Misty Robotics, a startup based out of Boulder, Colorado, announced the Misty 1 developer robot during CES 2018. Misty Robotics is hoping that by providing programmers and developers access to the robot's basic infrastructure, they can build skills that leverage autonomous navigation, seeing, hearing, and speaking.
Successful Robots Require Mobility, Eyes, Ears, And Mouth
"We've spent time building a list of all of the home and office 'human tasks that other humans pay for' and, of that task list, a significant percent require only mobility, eyes, ears, and mouth for success," Tim Enwall, CEO of Misty Robotics, told Tech Times.
"So we're highly confident a great number of skills can and will be developed," said Enwall.
Right now, the Misty 1 developer robot has the ability to self-navigate and build a map of the environment, up to about 600 square feet to start. The Misty 1 robot can also detect and recognize faces.
"The Misty 1 contains a RESTful API, so there's easy access to the ears (microphone) mouth (speakers), and eyes (HD camera and LCD screen) and drive/navigation system," said Enwall.
Developers Can Expand The Misty 1 Hardware
"The Misty 1 also has hardware extensibility via serial and USB ports so developers can expand the hardware as they'd like," said Enwall.
Enwall believes programmers and developers can improve areas including entertainment, routine office tasks, safety, security, and telepresence.
What inspired Misty Robotics to build the Misty 1 developer robot?
"While at Sphero (home of Star Wars BB-8 Droid), Ian Bernstein, founder of Misty Robotics, dreamed of giving people more free time by taking on tasks around the house, like doing simple chores," said Enwall.
"He started to combine all of those lessons into an idea for an autonomous robot, and that's how we got started on the Misty Robotics 1 developer robot."
"Ian felt it was time to separate his work on Misty from Sphero and spun out as a standalone company in June of 2017."
Soon after, the company received $11.5 million in funding from Venrock, Foundry Group, and other investment groups.
How much does it cost to buy the Misty 1 developer robot? Misty Robotics is selling the hardware for $1,500 but only plans to supply limited units.
The hardware may come with a heavy price tag, but it's a great opportunity for developers and programmers to build valuable skills that might be used in the second-generation robot, the Misty II, coming in 2018.