Social robotics is emerging as a new field in the area of robotics. Robots developed by companies like JIBO and Blue Frog Robotics are designed to interact with people in social environments. With the advent of mobile phone technology, when downloading and installing an app on your smart phone is not a big deal, these two companies have launched their products in the market in the price range of a smart phone.
Buddy by Blue Frog Robotics is introduced at a price of $549 is a social robot that is designed to be a family robot. Looks like a cartoon character, Buddy has a cute face consists of a tablet. Because of its friendly looks, the robot has already found its market in the area of child care where it has already been tested for children suffering with Autism. With an open-source platform, Buddy is a modular robot that comes with accessories like an arms set, projector, and a docking station. Through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, it can wirelessly communicate with other devices that are designed for home automation. One interesting feature of Buddy is face and voice recognition. Buddy can recognize you easily and other family members using its face recognition application. The robot has an Android based operating system, however, the apps provided with the robot also work with Windows and iOS. In a nutshell, Buddy has made an impressive entry in the robotics arena with a strong appeal.
As compared to Buddy, another option available in the market is JIBO at a bit higher price of $749. The robot is designed to read stories for children and to take your family photos. As compared to buddy that has capability to move around you using its caster wheels, JIBO can stay peacefully and revolve on your desk. The JIBO shares various common features such as face recognition, text to speech, etc. with Buddy.
As these robots are aimed to be a part of your home and can connect to various home automation devices, therefore, they may pose the same threat to your privacy as other Internet of Things stuff.