Sci-fi books and movies have long promoted the idea of humans living in close companionship with robots. The androids in these visions are capable of doing everything from answering the door to cooking dinner and tucking the kids into bed at night. They are integrated into every setting: the home, laboratory, office, medical clinic and elsewhere.
Real-world robotics are growing more sophisticated by the day, and while we have not yet reached the age of having full-fledged robot servants or assistants, that day may be closer than you think.
The use of personal assistant robots in the home is on the rise. Some of these are toys, designed to entertain and amuse, while others integrate with smart home devices to make your house more welcoming, functional and efficient. These robots may even be used to enhance an existing security system.
Before making a buying decision, consider what you want your robot to accomplish. Is it meant to be an amusing device that will keep the kids occupied? Do you want it to be able to recognize friendly faces? How interactive do you want the experience to be?
Many of the robots that are described below are capable of these and other functions. They may teach you how to code, detect intruders or dance to funky music. With so much variety, you’ll be able to find the personal assistant robot that’s right for you.
EHU Rated: 4.9 stars
The Anki Cozmo is a genuinely fun-to-use robot that provides an excellent introduction to the world
of coding. With a STEM-ready visual programming language, kids and adults will find that they actually enjoy learning to code. The only requirements are the possession of an Android or iOS device with the Cozmo app installed.
One of Cozmo’s best features is its ability to develop a unique personality as it adapts to its new home. The Cozmo Code Lab app frequently is updated to provide even more opportunities to learn to code as well as new games. Priced at a bit less than $150, Cozmo is rather expensive, but for someone who is interested in learning to code or who has dreamed of having a robotic friend, this little gadget is a dream come true.
With excellent durability and promising plenty of fun, Cozmo is an exciting and educational companion with a distinctive personality.
EHU Rated: 4.7 stars
The adorable MiP is the robot butler that you always wished you had. He features a built-in tray that’s designed to carry small items, so you can actually command him to bring you a cold drink from the kitchen. This is accomplished using hand gestures or through the smartphone app.
MiP is going to get a great deal of use in any home, so it’s fortunate that he’s so durable. His audio and physical responses are fun, and the app gives him plenty of different modes and features. However, he can seem too loud, and his sensors are too sensitive. While this robot is meant to be autonomous, he’s pretty dependent on his app for much of his behavior.
MiP the Toy Robot is an interactive toy that promises hours of fun for kids of all ages.
EHU Rated: 4.8 stars
With his humanoid appearance, the FLYZOE Smart Robot is a fun companion in the home. He’s capable of walking or sliding in any direction, and he responds to your touch. Colorful lights and a music and dance mode make him a highlight at parties. Put him in obstacle-avoidance mode, and watch him navigate around the house.
Known as “Cady Wike” and priced at a bit over $30, this is an economical choice from FLYZOE that kids of all ages will love. Controlled by the included remote, your gestures and your touch, there are many ways to enjoy the Cady Wike from FLYZOE. He has sensors on his head and chest to read gestures and locate obstacles.
This sturdy FLYZOE Smart Robot provides fun interactions and behavior for a remarkably affordable price.
EHU Rated: 4.1 stars
Priced at nearly $800, the Lynx Smart Home Robot isn’t exactly a toy. Nonetheless, it’s pretty cute, and it can be programmed to hug you when you come home. The biggest attraction to the Lynx Smart Home Robot is that it is fully integrated with the Amazon Alexa personal assistant. Accordingly, this product effectively gives Alexa a human-like form. Lynx can take you through a variety of yoga and other exercise routines, and it also is equipped with a security camera. Just like Alexa, it can do everything that the Amazon Echo can do, but for a great deal more money. This means that it will give you reminders, control your smart home and search the Internet for you.
Priced at nearly $800, the Lynx Smart Home Robot isn’t exactly a toy. Nonetheless, it’s pretty cute, and it can be programmed to hug you when you come home. The biggest attraction to the Lynx Smart Home Robot is that it is fully integrated with the Amazon Alexa personal assistant. Accordingly, this product effectively gives Alexa a human-like form.
Lynx can take you through a variety of yoga and other exercise routines, and it also is equipped with a security camera. Just like Alexa, it can do everything that the Amazon Echo can do, but for a great deal more money. This means that it will give you reminders, control your smart home and search the Internet for you.
EHU Rated: 4.2 stars
The Professor Einstein Robot is the product for everyone who’s always wanted to have the physics genius for a roommate. This robot looks just like the eminent professor, and his facial movements are pretty fun and engaging. When connected to the app, Professor Einstein can play games. The app performance seems pretty solid, which is a good thing because this Hanson Robotics product doesn’t do much without it.
At 15 inches tall and with a remarkably expressive face, this $200 robot moves around on wheels. It’s equipped with a microphone and camera while Wi-Fi connectivity provides even more fun.
Designed to open up the world of science to kids, Professor Einstein’s connectivity to Wi-Fi and the Stein-O-Matic app enable him to answer just about any question.
EHU Rated: 4.1 stars
Advertised as “The World’s First Social Robot for the Home,” the Jibo is an interesting concept that requires a strong Wi-Fi signal for the best connectivity. It has a friendly interface and is able to integrate with smart home devices using IFTTT technology. It has the ability to answer questions with charm, take photos and recognize the faces and voices of up to 16 individuals.
Jibo is expensive at about $900, and unlike other smart home devices, it doesn’t enable purchases or play music. The Jibo app performance seems reliable. Wi-Fi connectivity is achieved through whatever device you’re using to run the app. Once set up, Jibo will help with basic questions regarding the time, weather, trivia, calories and existential matters. He dances to music, scans for monsters and purrs at your touch, and does it all with a charming personality.
Jibo is friendly and enthusiastic, a fun roommate who also keeps you informed.
EHU Rated: 4.3 stars
The Riley Home Safety Robot boasts plenty of features that are designed to keep you in the know. He’s equipped with motion detection alerts, night vision, audio transmission, live HD video streaming and control via smartphone. Mobile on his dual tracks, the Riley Home Safety Robot from Appbot is capable of traversing a wide variety of terrains. He’s durable, so if kids or pets want to play with him, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Setting the Riley Home Safety Robot in Detect Mode enables him to capture as many as five videos, each as long as 10 seconds. His image processing abilities provide him with motion sensing capabilities.
The Riley Home Safety Robot may not be the last word in security systems, but it does provide some nice extras.
EHU Rated: 4.5 stars
Priced at less than $30, the Mibro from Really RAD Robots is designed to spark creativity at a surprisingly affordable price. Mibro comes with a remote through which it is possible to talk through the robot or provide him with commands. He has voice-changing capabilities so that he can sound like you or use a robotic-like voice. Equipped with numerous sound effects and pranks, this is one robot that promises fun through practical jokes. He can use his tray to bring out a drink or hold a smartphone.
While Mibro is mostly designed for fun, he can also provide low-level security services. Just put him in stealth mode to have him pick up sounds in another room through the remote.
EHU Rated: 4.4 stars
At 11″ tall, the Stormtrooper Robot is the ultimate gadget for the Star Wars fan. This bipedal robot features facial and voice recognition as well as a long battery life. Plus, it looks a lot like an actual stormtrooper. App performance on this robot is vital. Through it, it is possible to command the Stormtrooper Robot to play games or patrol a room. Speakers and microphones make it possible for the robot to talk and recognize commands, and a camera enables it to recognize its surroundings and known faces. Sensors in the feet keep it from falling off the edges of tables or a stairwell.
Every Star Wars fan is bound to love interacting with this Stormtrooper Robot.
EHU Rated: 4.6 stars
The Cue Coding Robot comes with four unique avatars to provide it with loads of personality. Bluetooth connectivity works with Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, Windows and Chrome Books. Kids can exchange text messages with CUE and program it to perform dozens of behaviors.
It’s also possible to set it up in Seek, Avoid and Explore modes for even more fun.
The market for personal assistant robots is still in its relative infancy. Most available models are either fun toys with lots of personality or an interactive means of learning some incredibly useful skills like coding. Still, the offerings are becoming more diverse and sophisticated by the day. Some of these bots are being integrated with smart home devices to help you control the lighting and temperature in you home, remember appointments or even lead you through some yoga exercises. There’s no telling what the personal assistant robots of tomorrow will be able to do.
A: A personal assistant robot is designed to make life easier, more efficient and more enjoyable for its human counterparts. Their functionality may range from simply being fun to interact with to being educational to being a help around the house.
Some of these robots are able to integrate with other smart home technology. With the ability to help people manage their schedules and control the environment in their homes, personal assistant robots are becoming more popular every day.
While several different models are currently available, it is clear that in the near future there will be an even greater variety of personal assistant robots with an expanded menu of functionalities.
A: One of the most common types of in-home robots are those that are used to clean floors. Some models vacuum while others are capable of mopping up messes. Other in-home robots include self-cleaning cat litter boxes and security robots that patrol the home and send alerts to the owners about any suspicious activity.
Robots similarly may be useful outdoors where they may be responsible for mowing lawns, cleaning gutters and washing windows. Still other robots are effectively toys that are designed to educate and entertain.
A: Common household robots include the Cozmo, the MiP, the FLYZOE Smart Robot and the Stormtrooper robot. Each of these and the other personal assistant robots on the market today is designed to meet a specific need or desire in the home.
A: Personal assistant robots are available for a variety of uses, and they exhibit a considerable price range. Some can be purchased for less than $50 while others may cost several hundred. Whether or not the purchase of one of these robots is worthwhile depends upon the needs of the consumer. These robots are capable of providing hours of fun and education as well as making life easier and less stressful depending upon their function.