Huggable robot set to roll into your heart in 2019
Some robots are built for industry, others are designed to be eerily lifelike, yet more as toys and then there are the companion bots. The Lovot from Groove X is made to be loved. This strange creature out of Japan hosts a bunch of sensors that feed machine learning brains so that it can make its owners happy, as it rolls around looking for a hug.
In development for 3 years, the 255 x 430 x 255 mm (10 x 17 x 10 in), 3 to 4 kg (6.6-8.8 lb) Lovot features a primary 4-core x86 processor with 8 GB of RAM and both 4-core and 2-core ARM processors and 4 GB of RAM providing a supporting role. Its makers say that the lil robot uses machine learning to react to user engagement and situations in real time, courtesy of a sensor array on its horn-like head and at its "feet" feeding in all manner of useful data.
It comes rocking a depth camera, a wide angle camera and a thermal camera, a pressure sensor, light sensor, heat and humidity sensors. The Lovot has touch sensors throughout the body, four microphones, two LCD displays for eyes, a motorized neck that can raise and lower the head and a single speaker.
It moves around the house courtesy of two drive wheels to the front that retract inside the body when the robot is picked up, and a stabilizer roller at the rear. Groove X says it boasts 13 degrees of freedom from its movable components.
Bluetooth, wireless LAN and mobile network connectivity are all cooked in, and there's an 89 Wh Li-ion battery that should allow the Lovot to roll around for 45 minutes for every 15 minutes on charge at the Nest module.
The Nest features its own dual-core processor, 8 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage, together with wireless comms for talking to, and wirelessly charging, the Lovot.
The Lovot huggable robot will be offered as a pair for around JPY 598,000 (US$5,400) – which is due to release at the end of 2019 – and a single unit for JPY 349,000 (US$3,100) – expected some time during 2020. Pre-orders are open now. The video below has more.
Source: Groove X