fant bath­tub with a tem­per­a­ture reader. It costs us $20.84 to make, and we sold it for $18. We...

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