French software company Hoomano came to Viva Technology with a vision of bridging the friendliness gap between humans and machines.
Robots can deal with household chores like ironing our clothes and mowing our lawns. But seriously, who wants to deal with robots? That's where Hoomano comes in. Hoomano is a software company whose mission is to make robots "move, talk and behave in the most natural and instinctive way".
Xavier Basset, Hoomano's founder and CEO, believes that creating natural interaction between humans and machines means providing machines with the ability to adapt to us, rather than the other way round. He insists that machines with a “personality” will simplify human-to-human communication, personalize learning, create new ways to play, enrich our day-to-day life and bring humans closer to each other.
Started in a Lyon apartment in 2014, Hoomano today is a 25-person company with headquarters in France, offices in Japan, and contracts to develop software for "social robots" such as Pepper and Nao (Softbank Robotics), Buddy (Blue Frog Robotics) and iJini (InnoPlayLab).
Hoomano was invited to exhibit in the SNCF Lab at VivaTech in 2016. The following year Hoomano was back with a showcase in the SNCF Lab as well as in Labs hosted by IBM and by Softbank Robotics. "We saw great sales results in 2017," says Xavier Basset.
Hoomano was featured in the Softbank Robotics and INPI booths at VivaTech 2018. Along with investors and potential partners, Hoomano unexpectedly met two major car manufacturers with whom the company is currently in discussions.
The main takeaway from VivaTech? Get ready: the quality of the human-human interactions. "VivaTech is a unique place to make connections," Xavier explains. "A lot of major companies are here. You can just walk right over and talk to them."