Link To Guest Website: https://annaboto.com/
Title: “Home Automated Cannabis Care System For A More Conscious User”
Guest: Carl Palme – Boundless Robotics
Interviewer: Nathan Gobes – Radio Entrepreneurs
Click here to read the transcript
Welcome back to Radio Entrepreneurs! I’m producer Nathan Gobes, filling in for Jeffrey Davis this morning. I want to thank all our listeners and fans for joining us. And I want to introduce our next guest, a returning guest, Carl Palme, Founder, and CEO of Boundless Robotics. Welcome back Carl.
Thanks for having me, Nathan, I’m very excited.
Thanks. Thank you for returning. You joined us last back in, as we were just discussing off air a moment ago, February of 2020, right before the pandemic. So I’d love to catch up on everything that Boundless Robotics has been up to in these past two years, year and a half. It’s hard to tell how much time has passed since February, 2020, who will know,
Tell me about it. I’ve lost all my hair. I mean, starting a company it’s been crazy.
I didn’t know that was a side effect of COVID, starting a company and losing your hair, but please tell us, tell us more about Boundless Robotics, what you’ve been up to. And, and actually before we get into that, apologies, why don’t you give us just a quick overview of the company in case any of our listeners or viewers didn’t catch your first interview last year.
Carl (1m 12s):
Yeah. So at Boundless Robotics, we are making a kind of as growing robot for home use. And so one of the things that we’ve discovered after interviewing hundreds of people is that there is a new cannabis consumer, and it doesn’t look like your typical stereotypical cannabis consumer. And they’re very concerned about health and wellness. They want Cannabis that is guaranteed pesticide free of the highest quality and with consistent effects because they’re using it for health and wellness. And so growing at home happens to be the, one of the only ways to get this really high quality cannabis that is pesticide free. And you know, when you grow your own, you know, but growing cannabis is incredibly difficult. And my background in robotics and AI and automation, when you think about cannabis and what it, what, what goes into growing this plant, it’s perfect for automation, right?
Carl (2m 0s):
And so we’ve designed this little robot that fits in your living room and all you really have to do is just add water. When it’s a young plant, you just add water once a week, when it’s flowering and ready to be harvested, it may go up to four times a week, four gallons of water it’s consuming. But yeah, we made it as easy as possible and, and for as many consumers as possible. So whether people are elderly or young or have kids, we designed this device with all of them in mind.
Nathan (2m 29s):
That’s great. Now I’ve spent a little bit of time looking at the product on the website, and I think I’m not sure if your background is physical or virtual behind you, but am I correct that I’m seeing a couple of the machines back there?
Carl (2m 41s):
Yeah, that’s actually the machine, it’s a real machine. And so the system involves the little robot, which is, I actually have another one here. It’s like a baking show. This, this is the machine. As you can see, it’s, it’s about 16 inches tall, 20 inches Y and we designed it so that it could really fit in your living room. And one of the things that we’ve discovered since the last time we spoke is that yes, odor is far of a bigger problem that we ever expected. And so what you can see in the background is also the lamp, which is something that we added to the system and the lamp. We had an, a lamp previously, but this one what’s interesting about this one is that it has an odor management system in inside of the lamp.
Carl (3m 23s):
And so as the plant grows, we have these legs, it’s a tripod system and we can manage the older inside of those legs through a vortex that we’re creating. And then on top, we suck in all the air. We have an active carbon filter and that cleans cleans a year. And so we, we, we mitigate a lot of the smell, the shade, and the lamp also happened to house a little camera. And the camera is actually what feeds our artificial intelligence system. So it’s looking at how the plant is growing and we can identify how well it’s receiving the, the nutrients, whether it has any nutrient deficiencies, whether it has any issues. And once the artificial intelligence, the texts that then we can adjust the recipe for each individual user.
Carl (4m 6s):
And that’s how we make it as easy to grow as possible for everyone.
Nathan (4m 10s):
One of the things that I personally like about the product, again, just by looking at it online and then seeing it in the background, there is how stylish the design is, both the, the planter and the light itself. In fact, I didn’t even realize the light was specialized for that system. I just looked at your background there and I saw, you know, I saw the planters and then I figured that was just your, your normal, you know, room lamp that you had above it.
Carl (4m 38s):
Yeah. That’s, that’s quite the compliment. That’s what we were going for. And I mean, one of the things that we discovered also through all of our interviews is that while this new cannabis consumer is coming out, the stigma is still so bad that they don’t talk to their friends or their family about this. I mean, the plant has, you know, solved problem for them, whether it’s anxiety, depression, sleeplessness in ways that no other medication or no other system has helped, but they don’t want to talk about it. And so part of our mission is to help them kind of come out of the basement if you will. And one of the reasons we designed this beautiful machine is so that you would have it in your living room or any other living space. And so that way you can bring along your friends, your family, on the journey, you can actually create a better relationship with the plant and by making it beautiful, it is something that you are proud, you know, not only is the plant helping you, but you can now bring all of your friends and family in this journey.
Carl (5m 28s):
And you can be proud about what it is that you’re doing with cannabis and growing your own cannabis for, for your health and your wellness.
Nathan (5m 35s):
All right, cool. Yes, it is. It’s definitely a, a quite a stylish product. And so tell us where, where do you think things are going from here? What’s what phase of, of launch and, and production you guys in and, and where are things going from here?
Carl (5m 51s):
Yeah, so we did some alpha testing. We tested 10 units in Massachusetts in 2020 during COVID and we great success. So people who had never grown plants of any kind, some people who had never grown cannabis and all we did was give them the Dean and the most basic instructions. And we saw a lot of success. I mean, on average, we were seeing around two ounces of cannabis. Every let’s say about a hundred days, we were testing one particular cultivar, but now we are making, actually I could show you our little factory here. We’re making the next 100 machines for beta testers. And so we learned a lot from what people were doing last year, we learned about their relationship with the plant, what they wanted from the machine, what worked, what didn’t, we redesigned everything.
Carl (6m 36s):
And we are also focusing on design for manufacturability. So making it so that we can actually make it at scale and, and sell these at a cost that is acceptable to most people. So that’s been most of what we’ve been doing this year. We’re about we, we, we actually launched the product that knee can Boston. We had a lot of signups for beta testers, which was great, all different ages, all different backgrounds, exactly what we’re going for. And so we’re about ready to start sending some of our tests, beta test machines to some of these users this year. We’re probably going to send the, the majority of them at the beginning of next year. And then we’re already talking to contract manufacturers about how we can make these at scale so that we can launch nationwide at some point next year.
Nathan (7m 20s):
That’s phenomenal. Do you have any information as far as what the price point might look like at this stage? Or is it too early to tell,
Carl (7m 29s):
You know, it’s too early to tell, but we’ve been testing a lot of pricing. We’ve been seeing what the value proposition is, what is acceptable for consumers? And we’re thinking that around $999 for the whole system is, is, is a good price point. It is a price point where consumers can get a return on their investment in less than six months. And it is also something that for, you know, the, the product and the quality of what we’re making also gives us margin so that we can keep developing products and we can keep making, making headway in this market.
Nathan (7m 60s):
Right. Is it a, is it a really competitive market? Where do you guys find yourselves fit into it?
Carl (8m 5s):
I think it’s, I mean, we like to think about we’re creating a new category, right? I mean, people have always done do it yourself. Growing. There are grow boxes. There are space buckets, but I don’t think anybody has figured out how to grow cannabis in your own living space. Right. And turning this into somewhat of a, not a luxury item, but a high quality item that you can probably display. And so, while I think obviously you can always do it yourself, but it’s always going to be more difficult than sometimes more expensive. The grow boxes, the automated grow boxes that do exist are two to three times more expensive. And they look like refrigerators. So for a lot of our consumers who are city dwellers, they don’t want another refrigerator in their house. They want something that compliments their space, right.
Carl (8m 47s):
And so I think this is creating maybe a new category of product. I think the market is just huge. I mean, I th I think, you know, more states are legalizing. Mexico is in the process of making it legal. Europe is looking at this. So this is a, this is a market that is ever growing. And we don’t think it’s it’s, you know, the competition is not there yet. I think this is, this is a very exciting time for us.
Nathan (9m 13s):
That’s awesome. Is, does boundless Robotics have their eyes on anything beyond this space? I know you guys are focused very heavily in, in this area right now, but is there anything outside of that, that you guys are considering?
Carl (9m 26s):
Well, I mean, so, so if you think about the device, it, it is an automated robot, right? I mean, it adapts to your environment, but a lot of why it is capable of doing that is because of the data that we’re collecting. So the division data, right, we’re looking at how all these plants are growing and how the different environments and different water compositions affect it. We can also look at, there’s also sensors in the machine to understand your temperature, your humidity, we’re collecting data on your water composition, things like that. Eventually I think that data set is going to be very powerful. And it’s going to allow us to sell this to industrial growers, perhaps, or even if there’s a process called transfer learning, where essentially you create this artificial intelligence for one specific thing.
Carl (10m 7s):
But then if you adjust a few parameters, you can actually make it so that you can grow other things like tomatoes, or, you know, any other type of consumable plant. And so right now, we’re, we’re mainly focused on, on the cannabis consumer, the, the, the people who want to grow at home, but we set up this platform and the data that we’re capturing and everything to give us a lot more opportunity in the future. We can make bigger, bigger machines for people who want to grow multiple plants. We can design the machine for different markets. Mexico is going to be a very different market that Canada or the United States. And eventually if our data is really good, like I said, we can go into industrial growers or even robe, you know, peppers, tomatoes, whatever.
Carl (10m 51s):
Nathan (10m 51s):
That’s very exciting. It’s very exciting. Well, thank you for joining us today. We really appreciate having you back on the show for this update. Hope you’ll come back again, give us further updates. Maybe once the product is launched and we can talk about how that’s going, want to remind everyone. This has been Carl Palme, founder, and CEO of Boundless Robotics. Carl, if people want to get more information, I don’t know if there’s any beta spots left. It sounds like probably not, but if they want to stay up to date on how things are going and maybe, you know, put a name in to be notified when, when something’s available for sale, how could they do all that?
Carl (11m 24s):
Absolutely. So here I have this hat, I can go to a N N a B O T o.com and a boto.com. And you can sign up for our newsletter. You can sign up to be a beta tester. We are looking for more people in Massachusetts, but I would say, just sign up. And as we start launching more of these units and we scale to production, we’ll keep you updated and we’ll make sure to get one of these units to your home. Right.
Nathan (11m 49s):
Thank you again for joining us today. This has been Radio Entrepreneurs. Of course, you’ll find Carl’s information on our website and link to, to their website, but you can also find us on LinkedIn, Facebook, iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, we’re all over the place. So just reach out and you’ll find Radio Entrepreneurs.
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