November 3, 2016 report
Omate looking to market Yumi, an Android powered robot that features Amazon's Alexa voice assistant
As noted by Omate reps, Yumi is still a work in progress, though they believe its form is now in its final configuration—it is a small (less than a foot tall) black or white robot with two main parts—the head features a smartphone-type 5-inch HD display in landscape mode as its face. The body holds the speakers, ports and three wheels that allow the robot to move about.
The main purpose of the robot appears to be to allow users to access Alexa via a cute-looking robot that responds in small ways to voice commands (by turning to look at you and colored LED lights.) But because it runs on Android, it also offers all the features users have come to know on smartphones and tablets, such as running apps, making video calls and playing movies or music. But, because it is a robot and not a handheld device, Omate has designed a custom user interface, which means the screen can display more than the standard apps—it also allows the robot to demonstrate a personality courtesy of animated eyes and mouth.
The robot will not have object detection though, thus it is not likely it will be allowed to roam on tabletops, instead, the wheels are primarily for self-orientation. The big draw of course will be direct access to the cloud based Alexa, which means users can ask questions and otherwise interact with the robot. Notably, the robot is meant to be plugged in most of the time, which further limits mobility. Omate is also making it easy for developers to create applications which should make the robot even more useful. During its initial offering, the robot will sell for $369 to $399—next year that number will jump to $599.
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