Commercial robotics have started to arrive, ranging from self-driving cars to speakers that control your smart home. Mayfield Robotics’ Kuri is a new entry into the home robotic arena, and combines mobility and true interaction with approachable, friendly design.
Mayfield Robotics is a startup owned and funded by Bosch, with a team that has extensive experience in the field of robotics, and also in interaction design and machine learning. Their first product is Kuri, an intelligent home robot that made its debut at CES this year, with pre-orders beginning in the U.S. and a target ship date of sometime during the holidays in 2017.
Kuri responds to voice input, similar to other devices like Google Home or Amazon Echo. There’s a four-microphone array built into its compact, vaguely conical body so that it can hear you no matter where you are in the room, and it also has a built-in speaker. Kuri doesn’t respond with words, but instead uses sounds, lights and expressive eyes to communicate responses back to the user – all of which was a key part of its design.
The robot also has a built-in HD camera behind one eye, and a range of sensors to stop it from falling down stairs or bumping into furniture. It moves on 3 wheels that help it rotate in any direction, and it can move from room to room with ease as it follows you or goes where you tell it. There’s an on-board processor to handle voice and image recognition tasks, and it’s programmable to expand its feature set.
Kuri is under two feet tall, and about a foot wide with a total weight of 14 lbs. Both iOS and Android apps are available to help control and interact with the robot when you’re not using him and it seeks out its charging pad when its battery needs charging.