Video Friday: Your New Buddy, Atlas Fast Walking, and Robot Deception

By Evan Ackerman and Erico Guizzo

Be my buddy?

After Pepper, Jibo, and Maya, here comes Buddy. Buddy is a mobile, social robot designed as a family companion. It was created by a French company called Blue Frog Robotics, and is now on Indiegogo. We expect to see even more personal robots like these hitting the market in the near future, and that’s a great thing, of course. The biggest question for all of these social robots, though, is whether they’re going to be able to deliver on everything that they’re promising in these promotional videos—the flawless voice recognition and user interaction, the advanced mapping and navigation capabilities, the wide assortment of “apps,” and so forth.

We want these robot buddies to be successful, but there’s a lot riding on this first wave getting it mostly right and not being a disappointment. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Like Pepper, Buddy has wheels and can drive around the house. And like Jibo, it’s the size of a coffee maker and has a touchscreen face.  …[Read more]