CES 2017 – She’s sweet, autonomous and designed to help people to connect. Meet Kuri, the super-cute family robot developed by Californian start up Mayfield Robotics. She can understand context and surroundings, recognize specific people, and respond to questions with facial expressions, head movements, and unique lovable sounds.
Sarah Osentosky, CEO at Mayfield Robotics says “There are a lot of robots in space and in the entertainment field. Plus there are robots that are home appliances for some utility. With Kuri we wanted to combine utility with fun. In a word: utilentaintment”.
Kuri is built to bring technology to life. Like many adored robots in popular culture, his personality and ability to connect are his greatest attributes. The voice-controlled robot is equipped with a camera that allows users to check on the house when away, as well as four microphones for voice commands, dual speakers for music playback, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Kuri is 50 cm tall and weights about 6 kg. “Every component was designed to convey a sense of personality” says Jason Umhoefer, VP Software at Mayfield Robotics. When asked a question, she recognizes people and simply answers with a beep for yes, bloop for no and bleep for saluting and cheering.
“We don think Artificial Intelligence is at the point where you can have a very intelligent common sense conversation with a robot”. Says Kaijen Hsiao, chief technology officer and co-founder of Mayfield Robotics. “Kuri makes beeps and bloops. Pretty much like a pet. Still, home robots are insanely complicated”.
Sensors enable Kuri to map out its surroundings and learn its way around the house, making sure it doesn’t collide with any obstacles or fall down stairs. The robot allows also to record voice and carrie messages, or narrate bed-time stories to kids. Indeed, “even though Kuri is a highly advanced and complex robot, she’s still so friendly that kids instantly make a new friend”.
Kuri is currently available for pre-order in the US at $ 699 and will be on sale in the second half of 2017.