From R2-D2 and the Jetson's maid, Rosie, to Wall-E or Baymax, we've been dreaming on a friendly household robot for what seems like forever. The dream continues with some help from a new Indiegogo campaign for Buddy. For $649, you can help fund this consumer companion robot, which could be protecting your home and playing with your kids by July 2016.
Buddy is a watchdog, playmate and assistant all in one. He might even give C-3PO a run for his money, assuming he works as advertised. Buddy, developed by Paris-based robotics company Blue Frog Robotics, and which is being funded on Indiegogo, will reportedly be able to do many, many things. The company claims he will be able to suggest recipes, play your favorite playlist, turn off your oven, warn you in the event of a fire, take pictures and video, connect to your social networks and play hide and seek. You can also use him to Skype with family and friends through his touchscreen face, keep track of appointments and schedule upcoming events, or tell your kids with a story.
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The company claims he should last between 8 and 10 hours on one charge. Buddy's head is made out of an 8-inch touchscreen tablet with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. He also sports two speakers. Two sensors allow Buddy to sense fires and floods. Homebody Buddy can also speak, hear, detect obstacles and rotate his head. We imagine he will be especially useful to elderly people who require companionship and medication reminders.
Blue Frog Robotics doesn’t want the initial production to be the end of its companion robot's development. The robot was created with open source software based on Android, and the company wants developers to improve the robot on their own. One of the additions that is already available with the Buddy Premium Pack ($849) is an attachable arm that functions as a projector.
With more than a month left in its Indiegogo campaign, Blue Frog Robotics has already met its goal of $100,000 from just 184 donors. For $649, you will receive the Classic Edition of Buddy and for a $749 you will receive the Developer Edition, which enrolls you in the Buddy Developer Program.
Of course, Buddy could just be the precursor to the T-1000 or Ava from Ex Machina; in which case, run. Run for your lives.
Ilyse Liffreing is an intern at Tom’s Guide. She likes pina coladas and using virtual reality headsets to get caught in the rain. She will be receiving her MA from NYU. You can follow Ilyse on Twitter @IlyseLiffreing or on Facebook. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide, on Facebook.