SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – With glowing blue eyes and trusting feline features, a new robot cat by Chinese startup Elephant Robotics seems happily oblivious to the worries of CEO Joey Song as he shows it off at the company’s lab in Shenzhen.
A Youibot engineer, wearing a face mask following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, works on one of its automated guided vehicle designs in the robotics company’s engineering laboratory in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China May 25, 2020. REUTERS/David Kirton
Elephant Robotics’ main business is the automation of factory assembly lines but revenue has plunged by a third this year due to the coronavirus, leading the company to cut staff by a fifth.
“It’s tough,” said Song. “Before, we had more than 30 people.”
Due to the downturn, the firm is putting more energy into the robot cat project funded on Kickstarter in December. Readying its first large batch of