BUDDY opensource companion bot meets 100K crowdfunding goal in 1 day; now >200% funded

Buddy-Welcome BUDDY has something to smile about.  The new open source companion robot by Blue Frog Robotics, launched an Indiegogo campaign on July 7th and sailed past its $100K crowdfunding goal in under 24 hours. And just a few hours ago it unlocked its fourth stretch goal when it achieved $200K in funding. BUDDY is designed to be a friendly companion that entertains and educates, makes video calls and sends messages to family and friends, acts as your calendar and alarm clock, and monitors your home. 

Built on open source

The brainchild of Rodolphe Hasselvander (CEO and Co-founder of Blue Frog Robotics, and former Executive Director of the CRIIF (Robotics Lab)), BUDDY is built on an open-source technology platform so that developers can easily collaborate to build hardware and software for it.

BUDDY was purposely built on an open-source technology platform using popular development tools, such as OpenCV and Unity3D, to allow as many developers as possible to build applications for it. BUDDY’s industry standard platform includes the most popular programming languages and the Android mobile operating system.



BUDDY is 22-inches/56cm tall, 5 kg in weight and with a battery life of 8-10 hours.

He features an Android-based, Intel Atom-based tablet (also the hub for BUDDY’s brains) that sits in a rotatable head and can slide back and forth on his body.

Fully mobile, BUDDY rolls around on three wheels (two large ones in the front and a caster-style wheel in the back) and has a plethora of sensors allowing him to travel, learn and interact with the world around him. He is also equipped with state of the art Artificial Intelligence technology, including face and object detection, recognition and tracking.

Buddy_Features Buddy Specs


The campaign

We have chosen crowdfunding as the route to market for BUDDY as we want to give early adopters the chance to test BUDDY before it hits the mass market. We also want to cultivate a thriving community of developers. We’re keen on working with talented and innovative developers, as they will help us design and augment BUDDY before bringing it to mass market.

  • Super Early Bird backers can purchase their own Classic BUDDY from as little as $499*, and Developer Edition BUDDY for $599*. (SOLD OUT)
  • Early Bird backers can purchase their own Classic BUDDY from as little as $549*, and Developer Edition BUDDY for $649*.
  • After Early Bird, prices will be set at $649* and $749* for Classic BUDDY and Developer Edition BUDDY, respectively.
  • BUDDY “Special Needs” Early Bird Pack for $799 uses specialized software and content to help children with autism learn, communicate, and be more autonomous.
  • For $849*, backers can purchase the BUDDY Premium Pack, which includes a projector arm and docking station. The accessories are now for sale separately.
  • Buy 2 Classic BUDDY’s for $999*.
  • VIP option. For $4,999*, design your BUDDY with us to create a totally unique BUDDY, signed and engraved by the whole team. As a VIP, you’ll also receive a dinner in your honour with the CEO & BUDDY team, travel and accommodation to Paris, a BUDDY premium pack and a private demo.
  • Academics BUDDY Developer Pack priced at $6,490 includes 12 robots for the price of 10.

*Plus shipping costs of $50 for one BUDDY and $100 for two BUDDYs

Blue Frog Robotics has also just launched a referral program to bring BUDDY to more homes and families. Indiegogo backers can earn $65 credit towards BUDDY’s campaign every time one of their referrals purchases a BUDDY from $549.


The team behind BUDDY

Rodolphe Hasselvander, Co-Founder & CEO – A pioneer in professional and personal service robotics, Rodolphe spent ten years of his career as Executive Director at CRIIF, a robotics research laboratory.

Franck de Visme, Co-Founder & COO – An entrepreneur by nature, Franck co-founded Hanakai, and is the former CEO of both Tetraedge and Earthlings. He is also a skilled mentor for innovative startups (NUMA).

Jean-Michel Mourier, CTO – Jean-Michel is a passionate robotics engineer with expertise in autonomous navigation, vision, electronic architecture and intelligence. Previously, he worked on several high profile robotics projects in both industry and the lab.

Maud Verraes, CMO – Maud is a marketing leader with extensive experience in developing innovative and high-tech products and solutions, including personal robots. Formerly, she worked with NEC.

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Blue Frog Robotics is a French start-up that has developed Buddy, "The Companion Robot Accessible to Everyone", co-founded by former CRIIF (Robotics lab) Executive Director Rodolphe Hasselvander.
Blue Frog Robotics is a French start-up that has developed Buddy, "The Companion Robot Accessible to Everyone", co-founded by former CRIIF (Robotics lab) Executive Director Rodolphe Hasselvander.

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