TechnologyMisty starts shipping its programmable robot to backers
The ISS' spherical robot helper has returned to Earth
Humans are one step closer to having robot assistants in space. The IBM- and Airbus-made CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) robot returned to Earth on August 27th after successful testing aboard the International Space Station. The spherical machine demonstrated both its AI skills (such as recognizing astronauts and offering instructions) as well as its ability to float through the ISS. Don't think this is the end to the experiments, though -- this is really just the start. The partners have been working on a successor that should build on the lessons learned from the first-generation robot.
When we met with Misty back at CES, the Sphero spin-off had an April time frame for its programmable robot, . But the best laid plans, and all that. The startup announced this morning that it will start shipping the robot to its 500 or so crowdfunding backers over the coming weeks. It’s a few months late, but that’s just kind of the life of the robotics startup.
And as we’ve mentioned in previous posts, the company’s got a pretty long runway for its ambitious plans. They started last year with the modular, handmade Misty I. The Misty II is still more platform than product, with the intention of giving developers a place to create various robotics tasks.
It has been 27 years since Misty Copsey disappearance
PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Tuesday marked 27 years since a teenage girl went missing in Pierce County. Fourteen-year-old Misty Copsey disappeared on her way to the Puyallup Fair in 1992, and police are renewing their efforts to find out what happened to her. In April, the state patrol and Kam-Way Trucking created a 'Homeward Bound' truck with Misty's face on it, hoping to generate some leads. The truck shows Misty at the time of her disappearance and a how she would look today. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says one in six cases are solved because someone recognizes a face in a picture.
Two early-gen models have already been seeded to a handful of developers, who have begun to create a wide range of different functions for the plucky little robot, including property inspection, environmental monitoring, eldercare and autism therapy. The potential applications go well beyond that, leveraging the robot’s different on-board technologies, including locomotion, facial recognition and programmable personality traits.
“Delivering Misty II to our crowdfunding backers is a major milestone for the company as they will play a special role in helping us prepare Misty for her official market launch later this year,” founder Ian Bernstein said in a release tied to the news. “Our backers are investors in the vision of personal robots becoming a reality in our lives. We are very excited to see how hundreds of developers bring Misty to life.”
Five-hundred developers is a drop in the bucket, but it does prove that there’s some interest in the product. The company will continue to offer pre-orders on the robot for $2,399, with a full market launch set for later in the year.
Sphero's hackable RVR robot is like an RC car you can add parts to .
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