Ex-Googler Pierre Lebeau and team first let the Keecker home entertainment robot out of its box at CES in Las Vegas at the beginning of 2014. Intrigued, we paid a visit to the company's Paris HQ in July of that year to get a closer look at the prototype and discuss crowdfunding and production plans. A successful Kickstarter followed in October and work began on production. Spin forward to last month, and the first Keecker bots were shipped out to backers. Now, the consumer version has been launched.
Keecker is an all-in-one family entertainment robot that can throw movies onto a living room wall or ceiling, stream music from its speakers and keep watch over the home. At 38.8 x 37.8 x 39.7 cm (15.28 x 14.88 x 15.63 in), the roughly egg-shaped unit is a little shorter and stockier than the prototype we saw trundling around the Keecker office in July 2014. And it's lighter too, at 8.5 kg (18.74 lb).
Its brain is a 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor supported by 3 GB of RAM. Keecker runs Android TV 7 operating system and has 32 GB of internal storage, which can be optioned up to 160 GB (which is still quite a bit less than the originally promised 1 terabyte of local storage).
There's a 1,000 lumen LED projection unit to the front that throws out a 78-inch, 720p image from just 1.5 meters away from the wall. The image can be rotated up to 90 degrees, to transfer a movie from the wall to the ceiling, with autofocus and auto keystone correction meaning the watcher doesn't need to waste precious viewing time making manual adjustments. The bot also takes care of audio, rocking four full range drivers rated at 10 watts each and a 50 W bass driver.
Motorized rear wheels and castor-type front wheels allow Keecker to move to where its needed, controlled and activated by voice command through two integrated microphones or by using a companion iOS/Android app. It navigates using a 3D depth camera for environment mapping and obstacle detection, there's a 13 MP panoramic Sony camera up top for 360° video and a 5 MP camera to the front.
Keecker also has a surveillance mode, moving around rooms and sending alerts to owners when something's out of place.
Wireless connectivity comes in the shape of 802.11ac/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1, and there's built-in Chromecast, too. The bot also has light, humidity, temperature, IR sensors, as well as gyro, compass, GPS and accelerometer.
And its Li-ion battery is reported good for up to 6 hours of intensive use (projecting videos, playing music and moving around, for example) before needing to return to its charging station for a juice up. In moderate use scenarios, Keecker will last 3 days per charge or 7 days in pure surveillance mode.
Keecker is now taking orders for its home entertainment bot, priced at US$1,790 for the 32 GB version, rising to $1,990 for the 160 GB model. In either case, there's a 4 week delivery window, subject to availability. The main functionality is overviewed in the video below.
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