Meet Buddy, your family’s future companion robot


Buddy is a social robot that connects, protects and interacts with each member of your family.


According to a recent study from Business Insider, the consumer robot market is projected to grow seven times faster than the market for manufacturing robots at a CAGR of 17% between 2014 and 2019. And apparently the report is right, as several companies have embarked on the journey of bringing Jetsons-like companion bots into homes — such as Jibo, Pepper and Musio, to name just a few.

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Most recently, French startup Blue Frog Robotics has joined the growing list of startups that want you to have an artificially intelligent friend inside your humble abode in the near future. Their adorable prototype, named Buddy, is being billed as social robot for every member of the family with the ability to structure your day as a personal assistant, monitor your home as a security guard, entertain the kids as a nanny and help stay connected as a Wi-Fi network.

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With a number of impressive built-in functions, the Arduino-compatible machine is packed with everything that a robot could possibly need to immerse itself into your daily life.

Aside from being fully mobile with three wheels and an assortment of sensors that allow it to travel, learn and interact with its surroundings, Buddy features an ATmega2560 MCU, a camera, a touchscreen face, a microphone, two speakers, a pair of driving motors, a series of RGB LEDs, along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Beyond that, the bot is equipped with audio, HDMI and USB outputs, as well as a rechargeable battery with a life of approximately eight to 10 hours.

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Boasting many human-like traits, Buddy is capable of hearing, speaking, seeing and addressing someone with familiar facial expressions and movements. What’s also nice is that the bot can sync to practically any in-home smart device, enabling it to do everything from adjust the lights to the thermostat via voice commands or its accompanying mobile app. Among the gadgets currently supported include Parrot Flower Power, Withings blood pressure monitor, Nest thermostat, MyFox home alarm and LIFX lights.

Additionally, the charismatic robot can serve as a security system by watching over your home using its camera. This way, if danger or something out of the ordinary is detected, Buddy will instantaneously send an alert to its owner.

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Not only is it open source, but Buddy is entirely modular and can be expanded upon with a range of plug-and-play accessories, like a docking station, arms and a pico-projector. Those with prior knowledge of Unity3D, C++, C# and JavaScript can even customize their robotic pal using its SDK. As for beginners, however, they can still develop basic apps and behaviors by simply dragging and dropping actions from its library.

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Impressively, its creators have also designed Buddy to adapt to children with autism thanks to specialized software that will assist them in learning, communicating, interacting and becoming more independent. Caregivers and family members will be able to personalize the content within the robot’s application, whether that’s offering reminders and visual aids or congratulating them for tasks well done through fun animations.

So, are you ready for an A.I. pal of your own? Then head over to Buddy’s Indegogo page here, where Blue Frog Robotics is currently seeking $100,000. Delivery is slated for May 2016.

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