PLEN Cube updates directly from Startup Cafe Osaka!

PLENGoer Robotics, a promising startup from Osaka, is working on its new project PLEN Cube, with a diverse team from China, Ireland and Japan.

PLENGoer showcased both robots: the Open-Source PLEN 2 and the personal assistant PLEN Cube. Photo by @ Tugi

We’ve supported PLENGoer Robotics team for a while, first as invited guest speakers for our series of Monozukuri Hub Meetups in Kyoto and later during all events we supported with Monozukuri Hardware Startup Consortium Tour 2017. Recently we’ve been also discussing how to optimize their next steps, considering KSN (Kyoto Shisaku Net) manufacturing capabilities in Japan.

I joined their last event in Osaka, PLEN Cube Fan Meeting, as an invited speaker to share some of our collaboration in their recent achievements and how Makers Boot Camp can support their project with our Monozukuri Community.

PLENGoer won 2nd @ Monozukuri Hardware Cup 2017 in Osaka (Fev / 2017), and had a booth at both TechDay NYC (April / 2017) & AlphaLab Gear Pittsburgh Hardware Cup (April, 2017)

For me, the most exciting part of their work is way beyond their cool Kickstarter and Makuake campaigns .

PLEN Cube has all elements to bring early adopters in: appealing device with unique sensors, special UI and UX approach and as an authentic Japanese product, a kawaii minimalist design! Just heard they won a couple of International Design Awards recently: 1st place in the Radical Innovation and New Technologies Design Category, 2016–2017, and 3rd place in 10th annual #IDAAwards, competing with iconic trend projects by Fuse Project.

Design by PLENGoer team. Demo booth set with PLEN Cube working prototype. Photo by Tugi Guenes
CEO Natsuo Akazawa recaps lessons learnt after their 1st robot - Open source Robot PLEN 2. Photo by Tugi Guenes

The leadership team, CEO Natsuo Akazawa and COO Atsuhiko Tomita, share the same passionate vision for the future of making robots more accessible to any user, and they can inspire their young followers to also make the difference! It’s great to see how they manage to get everyone around involved with their work.

The main features highlighted during the demo session @ Kansai University Startup Cafe Osaka. Images by PLENGoer team .
The software team had a Q & A session with attendees. Photo by Tugi Guenes

They’re really open to the differences, with both Foreigners and female mates showing their own value and bringing diversity in terms of background, personality, main skills and native language — at least 3! That’s clear to notice, as such a multicultural team brings an unique value in a very competitive global market, with demanding requests from different clusters of users.

Demo session with face recognition and PLENGoer International team's introduction. Photos by @ Tugi Guenes

The event was great and the venue had a good infrastructure but the most important for the audience was to realise so many (new) advantages of having an International team involved on their daily operations.

Invited speakers received a PLENCube souvenir.Photos by Tugi Guenes

Entrepreneurs trying different things and joining Foreigners to add value to a new project aren’t so rare in Japan, as it’s commonly spread. In the case of PLENGoer, they have a strong partnership with a Chinese manufacturer and they’re always open to consider new ones!

The more I meet Japanese entrepreneurs, the more they surprised me with an open view about the value of bringing together a multi-skilled team in a country with so much to share with the world.

Some of the people I met recently aren’t aware of this win-win cooperation that has been going on in Japan, as we can’t find many things written in English, so from now on, I’d like to write a bit more about what we experience around Kansai.

The face recognition sensors impressed everyone. - including me, of course. Photo by Tugi Guenes

As a personal goal, besides my work with Makers Boot Camp, I’m cheerful supportive of the crazy minds who give themselves a chance to try something new, and if I can’t help building a product, I can at least share their value with outsiders who might believe innovation in Japan is a must start from collaborative initiatives like this one from PLENGoer.

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