MORE Technologies, an Arkansas robotics startup, has sold its technology assets and patent to a Colorado-based programmable robot company.
Founded by four University of Arkansas students, MORE Technologies – which stands for Modular Open-source Robotics Ecosystem – has specialized in 3-D printable robots. MORE Technologies’ assets are being sold to Sphero, a Boulder, Colo.-based company that manufactures programmable robots and other STEAM (or science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) educational tools.
As part of the transaction, the MORE Technologies founders – Canon Reeves, Rex Hearn, Kaushik Ramini, and Peyton Smith – will become Sphero employees.
“This is a moment that the team an dI have dreamed about since starting three years ago and I am so proud of everything we accomplished together,” Reeves said in a social media post.
“We’ve joined the Sphero team and are continuing to work on incredible products that will inspire the creators of tomorrow. They have been incredibly welcoming and I couldn’t ask for better coworkers to be building with.”
MORE Technologies was the brainchild of Reeves, who was inspired to create a MOREBOT when his younger sister, Kendra, asked her to build a robot with her. “I looked around for a kit she would like but couldn’t find one that not only was both affordable and approachable by anyone but also offered learning beyond an instruction manual,” Reeves told Arkansas Money & Politics in a 2019 interview.
The startup lifted off during Startup Junkie’s annual Startup Weekend in 2018, when Reeves, Smith and Hearn developed the business, business plan and built a prototype robot in the span of 48 hours, winning first place in the competition. With MORE Technologies established, Reeves became CEO, Smith became chief operating officer, Hearne became chief technology officer and Ramini became chief manufacturing officer.
Since 2019, MORE Technologies has been based at the University of Arkansas Startup Village in Fayetteville, with the company operating a 3D print farm consisting of 12 printers manufacturing parts for robotics kits. According to Reeves, they have sold kits to 23 countries and in 25 states across the United States.
In a University of Arkansas article, Sphero CEO Paul Copioli said,“We are excited to bring MORE’s technology and patent on board at Sphero as we continue to innovate and bring new educational products to classrooms around the world. What the MORE team has created is truly phenomenal and will further add to our mission of inspiring the creators of tomorrow.”
The MORE Technologies founders expect that the acquisition will accelerate the adoption of their technology. Reeves told the University of Arkansas that they will be using injection molds in China to manufacture parts for the kits now, instead of the 3D printer farm. Being acquired by Sphero, he said, will enable them to scale up dramatically.