Personal companion robots have not really caught up with the market since they have not really helped fulfil strong needs. One might expect that the robot should be like Rosie from The Jetsons, but not many could even match the idea. Now companies are pitching new robots as toys rather than tools.
Blue Frog Robotics’ new companion robot Buddy has incredible versatility and emotive abilities too. One of the biggest surprises of this Buddy Family Robot is that it is not hard-edged like the other robots but a sensationally emotional family robot and boasts of multiple expansive features. It is not just a cute toy but a very smart hub for multiple web-connected home products which can monitor your home being mobile.
The Makers’ Vision
Blue Frog Robotics, the team behind Buddy, are eager to make the robot an integral part of every family. Buddy Family Robot has facial recognition capabilities for identifying family members and even understand their specific needs. It caters to children with multiple fun and educational games along with the right medication reminders for elders too.
The robot does understand some basic commands, but the makers have made sure that they have made an efficient companion robot by making it cute enough and comfortable for people too.
Buddy Family Robot – The Attributes
Buddy is two feet tall and weighs around 11 pounds. It moves around a wheeled tripod and can move over wires and loose cords on the floor. A 32GB Android tablet is its face and there are five more options for the same. It is also the main input device for programming the robot’s behaviour. One simply has to tap and drag action icons to indicate an automated schedule of its actions. The tablet can charged through an USB plug too. Buddy can recharge itself with its docking station.
- An Arduino microcontroller translates the commands into mechanical movement.
- Multiple sensors reserved for video, heat recognition, audio, facial recognition, and the like are integrated in the waist and forehead.
- Buddy can interact with connected devices over Bluetooth and WiFi.
- It is based on the Unity platform for developers to boost the robot’s functionality, capabilities and much more.
- With access to IBM’s Watson services, Buddy Family Robot is expected to enhance its interactions naturally.
What can Buddy Do?
Buddy is actually a self-guided Android tablet that can act as an efficient personal assistant, syncing calendar reminders and schedules with contacts. It can recommend recipes based on your interest, launch music playlists and even connect phone calls. It can work like a sentry while you’re at work, moving around the house and scanning it. It can follow a pre-set route or you can issue remote commands with the control pad being your own smartphone. It can certainly alert and scare off intruders although no weapon is endowed with the robot as of now.
Buddy is different from other robots because:
- It includes well-developed social skills.
- It becomes part of the family, can entertain children with movies and e-books and even project clips with its pico projector attached to its arm.
- The robot can tutor kids with interactive math lessons and can help out kids with special needs too.
Buddy is worth the bucks!
You can get your own Buddy Family Robot and schedule it to ship in July 2016 to your place, for a hefty price tag of $649. Its Indiegogo campaign was a major success and hence one can expect several more announcements in the meantime.
Rajiv is one of the founders of Nimblechapps, a web and android game development company based out of India. At Nimblechapps he overlooks delivery, product development and often lends a hand to the in house development team. His personal interest include Travel, Food and Motorcycling.