Glidance unveils new design, opens pilot program for users

The latest iteration of Glide leverages a sleek design, smaller footprint and an affordable price. | Credit: Glidance

Glidance this week unveiled the latest generation of its Glide robot that offers autonomous mobility assistance for the visually impaired. Glidance is also now ready to begin commercialization by launching its deposit program for interested customers who can reserve a robot with a down payment.

The company has been on a fast-paced path to market with a device that notably has the opportunity to help millions of blind and visually-impaired individuals regain their independence. Founder Amos Miller, who lost his eyesight in his mid-twenties, has tenaciously applied his engineering skills to create a new device that leverages the latest in sensor technology to help guide users around the world.

Glidance won the Pitchfire Robotics Startup Competition at RoboBusiness 2023 and then made headlines at CES 2024 where celebrities like Stevie Wonder stopped by the booth to check the new solution. The company incubated at MassRobotics and used that time to get the first prototypes built and to validate product features with real users. The young startup was a 2024 RBR50 award winner.

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Miller was a guest on The Robot Report Podcast in October 2023 and laid out his go-to-market plan. The company is now on track with that plan, as they begin beta testing and pilot production of the first generation of Glide.

As the latest product images illustrate, the new generation of Glide has a small form factor that includes a built-in kickstand to park the unit when it’s not in use. The system does not use powered wheels and instead actively steers the user safely around obstacles. As a result, the unit is designed to operate all day on a single charge.

Glide includes haptic feedback in the handle and a kickstand to keep it upright when not in use. | Credit: Glidance

Since launching the prototype, feedback from the blind low vision (BLV) community has been overwhelmingly positive with many providing insights into how they would use Glide and what features should be prioritized. In response to this, Glidance has launched its deposit program to let interested customers reserve their Glide for a one-time only 40% discount from the retail price of $1,499, making it $899. The discount will apply to orders made in the first 60 days of the official pre-sale event, which will be held this summer.

Glidance is hosting a demo day at the Helen Keller Services on May 23 in New York. The company said this is the first time the BLV community will be able to test and learn about Glide outside of a formal event. Due to the prototype nature of the product, all demos will be delivered using a remote-control system based on real-life situations as experienced by Amos.

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