Robotics

Nobot wants to put people to work ... in robot form

Nobot wants to put people to w...
Nobot is a robot shell controlled by a human operator
Nobot is a robot shell controlled by a human operator
View 5 Images
Nobot is a robot shell controlled by a human operator
1/5
Nobot is a robot shell controlled by a human operator
You can set someone to play with the kids for you
2/5
You can set someone to play with the kids for you
Nobot is powered by a Raspberry Pi board
3/5
Nobot is powered by a Raspberry Pi board
Gardening is another task that the Nobot could prove useful at
4/5
Gardening is another task that the Nobot could prove useful at
Nobot is an intelligent robot with no AI required
5/5
Nobot is an intelligent robot with no AI required
View gallery - 5 images

We hear plenty of discussion about robots taking over our jobs, so it's a refreshing change to hear about a robot designed to create them instead. Its name is Nobot, and what makes this machine unique is that it's largely controlled remotely by a human being rather than by a set of software algorithms.

The Indiegogo campaign describes the concept as being "like a person in a robot suit," which is a helpful way of understanding it – as long as you realize the person is sat behind a computer somewhere else in the world. Nobot owners get a clever robot to help around the house without needing to spend time programming; Nobot operators get to earn money from home.

Childcare, healthcare, gardening ... there's conceivably no limit to what Nobot could do. The plan is to set up a marketplace for operators and owners, so if you've bought a shiny new Nobot you can easily find someone with the skills and expertise to work it for you – even if you just want some company in the evening or someone to fold the laundry.

You can set someone to play with the kids for you
You can set someone to play with the kids for you

The robot unit itself is relatively low-tech, combining a tough plastic exoskeleton with a Raspberry Pi that handles most of the unit's operations. Each Nobot is fitted with a rotating camera, touchscreen, speaker, microphone and wireless connectivity. Of course the real smarts are provided by the human at the other end of the video feed.

That human element saves the Nobot team from having to program a sophisticated operating system. It also means Nobot owners don't have to spend an evening with a user manual to work out how to get the robot to do their bidding – they simply speak out the instructions as necessary and let the Nobot do its work. Owners can also operate the Nobot themselves, should they want to keep an eye on their home from afar, for example.

The inventors behind the project are currently aiming to raise US$19,000 on Indiegogo to make their product a reality. The early bird price for a Nobot is set at $399, with shipping expected in November if the campaign meets its goals. The video below gives some idea of the inspiration behind the idea.

Sources: Nobot, Indiegogo

Nobot Human over IP

View gallery - 5 images
6 comments
Thomasfromla
$400 seems real steep for a remote controlled toy with a camera.
And "child care, gardening"? THAT ROBOT?
ROTFLMAO!!!
Give me a break!
Eric the Red
Ok maybe I am paranoid, but a robot loose in my house controlled by some random person ... I can just see a new form of internet robbery going on.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Finally. A truly revolutionary Idea! Although it has been around and in use for many years. It may now be ready for general use. What is needed is a switchboard algorithm that allows the machine to choose operator input in real time to achieve the safest and most efficient operation. Very valuable for roof and yard maintenance.
William Carr
Gardening?
Sign me up. With a sensor glove and VR goggles, a human could operate a man-sized Nobot and weed a garden, harvest vegetables, even dive in the Ocean and catch fish.
Ryan Gibbons
Interesting, but to small. The functionality is very limited. This thing is stupider than a Roomba. Even if it is remote operated it should have some semi-automatic functions in case the connection goes down. Also so it isn't completely useless if you don't have an operator available.
katgod
I have to agree with Thomasfromla. The chances of this doing much useful work other then surveillance is pretty small. If we knew how many watt/hr. battery it had we would have a sightly better idea of how much useful work it could really perform.