Today marks a special day in our 7-year history as a company. Today is the day that we launch Apollo, our most recent humanoid robot. We believe it to be one of the most capable robots in the world. We’ve built many different robots over the years, but Apollo is the robot we have long dreamed of building.
When we started, getting to this point seemed improbable. Nick, Apptronik’s co-founder and CTO, pegged our odds of success at less than 5%. I often joke that there were very few consistent things that people told us when we got started. The main thing they all said was “don’t do humanoids, they are too complicated and will take too long to get to market.” Despite the challenges, we persevered, always believing in an optimistic future that we felt we could play a role in building. We have been lucky enough to have some of the brightest minds join us along the way.
As a kid, I was so inspired by Steve Jobs and Apple. In fact, it was Jobs that made me want to be an entrepreneur. I saw in him this elevated pursuit to contribute to humanity -- to build great things and get them out into the world. I often wondered what it would feel like to be in the late 70’s and see a personal computer. To know, before anyone else, the impact it was going to make.
When I met Nick and Luis and first saw Valkyrie, I felt that I had discovered for myself something similar. Versatile, multi-purpose robots were clearly going to be a big part of the future. The power of software moving from the digital world to the physical world, bits to atoms if you will, had enormous potential. I believed that humanoids could have a similar impact as the personal computer and represent a major inflection point for robotics. Even if the odds of success were low, we felt that it was a worthy pursuit, and something on which we were willing to take a long-term view on to make a reality.
Humans are toolmakers. Since the beginning of time, we have built tools to help us do more with less. I believe that we are at an amazing point in human history. A point where we can finally build for ourselves the ultimate tools. Machines that have the ability to harness the power of computers and software in the physical world.
Many are afraid of what this future might hold. To those I say think long term, about our role in this world and what “progress” ultimately means. Live in hope for a better future, not in fear. Time is our most precious resource, and it is limited. Many great thinkers in the past century dreamed that we would use our knowledge and advances in science to free ourselves to work less. John Maynard Keynes famously predicted his grandchildren would work 15-hour work weeks. That future is now within our reach.
At Apptronik, we dream of building a new tool for humans, so that we can spend time the way we want. So that we are free from doing work that we don’t want to do and can spend time on things we really value. A tool that is built by humans, for humans. To operate in spaces designed for us, and ultimately help us to continue to evolve and unlock more of our potential.
Building Apollo has been an act of love. It is our way of showing our appreciation to the rest of humanity. This is our offering, however big or small. We hope that we can inspire future generations to show just what we are capable of as humans. In the same way we were inspired by those who came before us. We have poured our humanity into this machine. We believe it has the potential to dramatically improve the way we live on Earth... and take us so far beyond.
We learned the value of time, and our finite nature as humans in the past few months when we lost our beloved Dr. Gerardo Bledt to a tragic drowning accident. Gerardo was a friend, colleague, and force of nature. He was a leader on the team, and a visionary in robotics. He was also a maestro with humanoid robots. He helped show all of us what was possible. We dedicate Apollo to Gerardo. Gerardo, we hope to make you proud.
This marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Apptronik. A time where we get our robots out of the lab and out into the real world. We do this with humility and a sense of responsibility. Cheers to all the innovators, entrepreneurs, and engineers out there working tirelessly to build the future we all dream of. This is our humble contribution, and we hope you will see just how hard we have worked to make it a reality.
To our mentors, partners, investors and customers... Thank you. We still have a long a way to go, but we are proud of what we have built and excited to show it off to the world. We built Apollo in our own unique way and have held true to the mission and values we started with.
Jeff Cardenas, CEO