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.
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.
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.