How Reach Robotics’ Flagship Product Came To Be
MekaMon was born out of a passion for robotics and movement as well as a desire to see more value in consumer robotic products. Today, that passion and dedication continue to drive development behind the robot, so as we reflect on MekaMon’s first year in the wild, we’re taking a look back at the origin of our flagship product.
Silas Adekunle, creator of MekaMon, grew up in Nigeria with a passion for dissecting technology and developing devices he would later realise were simple robots. At the age of 11, Adekunle moved from Nigeria to the UK with his family, and began investigating the world of robotics further. “There was some culture shock in terms of technology” Adekunle has told reporters, “I had to pick things up very very fast since, before that age, I’d never used a computer before”.
At University, Silas began learning to program, and hit a critical moment in the story of MekaMon. As a student, he taught in local schools and after noticing a disengagement with the materials of his students’ curriculums, decided to bring some robotics kits into the classroom. An avid gamer, Silas also ensured that these tools also brought gaming principles into the classes he was leading. The result was so profound, Adekunle took the idea one step further and created a ‘Reaching Robotics’ program designed around the framework of robotics and gaming in education. The program laid the foundations for the company that would later introduce MekaMon to global markets.
Adekunle continued to develop his ideas around education and the robot’s place in the classroom; pitching the idea to the Princes’ Trust. Two years later, as Adekunle entered his penultimate year of University, he realised that his idea was bigger than a classroom. There was a real opportunity to take the technological advancement of robotics and combine them with game principles to create a new breed of consumer products. With a bigger scale in mind, he produced an initial prototype of a robot named “Mecha Monsters”. Taking what he’d learned from his time in the classroom, namely that consumers wanted, and expected, more from consumer robotics, Adekunle developed an early stage gaming robot prototype. When Spring 2013 came around, Silas took the prototype and pitched it to a number of organisations, and started the company Reach Robotics.
Shortly after, he met Co-founders Chris Beck and John Rees. Chris is a world class robotics expert with a focus on passive dynamic walking and computer vision while John has manufacturing and operations expertise from working with companies such as Airbus and Aston Martin. Together they all shared a common belief in a market for a more complex robotic toy with greater value and even greater longevity. MekaMon as we know it today began to take shape with the founding team assembled. Over the course of the next 3 years, the team grew with the addition of Dr Jonathan Quinn to head the games and software team. Then came Apple.
Carrying a MekaMon unit everywhere with him paid off when Silas was introduced to Apple by one of the company’s investors. Within the short demo, they were sold on the idea and the two companies formed an instant connection over a shared future outlook.
From there, we launched MekaMon in its current form to mass retail markets in November 2017 to critical acclaim. Sitting proudly on Apple Store shelves across the UK and US, and shipping to a number of European countries as well, MekaMon is truly poised to go global. And that’s just where we’re heading. In the coming years we have some amazing things planned, especially in terms of our availability in a number of locations. The future looks bright for MekaMon, and it’s in no doubt thanks to the dedication and inspiration of its early creators.