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.
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.
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.
*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.
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.