Intel and Segway have announced a new hoverbot called ‘Hoverbutler’, at the ongoing CES 2016. Unlike hoverboards that transport the user from one place to another, this new hoverbot can transform into an actual robot. The rideable robot comes with a display that can make expressions and stream videos. That’s not all – the cute little guy can also be fitted with arms to perform tasks, like opening doors. When this was done during the demo, the robot said, “are those my arms? Awesome!” It uses Intel’s RealSense technology to keep track of the world around it, and the company says that it will be open-platform, starting second half of the year. Segway may be planning to make the Hoverbutler commercially available, and the developer kit for the same will also be available in the second half of the year.
The Hoverbutler isn’t the only robot that consumers may get to buy this year. Sharp’s RoBoHon may be available for purchase in 2016 as well. For those who do not know, Sharp unveiled the tiny smartphone/robot in October last year. It is powered by a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC, with a small, 2-inch QVGA screen located on its back. The phone runs on Android OS, and is 3G and LTE enabled. There is also a camera located between the the robot’s eyes along with a pico projector located on its forehead. In addition, RoBoHon can read out text messages and answer calls via speakerphone.
If you prefer robots to be larger and meaner, then the upcoming robot battle between the US and Japan may tickle your fancy. Last year, America’s Megabots challenged Japan’s Suidobashi to battle their respective robots – the Mk.II and the Kuratas. Both teams have given each other a year to prepare the robots for battle. However, the American team realised that its needs to upgrade its robot, in order to be more competitive. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign last year, and has managed to reach its minimum target. Hence, the upgraded version of the Mk.II is expected to be faster, and more powerful.
It seems like 2016 may just turn out to be the year of the robot.
Source: The Verge