ANDBOT is a humanoid that is less of a robot but more of a companion to you and your family.
If there’s one thing that recent crowdfunding projects have demonstrated, it’s that social robots will soon be making their way into our homes. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, either. Think about it: You’d never have to worry about all those tedious chores. No more sweeping. No more laundry. No more doing the dishes. Heck, no more arguments with your significant other for failing to do something!
Developed by the team over at Advanced Robotics, ANDBOT is a C-3PO-esque humanoid that can handle daily activities and protect your household. The robot boasts an impressive range of hand/arm motions that allows it to perform complex tasks, with human-like precision. For instance, you can have it hand deliver breakfast to you in bed or should you get locked out of your home, simply text ANDBOT and it will unlock the front door for you.
Its creators also designed ANDBOT with expandability in mind. Meaning, you will have the option of adding on various modules, whether it’s a vacuum attachment for spring cleaning, a beer holder for your Monday Night Football party, and even a rim for some indoor NERF basketball action.
“Robots have been around for some time, but not many can offer the human likeness as ANDBOT, where its arms can move 90 degrees up/down and hands can rotate 360 degrees. With its full range of motion, imagine the possibilities,” the startup explains. “Not all robots are created equal. With ANDBOT, it is as close to human as you can get, with a full range of hand and arm motions. What we do with our hands, so can ANDBOT, holding, pulling, opening, pushing, etc.”
ANDBOT is equipped with facial recognition, which enables it to decipher between your family members and unwelcomed guests. And just like us, the humanoid is capable of sensing different emotions and then reacting with appropriate responses. Having a bad day? Your social bot will always be there for you, especially when no one else is around.
So, what functionalities does ANDBOT possess? For starters, it can serve as your personal assistant with up-to-the-minute reminders and information, your security guard with remote monitoring for intruders and dangerous gases sensors, your smart home controller with light, thermostat and media center integration, your workout buddy, your own chef, or simply your favorite bedtime storyteller. The hope is that it will become less of a robot and more of a companion to you and your family.
The humanoid is driven by an Arduino Due (SAM3X8E) along with a pair of Arduino Uno (ATmega328) boards. ANDBOT relies on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity for communication, a 12V lithium-ion battery for power and and runs on the ROS/Android platform. In terms of its electronics, the bot features two HD speakers, LEDs for eyes, a multitude of sensors (ultrasonic, sound, bumper, humidity, carbon monoxide, air quality and temperature), an accelerometer and gyroscope, a LIDAR-Lite laser, a PIR motion detector, motor drivers, a camera and a 10.1″ touch display on its belly.
What’s more, ANDBOT will send notifications to your smartphone via its accompanying app whenever its embedded sensors are triggered. There’s even a built-in portable oxygen system for the elderly or those living in fire prone areas. The better question is, what can’t this social robot do?
Lastly, as we’ve seen with other platforms, ANDBOT will be open source with an SDK that can be used to help expand and improve its capabilities. And more importantly, you will have access to an extensive developer community to further the advancement of the robot.
Phew, that was a lot… sound like a companion you’d like to have in your household? Head over to ANDBOT’s Indiegogo campaign, where the Advanced Robotics team is currently seeking $150,000. You’ll have to sit tight, though, as delivery isn’t expected to get underway until April 2016.