Robots that help around the home are frequently one of the features of more positive visions of the future, that is if they don’t turn on us and make us their slaves. Robit the home robot doesn’t look capable of such a betrayal, though. With its large body, thin neck, and vaguely satsuma-like skull (not to mention its lack of arms) we’d feel safe letting it into our home.
Robit’s creators are calling it “the robot that gets things done” whilst still being affordable and simple to use. It won’t be able to help you do any of the big tasks like washing, or ironing, or cleaning but it can do small helpful things with its sensors and HD camera, like watch for movement in your home, guard your furniture from pets, help you count calories, wake you up in the morning, and find your keys. It can be also used educationally to teach you new languages or teach kids how to code.
This is all possible because Robit is basically a moving Raspberry Pi that works using apps and your home Wi-Fi. In order to give Robit new skills, all you have to do is access the Robit app store and download the app you want onto its 16 GB of internal memory. It will autonomously move around the house thanks to its 9-Axis inertial motion sensor but you can log into the app to see what it sees and control it at any point. It isn’t able to detect edges, though, so try to avoid stairs.
One of the really interesting things about Robit is the fact that it’s a completely open system, so you’ll be able to write your own apps for it as well as download those its developers are creating. This makes Robit a really great educational tool for anyone that’s starting out learning to code; writing a script and testing it on an actual robot would be a much more interesting way to learn about software and its practical uses. Or if you love have tech to tinker with, it offers a fun way to do it.
Robit isn’t available to buy just yet, it’s still seeking funding on Indiegogo. It’s looking for $40,000 to meet a planned delivery date of February 2017 and at time of writing it’s achieved 47% of that goal with 17 days of the campaign left to go.
If you’d like an affordable robot to roll around your home, you can pledge $329 (around £233) plus £21 shipping to get your own Robit, charger, and app pack. Before you commit to anything, though, you might want to read up on why we need to prepare for a world with robots.