Personal robots are going to play bigger roles in our homes due to the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies such as machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing and gesture controls.
We have already seen robots, with different sizes and shapes, that clean the floor and purifies the air and Sony’s Aibo robot canine.
To cash in on the demand due to Covid-19 lockdown, Misa Robotics has gone live on Indiegogo on Tuesday and the company is witnessing strong interest.
Deepak Bhatia, Founder and CEO of Misa Robotics and iLife Digital Technology, told TechRadar Pro Middle East in an exclusive that they were working on it for the past two years.
“What we are noticing in our online campaign is that children are sitting at home and the parents, who are stuck at home due to lockdown, want to entertain their kids and for those people where budget is not an issue,” he said.
Moreover, he said that a lot of parent’s entertainment budget is not utilised as they cannot go outside to shop.
“We think Covid-19 is the right time to launch the device,” he said.
The initial price is $700 but now the company is giving it at $349 as an early bird offer. After the funding of the campaign, backers will receive their Misa robot by August 2020.
It will be available at premium retail outlets in the Middle East in August, the same partners for its iLife products.
The 10,000mAh battery has a talk time of eight hours and 48 hours as standby time. It weighs 1.1kilos.
Security and privacy issues taken care
According to Frost & Sullivan's recent analysis, personal robots are set to be an $18.85b opportunity by 2020 as the Asian market for robots will explode with China emerging as one of the major countries expected to provide innovative, low-cost autonomous mobile robots in the next few years.
Bhatia said that Misa has facial recognition and deep understanding and it can speak in English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Korean, Japanese and Mandarin.
“It has a voice AI and voice is the most difficult aspect of the project. It can move in the house through voice as well as through a smartphone app. With the app, users can do home automation, security, social interactions with the expression of emotions, or assistance robot for seniors and family,” he said.
The wakeup word is “Hey Misa” and it can recognise it in 100 different ascents.
The device comes preloaded with $250 worth of ad-free games, Karaoke app, books, learning apps and videos such as Little Miss, The Moomins, Mr Bean, Peter Rabbit and Mr Men.
Bhatia said that security and privacy issues are taken care of and it does not record any personal conversations as in Amazon Alexa.
Moreover, he said that Misa backers will become VIP members of the Misa’s Insiders Club who will get exclusive, detailed, behind-the-scenes info on the technology, design process, character development, and production, from manufacturing updates to early scoops on upcoming software features and design decisions.
Backers will also gain early access to the Misa SDK and be part of an exclusive community of users who can help shape its features and direction, he said.
However, Bhatia said that the present model only works with a set of preloaded commands but users will be able to add new commands in next year’s model.
“We are opening the backend to the end-users next year to add custom commands and for the app developers. About 10,000 units are in production and to be shipped by August and we are planning to add another 15,000 units for November,” he said.