One of the top trends in robotics this year isn’t just about how cool the functionality is getting; it’s robots designed so that consumers will develop affection for them. There is a purpose in making these robots “cute” and friendly. Innovators know that the number one thing they would look for in a personal robotic assistant is a sense of companionship. That’s right, robots who are friendly and personable will rule the day.
That was the thinking behind this year’s CES debut of Kuri, an adorable little robot designed for the home. The robot from Mayfield Robotics (a Bosch strtup), responds to voice input just like Google Home or Amazon Echo, but she puts a face on the experience rather than just a voice. Kuri was meant to be a companion or assistant: