Back in July, Blue Frog Robotics, the creators of the family companion robot BUDDY, took to crowdfunding platform Indiegogo with a mission to raise $100,000. The project quickly gained popularity and surpassed its goal in a matter of a few days.
When its initial closing date approached, the French startup announced that it was extending the project’s initiative. Now, with nearly 24 hours to go, the project has successfully captured over $500,000.
BUDDY is a social robot that connects, protects, and interacts with each member of the family. By being open sourced and easy to use, the tiny robot protects the user’s home, entertains the kids, and helps everyone stay connected.
Some tasks BUDDY can are the following:
- Be a personal assistant: Reminds the users about important tasks and events that are in agendas.
- Watch over the home: Patrols, monitors and alerts anything that happens in the household
- Hands-free helper: Suggests recipes, plays music, and even answers calls.
- A child’s friend: Allows children to learn through play while having fun.
“Buddy was built with popular development tools like OpenCV and Unity3D to allow as many developers as possible to collaborate with us. We are also developing a complete API to enable the developer community to start creating new tools for Buddy right away.”
Also, Blue Frog announced that it was planning to offer a new “BUDDY” upgrade. The company stated:
“For those who have not contributed to the BUDDY Developer edition, we are proposing now the “BUDDY SDK upgrade” especially for all of you who have contributed for a BUDDY Classic Edition or a Premium Pack and would like to be part now of our BUDDY Developer Program and community to shape the future of social robotics.”
The BUDDY SDK includes:
- Visual programming tool based on unity 3D
- Advanced tools to create new libraries
- Technologies used on the robot such as navigation, voice, facial and object recognition, text to speech and communication
- Animation, graphic and sound libraries
- Example of programs and tutorial
- A simulator that gives developers the ability to create and observe more animations, timelines and behaviors without a robot
The company added:
“Please note that by ordering this perk, it doesn’t affect our delivery timeline for your previous BUDDY order. Nevertheless, you will have prior access to our 3D simulator, a high-end simulation environment that enables you without your BUDDY to start to develop applications, behaviors and scenarios.”
BUDDY will be shipped to backers between Spring and Summer 2016 (depending on which model was purchased).
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