Annual electronics show CES 2017 wrapped up in Las Vegas yesterday, and among the slew of innovative highlights making news is round-faced, big-eyed Kuri—a home robot that's designed to follow people around and help out with the simple things. The bot is created by Mayfield Robotics, a Bosch startup based out of Redwood City, Calif.
“For generations, people have dreamed of having their own personal robot in the home, and we’ve been focused on making that dream more of a reality,” said Sarah Osentoski, COO and co-founder of Mayfield Robotics in a press release. “We’re proud to introduce Kuri to the world and can’t wait to see how he touches the lives of everyone, ranging from parents and children to early technology adopters.”
Conceptualized with a different approach than Amazon's Alexa or Google Home—which primarily serve as a hub for information and internet-connected devices—Kuri is designed to appear lifelike and assist with everyday needs. The stout, animated figure provides surveillance, music playback, and communication. Kuri also offers a sense of companionship; Mayfield worked with former Pixar animators on the product's appearance, motions, and sounds.
Standing 20" tall and weighing 14 lbs, Kuri wheels around the home on a set of small electric motors that are powerful enough to handle flooring, carpets, and transitions. Its various sensors detect edges and map the home's layout, then work with its built-in 1080p HD camera to patrol the home and provide surveillance that can be viewed on a mobile phone or tablet using its app. Since Kuri's processor is also capable of facial and speech recognition, it can alert users when a stranger enters the home, or greet and transmit alerts about the faces it knows, such as children returning home from school.
A four-microphone array, dual speakers, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity allow the bot to transmit messages to members of the house, and its IFTTT capabilities can use data from Kuri to control and connect other smart products in the home.
“I’m excited to finally share the work we’ve done,” said Mike Beebe, Mayfield Robotics’ CEO and co-founder. “We have an incredible team that’s focused on a single dream: home robots done right.”
Kuri is currently available for pre-order in the U.S. for $699 with a $100 deposit. Mayfield plans to begin shipping the first robots in time for the holidays in 2017.