Awesome Stuff: Where's My Personal Robot?

from the calling-rosie dept

It’s 2015 already. Aren’t we supposed to have personal robots like Rosie from the Jetsons already? Instead, what do we have? Vacuum cleaners that mosey around the house? For this week’s awesome stuff, let’s look at three interesting robotics crowdfunding projects:

  • Personal Robot
    Someone here at work suggested this looks like an iPad stuck to a pole on top of a Roomba, but the Personal Robot from Robotbase seems to be claiming a fairly astounding set of artificial intelligence capabilities — stuff straight out of the movies, that I’m not sure it can live up to. And, frankly, the video struck me as incredibly creepy. Not in the uncanny valley sort of way, but so much about the video just had me sense that it was foreshadowing for when the robot does something truly messed up. Reading the bedtime story to the kid was the part that put me over the edge. If this actually works the way it’s presented in the video, then it does sound fairly amazing, but I have to admit that I’m skeptical. The video is too good to be true.
  • Luna
    The Luna appears to be targeting a very similar market as the Personal Robot above, but with more realistic seeming claims about its capabilities. It also appears to be much more focused on building an open system with open hardware and software designed to build up a developer community and to allow you to hack your robot directly. The video doesn’t have the dystopian feel of the Personal Robot (even though it uses a ton of movie robot clips) and just feels like a much more realistic project.
  • Quirkbot
    Okay, maybe you’re not ready for a dystopian personal servant roomba-ing its way through your house. Instead, you just want to have a bit of fun and build some cool robots using straws. Then the Quirkbot may be more your speed. Built by the same folks who built Strawbees (an Awesome Stuff alum), they’ve now built little robotic devices that you can use to build all different kinds of robotic toys out of drinking straws. It might not wake you up in the morning and tell you what to wear, or read stories to your kids at night, but it sure looks like fun to play with.

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Comments on “Awesome Stuff: Where's My Personal Robot?”

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Devil's Advocate says:

"PLAY" button doesn't go away

I’ve noticed over the last while that I no longer have the option to enlarge these videos, or go to the source. The control bar has also disappeared.

Now, the play button in the center sits there while the video plays.

I’ve tried using 3 other browsers, but the experience is identical.

Am I missing something?

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Fake

The voice recognition in the video is FAR beyond SIRI or Cortana or the Google chick (what’s her name) despite not being hooked to a supercomputer to do the recognition like SIRI/Cortana/what’s-her-face, and the responses to said voice recognition is FAR beyond what IBM has achieved using their latest supercomputers.

It had access to personal info that exceeds what the government has, and processed it into meaningful responses faster than a team of experts, something computers still can’t do at all, much less as fast as shown in the video.

Even the voice synthesis was a little too good – clearly an actor reading lines rather than real speech synthesis. The video is clearly faked, and what people will receive is a roomba with an Android tablet on it that works like a bad copy of SIRI.

Rekrul says:

Personal Robot

“She can be a security system, watching every room of your home. Well, except for the rooms upstairs, and the basement, and your sunken living room with the two steps down…”

When they showed the part where it interrupted the meeting to remind him about a date, I couldn’t help thinking of an alternate scenario;

“Sorry to interrupt guys. Thomas, your subscription to the Burly Leather Man website is about to expire. Do you want to authorize a renewal? Also, your package from Big Jim’s Toys for Boys has just been delivered.”

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