All set to get your own robot sidekick? We have a few suggestions for you.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the isolation that accompanied it has given many of us a healthy appreciation for good company. Over the long periods of self-isolation and quarantine, we have come to the realization that company can also come in many non-human forms, like pets, plants and… Roombas? Well, technology seems to be the natural progression of the phenomenon. While some think of robots as something designed to replace humans, we like to think that they can create a balance between function and friendship—think about Rosie the robot from The Jetsons.
With artificial intelligence (AI) making leaps and bounds in recent years, it is very much possible to own and befriend a robot that can think and act on its own and adapt to its surroundings on the go. To help you transition into the future of human-robot companionship, we bring to you a list of four robot companions to choose from.
Emo by Living.Ai
This tiny robot cutie by Living.Ai fits into the palm of your hand. Emo can pack a mighty punch with more than ten internal sensors and cutting-edge technology, despite being only four inches tall.
Emo is an AI desk-pet, whose personality and quirks are formed based on its interaction with its environment. According to the website, Emo can recognize up to ten individual faces and names, take pictures, play and dance to music, tell you the weather with animation and accept head-pats very adorably.
The robot is autonomous and spatially aware. It can explore its surroundings unsupervised, without tripping off the surface it is on. As Emo continues to learn about its surroundings, it can hold a basic conversation to help you pass the time. The companion app allows you to keep track of all of Emo’s updates and also play games and create memorable interactions with Emo.
Vector by Digital Dream Labs
Another tiny robot determined to do big things. Vector is a predecessor to Emo, being arguably the first fully autonomous personal robot—a little robot sidekick, if you will.
Vector packs quite a lot of tech into its tiny, three-inch body. It can navigate the world around itself with its HD camera and laser sensor (which Digital Dream Labs assure is thoroughly checked in quality control to prevent any evil robot overlords from emerging from the Vector).
While Vector is primarily a companion robot, it is not without its own utility. Vector can be integrated with your Alexa and help set reminders, create shopping lists, tell you the weather, set a timer, take a picture and, apparently, deal a mean game of Blackjack.
Miko 3 by Miko
This one is for the kids! Children’s minds are developing at amazing speeds—it is only fair that they have a companion that has the gigabytes to keep up. Miko is an artificially intelligent companion designed specifically for children between the ages of 5-10 years. Comes encased within a shell of ABS Polymer, Miko is engineered to be impact-resistant and non-toxic—a perfect pal to roll with little ones who are still learning to be gentle.
Miko is powered by a deep learning AI that adapts with exposure to its unique environment and the quirks and habits of its young companion. It gamifies academics with an integrated learning software that presents quizzes, concepts and facts to children in a fun and interactive way. Not only does Miko’s high-resolution display make it so expressive, but it also accommodates seamless video chat that allows parents to stay connected with their kids even when they are away.
Aibo by Sony
We cannot end a list of personal companions without including man’s best friend. Aibo, the artificially intelligent robot dog, is one of the oldest robots on this list. The earliest commercial models of Aibo have been available since 1999. The robot dog made its comeback with a new model in 2017, after having been discontinued by Sony in 2006. Aibo is adorably lifelike, with its expressive eyes, wagging tail and realistic sounding yips and barks.
The robot can recognize faces and names and develops familiarity and fondness for the people it interacts with. The robot can recognize its given name and form a distinctive personality of its own by interacting with its unique environment, just like an actual pet. The company claims that no two Aibo robots are exactly alike, as they are powered by deep learning.
One of Aibo’s adorable quirks includes a fascination with toys, especially pink ones. Aibo presents a great opportunity for companionship, especially for people who have medical conditions or busy schedules that make it difficult to keep and maintain a traditional (i.e. living) pet.
The future is here, and it’s looking back at you with expressive digital eyes. Who would you like to explore it with?
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