Kuri – a cute Robot with personality

This product called Kuri is the first generation robot of a start-up company called Mayfield Robotics, Kuri is a very adorable robot with emotion and personality, which you can buy for your home as an appliance or a “pet”. This is what it looks like when it sleep, also known as charging:

kuri-gif

A pet

This is not a robot with the similar functions as Alexa, which helps you buy things online and tells you the weather. Personality and emotion are the keys that differentiate this product. Every Kuri is equipped with cap touch sensor and gestural mechanics, so when people touch it, it will show different greetings and gestures. It also has wheels and mapping sensors, this help Kuri navigate and move in the house like an actual pet. Specifically, those technologies let it keep away from your room when you don’t want them to. Besides, the camera behind its eyes with strong processor let him have the different reaction to different people and commands. When you make a sound, it will look at you and make different faces, such as smile or cry. when you ask it to sleep, it will go to the charger and close its eyes. The heart light in the chest helps Kuri convey its mood, you’ll always know if it is happy or not.

You can easily argue that this is the greatest pet ever simply because it doesn’t need people to take care of them, feed them or clean their waste. They don’t make noise and you may let it sleep whenever you want. those advantages over dogs and cats make it very attractive for consumers.

For now, it really sounds like a toy for the kids, but it also has some useful functions.

kuri-robot-2

Kuri’s tricks 

Kuri itself is a nice cameraman which can capture your life’s little moments automatically and take pictures when anything is out of ordinary. You can use it to patrol your home, For example, if your dog is on your bed when you are not at home, Kuri can understand the context and send you an alert, so that you can use the speakers in Kuri to yell at your dog. Its speakers can play songs, podcasts, and audiobooks. In addition,  you may connect it with your phone to streaming real-time video and make commands.

The problems and concerns

Even the robot looks very adorable and useful, it also has some certain concerns and problems. The first problem is the price, after March 1st, it will be sold at $899, which is a lot more expensive than its competitors and substitutes such as Star Wars BB-8 Robot, Olly Robot, and Alexa.

Kuri has partially been made as a substitution of pets, but eventually, it’s not a pet. It can’t grow up, become different or acting like a real pet. The gesture and facial expression are so limited that the user might get bored of it very soon and regret fot the $899 they paid.

Besides, comparing to the artificial intelligence and robots, the function of Kuri is limited. Kuri itself can’t talk, it only can make the sound just as pets do. I think the reason for that is the producers want to make it more adorable because its wired for a pet to actually talk. However, this limits a lot of its capabilities.

For some users, there are also privacy and security concerns regarding such robot. The fact that it can drive freely with a camera in your house and it is a first generation robot,  the user might feel uncertain of its security reliability and concern their personal life been exposed to others.

flat,800x800,075,f.u1

Even the robot has some problems, but I personally think it has great market potential because of its ability to mimic pets and has some level of personality. The camera feature also differentiates it from the competitors, many consumers who have Alexa might even consider buying this Robot because it is so different from Alexa, and it is a great option as a pet for the kids.

It will be interesting to see what other functions it will have in the next generation.

 

 

 

 

 

References:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAi9ASA908Q

https://www.wired.com/story/the-genesis-of-kuri/

https://www.heykuri.com/

7 comments

  1. jennypenafiel11 · ·

    This is definitely a very interesting project. However, I think the price could ultimately be its downfall. After all, the features do not really justify the $899 price tag. It looks adorable but it seems like the use is very limited. Considering the features it boosts can also be acquired through Alexa, a Google Clip and a real pet, it doesn’t really seem there is much room for the product. Also, if its main intention is to replace pets with some cool features and less maintenance requirements, I think that is a hard goal to reach for. Pets are more spontaneous and have a greater emotional attachment with owners, than a robot could have. If the company were able to add a distinguishing feature and lower the price, it could pave a path for greater success. I’d love to know if there have been many purchases of this product yet or if it is relatively new. Are there any positive reviews so far? Or negative?

    1. HenryChenChen · ·

      Hi Jenny, I really agree your point that the features do not really justify the $899 price, this robot is relatively new. By now, buyers can only pre-order it by paying $100 deposit, and there are not many reviews of it, most of the reviews are just introducing what the Robot is.

  2. kennedy__bc · ·

    I think Kuri is a great stepping stone for this industry but will be the first of many companies to come out with products like this. The ability to make a cute robot that talks is fairly simple for large corporations with millions to spend and I think that might ultimately be the downfall of Kuri. Amazon for example could easily implement their Alexa technology into a moving robot while making it cute to look at so I’m interested to see what advancements will be made to Kuri in order keep a competitive edge. As for the “replacement of pets” personally I couldn’t see that being the primary goal of this business. I look at it more of a little personal assist to follow you around and look after the house while you are gone. Love the post, really got me thinking!

  3. Molly Pighini · ·

    I agree with all of you. Kuri is definitely cute and an interesting proposition for the market, but its price tag is way to high for what the product actually offers. As you noted, Henry, it seems the app is most suitable for children based on its current functionality. While there may be some parents willing to spend $899 on a single birthday or holiday present for their child, I can confidently surmise there are not many. In my opinion, Mayfield Robotics may have benefited from waiting to release the product until more features had been developed. I understand, however, that they may feel pressure to be a first mover as they are part of the ever-evolving robotics rat race.

  4. mikecarillo111 · ·

    I also agree with everyones’ points mentioned above. However, I think instead of thinking of the robot as a pet, it could be considered an infant guardian. It’s adorable and seems harmless and babies and small children who can’t communicate can be watched in the house by Kuri. However, I am a big scaredy cat when it comes to having technology like this in my house due to privacy reason. Additionally, the price tag is definitely too high, but with a few features that I’m sure they are going to add, it may become a home run. I just hope it didn’t hit the market too expensive too early!

  5. I definitely think that products like these are not intended to be a first generation product. The question is whether they can learn enough to make a viable product by version 3 or 4 (much like the iPhone).

  6. tuckercharette · ·

    I think another robot you should look at is Jibo! He’s a social robot who’s been advertised on Facebook a lot and has a similar price tag to Kuri. What makes Kuri interesting is his ability to be on wheels and follow you like a pet. Jibo sits on a countertop and mimics emotions and is considered a “social robot”. I’ve had a lot of discussion about the difference between using Alexa in a functional way and using Alexa in an emotional way. I find that there are actually two different use cases here and while I could see one robot doing it all, I also could see certain robots which pride themselves on the social aspect of interaction with personalities, voices, and companionship over functionality.

    Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a robot who researches and builds conversations based on your interests. I find that sometimes there are just some topics I can’t seem to find friends that enjoy so I tend to turn to social media to engage in tribalism. If Jibo or Kuri was able to engage in conversation about these topics and it felt like another learning experience for me, then I think I personally wouldn’t care that the conversation wasn’t “real”, it would be similar to interacting with a web page but live action.

%d bloggers like this: