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Consumer & Household

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Sophisticated household robots are only just starting to show up in our lives, but all the building blocks for a veritable “Cambrian explosion” of robotics are there, as Gill Pratt described it when he was running the recent DARPA Robotics Challenge. The service robotics industry is emerging, and we will soon be seeing robots of all shapes and sizes making their first forays into our everyday lives.

by   -   December 29, 2016

For all of us who participated in the Jibo IndieGoGo crowdfunding and are anxiously awaiting delivery – which has been delayed again – this Chinese knock-off came as quite a surprise.

by and   -   December 21, 2016

Stores are engaged in an arms race to make online shopping less of an impersonal chore.

by   -   November 18, 2016

Amazon’s Echo sales have exceeded 4 million and they are ramping up to sell 10 million in 2017; Google’s Home has received positive reviews and have just begun selling in large numbers; but SoftBank’s Pepper and Cynthia Breazeal’s Jibo have either failed or are stalled. Why?

by   -   November 14, 2016
Paul, a member of the Care-O-bot 4 robot family, has been greeting customers in Saturn-Markt Ingolstadt since the end of October 2016 and directing them towards their desired products. Image: Saturn.
Paul, a member of the Care-O-bot 4 robot family, has been greeting customers in Saturn-Markt Ingolstadt since the end of October 2016 and directing them towards their desired products. Image: Saturn.

In January 2015, Fraunhofer IPA presented a prototype of the “Care-O-bot 4” service robot. The charming helper is now proving its worth in the real world. “Paul” the robot has been greeting customers in Saturn-Markt Ingolstadt since the end of October 2016 and directing them towards their desired products.

interview by   -   November 12, 2016

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In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Hasier Larrea, Founder and CEO of Ori Systems and MSc candidate at the MIT Media Lab, about robotics used to transform personal spaces. Larrea discusses how the world is urbanizing and how new space paradigms are needed to accommodate this shift. He proposes robotic furniture that allows for what is not being used to be hidden, such as a desk or a bed. Larrea discusses the robotic systems, how these systems will be integrated into existing infrastructure, and the future or Ori Systems.

Source: Halodi Robotics
Source: Halodi Robotics

Our robot, Eve, is built from the ground up using force-control, enabling human-like dexterity and efficiency. We’d like to discuss why we decided to build Eve this way, hopefully offering another approach to robotics outside the factory floor.

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What would your ideal robot be like? One that can change nappies and tell bedtime stories to your child? Perhaps you’d prefer a butler that can polish silver and mix the perfect cocktail? Or maybe you’d prefer a companion that just happened to be a robot? Certainly, some see robots as a hypothetical future replacement for human carers. But a question roboticists are asking is: how human should these future robot companions be?

by   -   April 25, 2016

iRobot recently divested its defense division so that it could focus on consumer and mobility products. Red Mountain Capital, a hedge fund that owns ~6% of iRobot stock wants to place two people on the iRobot board to effect some change.

interview by   -   April 17, 2016

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Transcript below.

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Silas Adekunle, Co-founder and CEO of Reach Robotics. They speak about Reach Robotics’ first product, Mecha Monsters: legged, gaming robots that are controlled by a smartphone.

by   -   April 7, 2016
Source: Fraunhofer IPA/photo: Jens Kilian
Source: Fraunhofer IPA/photo: Jens Kilian

By 2020, a quarter of Europeans will be over 60. In their silver age, many would like to stay in their homes and will require care from family or social workers.

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UPDATE: Only 7 days left to back Sweep! They are now almost 80% funded.

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Source: Wonder Workshop/YouTube

Spoiler alert. It’s April 1. But this is actually happening, just not quite the way SF educational robot startup Wonder Workshop describe it in this wonderful video about their new release – WonderPaw. Wonder Workshop launched their first robots Dot and Dash with a very successful Kickstarter in 2013.

by   -   March 31, 2016
iRobot Braava jet 240. Source: irobot.com
iRobot Braava jet 240. Source: irobot.com

iRobot has been streamlining its operations to focus on consumer products and enhancing shareholder value. Recent moves to divest their defense division, launch a low-cost Braava Jet floor cleaner, and investing in 6 River Systems all attest to their strategy.

In our final post for this series, we’ll talk about the future of telepresence. For most robots telepresence is just the beginning, a means to an end. Many of the robots in this series are meant for office, medical, or home. Allowing human operators to teach robots through telepresence creates a synergy along with higher levels of autonomy.

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ICRA 2017 Company Showcase
December 10, 2017


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