This is part of a series of articles that looks at entrepreneurs hoping to get their ideas off the ground through crowdfunding. At the time of writing, each of these innovations is currently seeking funding.
Last year we wrote about Jibo — the world’s first family Robot — a friendly AI device which uses facial recognition and natural language processing to offer personal assistance in the home. Jibo is a table top device with more than a passing resemblance to Pixar’s endearing animated lamp, that is programmed to become a social and interactive member of the family — taking photographs, connecting with other smart devices in the home, and talking to its owners in a Siri-like voice. Now, Robotbase are crowdfunding their own take on the friendly artificial intelligence assistant in the form of the Personal Robot.
The Personal Robot shares a vast number of features with Jibo — its facial and object recognition capabilities, its ability to correspond with users intelligently, its potential interaction with the Internet of Things and its capacity to provide entertainment — changing lighting, playing music and narrating stories to younger users. The main advancements on previous devices are its ability to move around by itself and its ability to detect its owner’s emotions. Its mobility and intelligent navigation are an important evolution, enabling it a much greater degree of autonomy and allowing it to move from one room to another as and when it is needed. It uses mapping and navigation algorithms to build its own map of the house or office and there-after can also provide real-time video surveillance — adding personal security guard to its long list of occupations.
The crowdfunding campaign is underway and Robotbase have already surpassed their USD 50,000 goal. Backers can currently pre-order a Personal Robot for USD 995 and it is likely to retail for USD 1,995 from December 2015. Robotbase are also keen to highlight the devices potential capacity as an office assistant — it can access facts and data and take meeting notes — and are offering customized Personal Robots with company logo and uniform to companies who want to road test the office of the future. You can watch the Personal Robot in action in the video below:
Personal Robot is a 4ft upright model. Its digital ‘face’ displays the head and shoulders of one of numerous friendly animated cartoons. The ‘face’ is connected to the mobile base by a simple white pole so that the whole device resembles an oversized board game piece. As more humanoids appear on the marketplace, appearance and “personality” will doubtless become deciding factors in consumer selection. What other forms could the personal robot take to appeal to different customers?