A U.S company called Robotbase is developing a personal robot in part thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, which has already raised $74,701 (of a $50k goal) with twenty days still to go.
Informatively (if not imaginatively) called Personal Robot, their design consists of a 1m 27cm stand on a round base, with a round screen at the top. The screen features an animated woman’s face and can read expressions, understand speech, and even communicate with you. (The avatar and the robot’s ‘voice’ can both be selected from a number of options.) It’s powered by an Nvidia Tegra K1 mobile CPU and a proprietary algorithm means that the robot will ‘learn’ to recognise you and become more capable as time goes on.
In news you’ll either find creepy or inspiring, it’s able to move around rooms independently, sense temperature and air quality, and connect to internet connected devices via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The aim is for Personal Robot to anticipate and respond to its user’s needs, and as well as being handy at home, could also be used in a retail environment.
It was on display at CES last week, but unlike the concept robot on the company’s Kickstarter page, which was shown doing everything from waking up its human companion to ordering food to taking minutes, the real life version apparently didn’t move around or even always work. Robotbase CEO Duh Huynh told Mashable that was more the fault of the public Wi-Fi than his robot, but admits the company has work to do to finesse Personal Robot’s functionality by the end of the year, when it plans to start shipping to donors. If you want to get in on the action, it’ll cost you $1195 (£787).