Definitely one of the big trends in consumer robotics – at this CES at least – is the convergence between robots, home entertainment and wireless networking. Take iRobiQ, which maker Yujin Robot describes as an ‘ubiquitous home robot’. And he can do just about anything.
So, he’s an information service, serving up news, weather and cooking recipes. He’s an entertainment service, letting you view photos and videos, and even sing karaoke (I’m not sure if he sings along with you, but I have high hopes).
He’s an education service teaching the kids English, a safety service monitoring your home, and he provides “cleaning robot control”, which I think means he bosses a separate robo-vac about, rather than sucking up dust himself.
iRobiQ has a seven-inch LCD touch-screen to control all his functions (see a close-up of the main menu on the right), and boasts a 1.3 megapixel camera. He can keep going for three hours, after which he’ll need to charge for another three hours.
“You can tell him to move to the kitchen or living room and show you the image, or send it to your cellphone!” says Sam Park, CTO and head of the R&D centre at Yujin Robot. “If you show him a book, he will read the book for you too. Obviously, that book has to be registered on our server. If it is, he will recognise it, and connect to the internet, get the text and read it to you. And he has face recognition too.”
iRobiQ is not on sale just yet, but it’s due to go on sale in South Korea in March, while Park has high hopes that it’ll also eventually come out in Europe and North America too.