GeckoSystems Intl. Corp. announced today that a stockholder update letter from their CEO has been released. GeckoSystems is a dynamic leader in the emerging Mobile Service Robot industry revolutionizing their development and usage with "Mobile Robot Solutions for Safety, Security, and Service(tm)."
Dear Fellow Stakeholders,
What a productive past year for us! It is good to have this opportunity to briefly summarize GeckoSystems' activities, challenges and accomplishments this past year, and present our future goals to you. As you will read in this update, we have been very busy!
Please let me personally thank you for your past and continued support. And I thank you for your time to read this summary discussion of our business, technology, and the context in which we find ourselves. Despite the lingering effects of the Great Recession, we have made --and look forward to continued-- substantive progress in several key areas, both business and technical.
Perhaps the most positive accomplishments of all was our conclusion of a year of the world's first in home elder care personal robot trials. During this time we learned a great deal about the many benefits --some which were unexpected-- to the family such as looking in on the care receiver from a grocery store parking lot, or the care receiver "minding" the CareBot's requests better than requests made directly from the care giver. Due to these trials, some needed improvements in our CareBot™ product surfaced. For example, GeckoScheduler™ was improved for greater ease of use. Our GeckoChat™ verbal interaction system was augmented with a higher power, lower distortion audio amplifier since one of the participants had a greater hearing loss than the family realized.
Significant mobile robot cost structure reduction achieved
There has been a significant reduction in the fundamental cost structure of indoor mobile robots that we have embraced. For nearly thirty years industrial robot work cells have routinely employed "structured light machine vision" systems to determine orientation and location of objects such that robot arms could pick up for insertion into CNC machining systems, placement on conveyors, pallets, etc. Typically these rather elaborate machine vision systems cost $20-25,000 per robot work cell.
Last fall Microsoft introduced a runaway best selling "depth camera" called the Kinect for use with their video game system, the Xbox. Using technology they licensed from PrimeSense, Microsoft achieved a retail price point of $149.95. The PrimeSense technology has dramatically reduced the decades old cost of structured light machine vision systems by two orders (100:1) of magnitude. This is akin to the dramatic cost reduction in electronics when that industry went from discrete transistors with one per package, to many thousands of transistors in a single integrated circuit (IC). In retrospect, this transistor to IC paradigm shift dramatically changed the world in which we live.
PrimeSense's invention of a low cost, high volume manufacturable "depth camera" now enables the cost structure for personal robots like GeckoSystems' CareBot to go down from a retail of $12-15,000 to approximately $10-12,000 each. That is an impressive retail cost reduction of 15-20%. To achieve that reality, we invented the GeckoImager™ early this year to replace our less robust CompoundedSensorArray™ previously used by us as a low cost mobile robot machine vision solution for our product line. Further, this new low cost vision system has opened up new markets for us, such as the retrofit upgrade of existing power wheelchairs to be collision proof with the incorporation of our automatic self-navigation software, GeckoNav™. The upgrading of large numbers of powered personal mobility systems represents "low hanging fruit" for GeckoSystems as demonstrated by the prototyping of one --and soon to be two wheelchairs-- for Imasen Engineering Corporation.
First strategic sale
We achieved what we believe to be our first strategic sale of our mobile robot solutions to the oldest wheelchair manufacturer in Japan, Imasen. We have upgraded one of their wheelchairs to be collision proof using several of those solutions. Due to their satisfaction with the performance level they have witnessed in public venue videos, we expect a second wheelchair from them late this month.
In order to streamline that migration of our CareBot solutions to the Imasen wheelchair, we developed new utility software, GeckoVerify™ and GeckoConfigEditor™. These new MSR software utilities, while expensed on our income statement, are nonetheless strategic assets due to their applicability to other applications of GeckoNav, etc. on additional manufacturers' wheelchairs and other mobile robot appropriate locomotion systems such as electric golf carts, etc.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Request for Quote (RFQ) for 20 CareBots from the Flagman Grupp Ltd. in Estonia have not been realized as a purchase. Due to their expected funding being withdrawn, that relationship is now in abeyance partly because of the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the EU. Nonetheless we are actively engaged in discussions for representation in the EU with other parties.
More products enabled
Utilizing this new depth camera technology we have begun market research for two more mobile service robot concepts, the AscBot™ and the ChairBot™ using the Delphi method.
The AscBot, short for assistant sales clerk mobile robot, is similar to a traditional customer service kiosk, but more cost-effective due to its mobility while providing intelligent, theft deterrent video surveillance. Product location service would be provided using graphical touch screen input with verbal and/or visual outputs. The AscBot's GeckoChat™ would interface with point-of sale (POS) store inventory control systems for location, pricing, and special offers available to individual customers.
The ChairBot would consist of a collision proof wheelchair equipped with several additional artificial intelligence systems (GeckoSavants™) developed for the CareBot. GeckoChat would provide verbal interaction for control of the wheelchair and annunciate medication and other timely reminders. GeckoScheduler would timely prompt caregiver designated reminders for medication and/or vital sign measurements such as blood pressure, pulse rate, blood sugar and/or oxygenation level, EKG monitoring, etc. mounted on the wheelchair. The GeckoSuper™ would be programmed by the care givers such that appropriate alarms would trigger should any pre-set vital sign parameters be exceeded such that pre-designated parties would be promptly notified by pager, email, and/or cell phone.
From an internal infrastructure perspective, we moved our R&D facility in April to a more cost effective and comfortable building more suitable for the long hours and creative work our team of roboticists perform. We hired and trained one more degreed electrical engineer and one more degreed computer science programmer. Since moving to this new facility, GeckoSteer™ was invented to interface between the joystick on the Imasen wheelchair and GeckoNav. GeckoImager was improved for greater efficiency and lower hardware costs. GeckoNav was extended to better fit the realities of necessary wheelchair avoidance maneuvers. GeckoMotorController was migrated to a new platform, the Imasen wheelchair. I am very proud and appreciative of the hard work and effort that went into these improvements.
R&D continues to reduce manufacturing costs
And we have further cost reduced other mobile robot solutions for greater performance and lower cost manufacturing in areas besides machine vision. The GeckoOrient™ sensor fused subsystem was cost reduced while improving performance by incorporating a significantly less expensive solid-state compass utilizing our own proprietary software.
International mobile robot safety summit
Early last December, we met with master roboticists representing the Japanese government to discuss mobile robot safety issues. We presented to them our synthesis of appropriate mobile robot differentiation and safety criteria in our Safety Paradigm Discussion For Mobile Service Robots. Dr. Masahiro Kato and Dr. Kentaro Kotani have subsequently translated it into Japanese due to their perception of its importance. They reported that they have circulated this seminal discussion amongst their Japanese associates.
Significant stock buyback
As substantive demonstration of our goal to increase stockholder value, we initiated and consummated three share buybacks since Dec. 31, 2010, resulting in reduction of issued and outstanding by over 30% or over 250,000,000 shares. This reduced the issued and outstanding to 466,160,675 as of June 30. We regained Current Information reporting status with OTC Markets confirming our commitment to transparency to our many loyal stockholders.
Website, Administrative updates
Our website was updated and streamlined this year for easier user interface. More videos, pictures and descriptive content were added as well. We hope you like these changes.
We wish to announce that regarding litigation with a former employee that we have fundamentally reached an agreement and are presently working on appropriate and sufficient terms and conditions to achieve final settlement. We are confident regarding the conclusion of this matter. Our attorneys are first class professionals, but nonetheless charge reasonable rates, so there have not been significant litigation costs.
We became officially incorporated in the State of Georgia on August 5, 2011. As a brief explanation, when GeckoSystems International Corporation was created in 2007 our New York attorney at that time incorporated the company in the State of Delaware. As time progressed we realized it was more beneficial to be incorporated in the State of Georgia since that is where all our company facilities are located.
Present marketing initiatives
Now that we have demonstrated the robustness of our mobile robot solutions for safety, security, and service™ by migrating GeckoNav, etc. to Imasen's wheelchair, we have not only expanded our domestic marketing efforts, but also our Pacific Rim and EU activities due to our increased credibility as to the applicability of our proprietary technologies to mobile platforms other than that of the CareBot.
Due to the hard work of Mr. Hajime Yasumatsu, Chairman of Yasu, Inc., and his associates in Japan, we have several potentially meaningful discussions occurring in Japan, besides Imasen, and in the U.S. Should any one of these deliberations result in MOU's and/or Letters of Intent (LOI's), the impact on GeckoSystems could be dramatic.
In June of this year, we held a high level, international marketing meeting with ALTA America Corp. officers Mssrs. Hirokatsu Hibino, CEO; Kazuo Yamashita, COO; and Katsuji (Ken) Fujii, VP. The meeting was arranged by our lead Japanese business development representative, Mr. Yasumatsu. This strategic marketing meeting was held at one of the downtown Marriott conference centers in Atlanta, GA. To date they have made several commitments to Mr. Yasumatsu and me due to their very favorable impression of our suite of MSR technologies after having viewed a live demonstration at the Marriott. (Some videos are on our website of the level of autonomy they witnessed first hand.) We believe them to be pursuing several strategic relationships for us in Japan at this time. Also we have a representative in China seeking a relationship with a Chinese wheelchair manufacturer.
Near term focus and activities
Going forward we basically have only some technical refinement work to do regarding better manufacturability. Of course, we will be improving our GeckoSavants routinely in the years to come, but our primary focus is going to be sales and marketing. We are shifting gears, so-to-speak, from an inwardly R&D focus to an outwardly sales and marketing focus. Our presently ongoing discussions with potential Japanese and European partners will continue to be nurtured. Depending on budgets available to us, we will be attending trade shows and other conferences relevant to our target markets of consumer, professional healthcare, and commercial security.
"Barnstorming" activities occurred in the early days of flying machines being flown from farm pastures to introduce and demonstrate that new invention. Cost effective, truly utilitarian mobile service robots have not been seen by most of the general population. Consequently, we plan to do many mobile robot demonstrations at shopping malls, retail stores, hotels, trade shows, investor groups, and conferences; and to potential partners and suppliers. We will be demonstrating not only our CareBot, but also our collision proof Imasen wheelchair. As they become available we will be placing numerous videos of those public venue demonstrations on our website.
These barnstorming activities will now carry significant credence due to having successfully demonstrated that our mobile robot solutions for safety, security, and service are not platform specific, but can be easily, efficiently, and economically migrated to mobile platforms that initially were not designed to be the locomotion system for a mobile robot. It is truly amazing to see an empty wheelchair automatically self-navigate!
I want to thank you all for your interest and continued support! This past year has seen many business and technical challenges and accomplishments. Due to having met those challenges and achieved those accomplishments, we now have a great year before us!
R. Martin Spencer
GeckoSystems Traded on OTC Stock Exchange With Current Status
GeckoSystems Intl. Corp. (Pink Sheets: GOSY