Misty Robotics Misty II

Image: Misty Robotics

September 04, 2019      

BOULDER, Colo. – Misty Robotics, which develops the Misty robot development platform, announced today it is shipping Misty II robots to crowdfunding backers. The second generation of the Misty robot has been purpose-built as a developer’s platform, with tools and documentation that let developers create build skills and applications for the robot.

Shipping of the Misty II robot has been delayed a few times – the original ship date was intended for December 2018, but in January the company announced it would ship later in April 2019. Misty Robotics was created in 2017 as a spinoff of Sphero, and has raised $22.7 million in funding.

The Misty II will ship with software version 1.0.3 beta, and the software development kit (SDK) will be publicly available to all developers enabling skill building using JavaScript. The $2,400 robot is designed to be a robotics platform for developers to create use cases and applications, similar to the way early personal computer enthusiasts built programs for the Apple II and other systems. In May, the company announced it selected Microsoft’s .NET Core for use with its platform and tools.

Ian Bernstein Misty Robotics

Ian Bernstein, Misty Robotics

“Delivering Misty II to our crowdfunding backers is a major milestone for the company as they will play a special role in helping us prepare Misty for her official market launch later this year,” said Ian Bernstein, founder and head of product at Misty Robotics. “Our backers are investors in the vision of personal robots becoming a reality in our lives. We are very excited to see how hundreds of developers bring Misty to life.”

The company said developers with early access to Misty II have leveraged powerful hardware and software capabilities over the past few months, including robust locomotion, facial recognition, and programmable personality to build skills that enable Misty to take on jobs or assignments. For example, skills are being created for inventory data collection, home property inspection, environmental monitoring, spatial data collection, elder care, autism therapy, and personal engagement.

“There is absolute ease cold starting into development with Misty,” said Michael Rodriguez, a professional web developer. “With the pre-built Command Center and Skill Runner, along with a great SDK interface, API explorer, and strong docs, it was easy to just jump in and go. What a surprise that was…I was certainly expecting much more leg work to get up and running.”

Misty II capabilities. Image: Misty Robotics

Multiple features

Misty said the robot includes several technology enabling capabilities, which developers can use to build their skills. At rollout, some capabilities will be complete, while others will be partially ready, with software updates rolling out in the coming weeks. Upon shipping, the following capabilities include:

  • Facial detection and recognition – Misty knows when there is a human in its presence, and can learn who the person is.
  • Expansive field of view – Misty can view wide areas from a stationary position.
  • Mobile sound localization – Misty can identify the direction of a sound, and turn towards upon receiving directions after activation.
  • Image and graphic display – Misty can share images and graphics on its face/screen.
  • Audio playback and recording – As part of a skill, Misty can play back audio files. The robot can also record audio for use in a skill, or save offline.
  • Voice integration – Misty can integrate with NLP services. The robot can also be activated via a “Hey, Misty” command, and then follow directions.
  • Capacitive touch – Misty can respond to a human’s touch on its head and chin.
  • Obstacle avoidance – Misty can detect when something is in the way, from a cat to a flight of stairs.
  • Photo capture at 4K resolution – Misty can take and share photos one at a time or sequentially.
  • Hardware extensibility via third-party components, including Arduino and Raspberry Pi, along with sensors.
  • Motion – Misty can cruise around on its own, or wherever it’s directed.
  • Raw sensor access
  • Programmable personality – the robot ships with more than 40 eyes and 80+ sounds; developers can also create their own eyes and sounds.
  • Skill sharing – Developers can share the skills they built with others via the Misty community forum and GitHub.

Partially complete capabilities include spatial awareness, video capture (10-second clips), and 3D mapping/SLAM integration.

Misty Robotics said the rollout to the more than 500 crowdfunding backers will be completed over the coming weeks. New customers can pre-order the Misty II for $2,399 (at a 25% discount from MSRP) before the official market launch later this year.

More details on the Misty II robot are available here.

Bonus video: Misty founder Ian Bernstein does an ‘unboxing video’ of the Misty II from China…