For the past several decades, consumer applications of robotics have been more science fiction than reality. However, recent developments in deep-learning, cloud AI, and plummeting prices of both computation and sensing have created the necessary components for a rapidly growing consumer robotics industry to finally emerge. In this talk, I’ll discuss the evolution of Anki from 3 Ph.Ds and a kitchen table prototype, to a global company that has quickly become the 2nd largest producer of consumer robots in the world. I’ll share many of the successes and challenges of producing robots at million+ unit scale, and the important trends that will impact both academia and industry. I’ll talk about the importance of emotion and character for building a great user experience, and some surprising findings about human-robot interaction. I’ll also discuss Anki’s unique “bottom’s up approach" to robotics, and show how with an increasingly complicated series of low-cost mass-market robots, we’ve created a virtuous cycle that’s driving growth in the industry. Lastly, I'll discuss Vector, a new robot Anki just announced that is an important step towards a future with useful, emotive, robot companions for every home.
Speaker: Mark Palatucci, ANKI
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