Robots are still quite far from being like the ones in the movies. But they are gathering more and more interest. Like the new family companion robot Buddy.
Buddy is a so-called companion robot. It is meant to roam around your home and help you out, entertain the kids and pets, help you stay connected with family and friends. There are such robots even today, but they are really expensive which makes them inaccessible for most people.
This is where Buddy comes in. He will cost 649 dollars for the basic version. If you want, you can add extra stuff to Buddy like arms ($100), projector ($200), docking station ($150). With the arms Buddy will be able to carry stuff or do funny things. With the projector he can show videos and pictures. The docking station allows buddy to automatically go to it and recharge when needed.
The robot is also a personal assistant and will remind you of your tasks and agenda for the day. It will also be able to patrol and watch your home while you are away and will sent you alerts if there is an issue. It can also suggest recipes, play music or be used as a hands-free for phone calls.
Buddy learns to roam around the house and avoid obstacles on his own. The robot is also able to be controlled by a smartphone app. It can interact with connected devices. For example it could send a signal to turn the lights on or off.
For kids Buddy will be able to tell stories, help them learn how to spell and count. It can even teach the first steps in computer programming if the child is interested.
Buddy can also be used for elder care. It has face detection, fall detection and unusual inactivity detection which will trigger an alert. The robot can also remind when it is time to take medication and bridges the gap with using social media and other technology stuff elderly people are usually not fond of.
Buddy has already gathered huge interest. In just two days it reached its goal on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. It needed $100 000 and it got them. Actually it now has close to double that and there are still 29 days left. It is also a way to get one of the first robots when they are done, which is expected to happen by July 2016. Here is the campaign page for more info.