Throughout 2016 personal robots—some call them family, social or home robots —will be appearing on store shelves with price tags ranging from $179 to $4,500, with each exhibiting capabilities ranging from moderate interaction with people to full companion status.
Some are here already. Amazon’s Hero (Alexa) is totally ensconced in the mass market, including TV spots that show up in nearly every time slot; Paro has been with us for years but its visibility has been recently reinvigorated through its association with the new crop of market debutantes; and then there’s Jibo that seems to be everywhere but nowhere since its $3 million mega-hit Kickstarter campaign and subsequent $25 million in VC money early in January of 2015.
There is a robot companion to accommodate, enhance and extend most any lifestyle for most any individual, family, age group, career track, culture, health condition or pocket book. From minimalist telepresence to home guardian to helpmate, henchman, tutor, crony, comforter to A.I. wizard, pick your attributes, match them to a robot and bring it home. This download highlights 16 of the most promising on the market.