Personal robots are something that we have seen in multiple science fictions novels and TV shows. Yet, up until now these robots have never been the primary focus of robotics engineers.
But now, we are seeing a rise in the number of personal robot offerings available for purchase in the market. One such type of personal robot is the Big-i Robot developed by Nxrobo.
This robot is being categorized by the company as a personal robot butler, which can not only be your personal assistant but also double as a home automation system.
To make the assimilation easier, the company has included a Learning Algorithm into the robots programming, which allows it to recognize people and create custom profiles according to their behavior and needs.
These profiles are categorized according on the hierarchy of the family. Under this system the robot chooses one particular master to follow, and the rest of the family members go beneath the master, with different rankings of obedience.
This system is put in place to make sure that you can limit the amount of use your children could get out of the robot. It also removes potential for abuse, as a stranger would not be able to get the robot to do anything, until the master gives it permission.
This is a lot of customization on offer in a robot which essentially looks like a trash can. This design was selected specifically to make sure that the robot blends in with the rest of the household appliances easily.
It stands at 76.5 cm (39 in) in height and 12 kg (26.5 lbs) in weight. The cylindrical design is covered in cushioned fabric so that there’s no potential for damage in case you bump into it accidentally. On the top is a large, mobile camera eye which constantly scans it’s environment through various sensors.
Its sensors include light, ambient and object temperature, humidity, accelerometer, gyroscope as well as haptic feedback. In addition, the Big-i can also perform spatial recognition and 3D mapping, thus making it easy for it to make it’s way through the house.
Since it also contains voice and face recognition, and motion tracking; it can easily be controlled without any physical input. The programming can be done in both English and Chinese, with support for more languages on it’s way.
The company hopes that these features will be enough to help the robot integrate itself as part of your family. If not, then the company is also ready to open source the operating system to encourage further customization.
All in all, this robot is certainly a strong step forward in the personal robot category. It is still too early to tell when we could buy one for ourselves or at what price it would be available at. But we will surely bring you any and all updates, as they roll in.