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:
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 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.
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.