Kuri – the robot you will want
The brainchild of Mayfield Robotics, Kuri is one of many home robots being introduced at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. This might be the best home bot to land since automated vacuum cleaners!
Kuri is more than an Amazon Echo with wheels and eyes. This adorable bot is able to complete simple tasks around the home for you.
The idea is this little robot can do all the things Alexa or Google Home can do now — answer trivia questions, play music, run your smart home and a little more. Using the built-in 1080p camera, Kuri can also take, for instance, cat videos while you’re away and play them for you.
Mayfield is backed by international technology conglomerate Bosch and aims to make a robot for people who actually want a robot. Kuri might not quite be an R2-D2 or Wall-E but it scoots around and has bags of personality. It measures 20-inches tall so I guess that qualifies it as a real droid.
Kuri can patrol your home, well one floor, looking for any suspicious motion. The bot builds a map of the layout of your house. So, it can then tell when things are out of place or in motion.
CEO Michael Beebe said his one keeps a great dane off the couch when he’s not home. It can also be controlled remotely to roam the halls through an app.
It knows who’s home
When you bring Kuri home, you’re supposed to show it the faces of your family members. Awwww… but as well as introducing it to your family it will learn who is generally in the house. This way, it can alert you when someone it doesn’t recognise enters your home or greet those it knows.
This is handy for parents whose kids get back home before they do: Kuri can let parents know that their offspring are home safe and sound.
Rather like a roving Amazon Echo, Kuri can be used as a wireless Bluetooth speaker. This is something we’ve seen before but it’s still a nice touch.
Kuri can be used as a messenger. If you’re in the kitchen and want to tell the kids that dinner is ready don’t shout. Just record a voice message with Kuri’s app and tell the bot to relay the message to them.
Mayfield’s executives told Quartz they saw Kuri’s main selling point as being a “spark of life.”
What really sets Kuri apart is the fact it appears so lifelike and is able to react to you and how you interact with it.
Mayfield worked with former Pixar animators and spent a lot of time creating a set of motions and sounds to make Kuri personable. I can almost get the feels from the videos above.
Kuri price and availability
This little bot will costs $699 (£570-ish) on pre-order. You can sign up now and just leave $100 deposit.
I am *very* tempted!