Computational creativity and the future of AI

Spanish start-up launches low-cost hackable robot


September 19, 2012

Aisoy 1 II includes a dialogue system for speech recognition and synthesis, as well as com...

Aisoy 1 II includes a dialogue system for speech recognition and synthesis, as well as computer vision software for face and object recognition

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Spanish start-up Aisoy Robotics is marketing a new robot that, while it may look similar to the famous Furby, is actually a fully programmable research and development platform.

The Aisoy1 II robot comes with a variety of sensors (touch, light, position, temperature, and camera), microphone and speaker, RGB LEDs in its body, and a 70 mini-LED matrix display (for animated lips). It can't move around independently without additional modifications, but four servos control the robot's neck rotation, eyelids, and eyebrows.

The package includes a dialogue system for speech recognition and synthesis, as well as computer vision software for stuff like face and object recognition, all running on the Linux operating system. The company claims even complete novices can take advantage of these functions without having to learn how to code thanks to DIA, its visual programming tool. The program runs in HTML5 compatible browsers, allowing you to select nodes that control the robot's various sensors and behaviors. These can be arranged in whatever configuration you want, and the resulting "Botapps" can then be uploaded and shared with other Aisoy users.

One example of a Botapp already available is called AISoy1 Read Math, which uses the robot's camera to recognize and solve written math problems. So you may want to double check that your kid's robot isn't helping them cheat on their homework. Then again, you may consider the robot part of their education (it's compatible with Arduino and ROS by Willow Garage). If you're interested in something a bit more hackable and extensible than the humble Furby, the Aisoy 1 II may be worth looking into because it's not much more expensive. The company is currently taking pre-orders on the robot for €99 (US$129).

The video below shows Aisoy in action.

Source: Aisoy Robotics

About the Author
Jason Falconer Jason is a freelance writer based in central Canada with a background in computer graphics. He has written about hundreds of humanoid robots on his website Plastic Pals and is an avid gamer with an unsightly collection of retro consoles, cartridges, and controllers.   All articles by Jason Falconer

But it's so damn ugly!!!

20th September, 2012 @ 09:42 am PDT

Talking to each other?? Who are they talking about?! WHAT are they talking about?!? They start out cute, and end up as Terminators!!!

Larry Hooten
20th September, 2012 @ 10:29 am PDT

It *is* ugly, I agree. But the capabilities listed are very interesting. Does anybody know if it's available in English?

Joe Strout
25th February, 2014 @ 12:57 pm PST
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