Since I was a child watching Star Wars and seeing robots like C3Po and R2D2, I've dreamed of having a robot of my own. This desire was further strengthened by watching the The Jetson's family robot, Rosie the Robot Maid who kept the homestead running smoothly. I've always felt a personal robot might come in handy as a personal chef, trainer, and companion. It seems the future has caught up with us as we're now seeing more sophisticated robots for your home come to the market at price points that are less than the latest iPhone or MacBook. Let's take a look at a dozen personal robots for your home, some are more human-like than others but all could make your life better.
One of the most human looking robots in the bunch, Pepper is a robot that is said to be able to recognize human emotions. Once Pepper determines your emotions the robot reacts with the appropriate mood. Currently, Pepper is used in various commercial settings in Japan, but can also be a great companion at home.
Jibo is a cute little robot that reminds me of Wall-E from the Pixar film. It doesn't move on it's own but this family friendly robot learns from everyone it interacts with – and it remembers what you share. Jibo will catch up with you the next time you enter the room and don't be surprised if he cracks a joke.
A fun friend and helpful assistant with serious technology inside, the Kuri robot is mobile and comes equipped with WiFi, Bluetooth, a 1080p camera, and facial recognition. It has telepresence capabilities to enable you to talk through the robot to others that are at home. It can navigate your home avoiding obstacles and pets and could double as a home surveillance system as it hears and sees what's going on in your home. Kuri makes beeping sounds that will remind you of R2D2 from Star Wars. Kuri will take daily photos and saves the content to an app on your phone, where you can view, edit and share the content.
Zenbo is a smart, mobile robot, that can provide companionship, assistance, and entertainment when you need it. While you're home Zenbo learns and adapts to you and will share it's emotions with you when necessary. Zenbo can help with reminders, control home devices, act as a security system while your away, and even read stories to your children to entertain them.
Lynx is a humanoid robot that helps Alexa get mobile. Lynx can come find you to order Prime products directly from Amazon via simple voice commands. Lynx has facial recognition and personalized greetings. It can play music and help offer home security by livestreaming feeds of your home while you are away.
Looking for an extra set of hands to help you carry something around the house or in your yard, that's Budgee's speciality. Budgee is a friendly, hardworking robot that helps you carry things to another location.
LG Hub Robot
LG's Alexa-powered smart home assistant Hub Robot looks to make your home smarter by being placed in most active spot in your home. The robot responds to your movements with nods and simple responses. It can take care of everything from setting the mood by playing music to turning on and off your air conditioner. The interactive display shares messages, videos, and photos. Leveraging facial recognition, the Hub Robot can recognize different family members. Hub Robot not currently available for purchase but we expect it to be out soon, as it debuted at the Consumer Electronic Show in January 2017.
The Olly robot is a mix between a smart home hub and a personal robot. This round shaped tabletop device is aimed at assisting to make your day better. Olly is a London-based startup created to learn how you want to interact then responds to your questions and controls your connected devices.
Temi is a personal robot for your home that is smarter than a telepresence robot to take over as your personal assistant on wheels. Temi was designed to be a video chat and music machine to keep you entertained and connected. Temi runs on an Android operating system so it is compatible with many of your favorite apps.
Aido is a family-friendly home robot that can move around your home to help assist you and make life better. Aido can do everything from play with your kids to help you with household chores to handle your schedule. Aido can help keep your home connected and safe thanks to is mobile and visual capabilities.
This creatively named robot can do a lot. As we've covered previously, Personal Robot has all the basic features like facial recognition, photograph capability, wake-up calls, pinpoint language recognition, and autonomous navigation. But it also builds a map of your home with navigation and mapping algorithms. Personal Robot can also communicate with other home devices you have, like your Nest thermostat and others thus helping to automate your home.
Looking for a personal robot and a robotics challenge in one? Meet Q.Bo the open source robot that allows you to add features as you see fit to create the most personalizable robot yet. Q.Bo comes with base features and functionality, but you can expand upon it. This robot is great for kids, parents and educators alike to geek out and build out their personal robot.
Ok, this robot is not currently being made for mass audiences, I just thought it was worth putting in the list to show you the direction that robots are going. Erica reminds me of a bad WestWorld robot. Soon robots might look more human like Erica and even might be working amongst us, or maybe they already are – cue the eerie music.
We are still just at the beginning of an era of artificial intelligence and personal robots for your home. I'm sure this group of robots that currently look as cutting edge as HTML webpages did during the dot com boom will be pushed aside for more advanced options. That said, it's exciting to see things moving towards the future – one we've seen and looked forward to on big screen for the past few decades.
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