Downloading apps on your own personal robot may become as common as downloading apps on your smartphone.
Robot makers Jibo and Blue Frog Robotics are creating social robots that are aimed at living with humans and in order to entice consumers they are selling them for about the same cost as an iPhone.
Jibo’s robot called Jibo is priced at about $US749 for pre-order and Blue Frog Robotics’ robot called Buddy is priced at $US549.
But these companies are also promising consumers that these little live-in robots are going to become the biggest platform since Apple’s iPhone, capable of performing all kinds of functions via apps.
“It’s like the iPhone, if we want to reach the mainstream and have success we need many very interesting apps,” said Frack de Visme, the chief financial officer of Blue Frog Robotics.
“We are going to have an open system so many developers can develop and create amazing apps so that it become mainstream.”
Both the Jibo robot and Buddy include all kinds of features, like facial recognition, text to speech and other functions, all of which developers can take advantage of.
For example, one app could be programmed to take a picture every time it spots someone it doesn’t recognise or snap a photo of a person it does recognise.
“It’s an amazing platform,” de Visme said. “And in five years many people will have personal robots.”