Within moments of being activated, the 14-inch robotic replica of Albert Einstein made a meta comment about being trapped in a knowledge-dispensing machine.”I had the worst dream my vast intellect had been downloaded into a prosthetic body. I was then made to present the world of science to perfect strangers.”
It shook its head from side to side and slowly blinked its eyes as if it were contemplating his situation. As it continued to speak, it held up its right arm, pointing a finger at me while casually making a point about the theory of relativity.
It’s loaded with tons of knowledge, funny anecdotes and exaggerated expressions. Wearing black pants, a white sweater with shirt collars and a black tie, little Einstein is dressed the part. While the robot’s straight, white hair is far too tame in comparison to the unruly “genius hair” that it’s modeled after, the wide bushy mustache is an accurate representation.
When Einstein connected to the cloud via WiFi, it uses natural language processing to keep the conversation going and it can communicate in both online and offline modes.Instead of building its own speech recognition technique, the company taps into open-sourced APIs, allowing the robot to do things like pull up weather updates or tell you about Donald Trump. But it seems to be most active in its offline mode, when it connects to an accompanying app called Stein-o-Matic that’s designed to keep kids engaged through audio-visual activities.
The app has clear, simple interface for the sake of helping kids through difficult science concepts.As a child works through brain games, watches research videos or plays a space rocket game that illustrates gravity, the professor steps in frequently for directions or additional context in line with the visuals in front of them. The professor also delivers compliments (“that was pure genius”) when a child does well in a quiz. If they don’t, Einstein encourages them to try again.
Everything about Einstein is built to make the world of science fun and approachable.While this is the first commercial robot of its kind from Hong-Kong based Hanson Robotics.
This miniature professor version, which debuts on Kick-starter today, the company wants to bring that expressive expertise to home companions.It paid close attention to physical and expressive details with Einstein. Staying true to the original scientist’s friendly disposition, the little robot breaks into an endearing smile. It also raises its eyebrows to follow a surprising fact or wrinkles its forehead into a deep-thinking-frown to follow a question.
Mini-Einstein also moves across a flat surface. There is no lifting of legs or complex bending of robotic joints. When told to walk, he takes a few seconds to get warmed up. The machine relies on infrared sensors that are embedded in the out-soles of the shoes to make sure it’s on solid ground. The sensors also keep it from walking off a table.
Finally he takes small, awkward steps that are a little underwhelming when you think about the robots that are now capable of dancing around your house. But Einstein’s appeal isn’t intended to be in the movements. It lies in its ability to interact with kids through human-like expressions that can keep people engaged and potentially more interested in learning about the world of science.
One of the best thing in this Einstein is the look with which it gazes at you.Einstein’s brown eyes stare right at you. Through a camera placed behind a small round hole in the professor’s black tie, the machine picks up movements of the face right in front of it.
It can be said that robot is not the most advanced mechanical toy in the circuit but yes it educates and entertains.While Einstein is pegged as an affordable personal companion, it doesn’t seem to have the output required to compete with the personal assistant speakers that have already found a spot on thousands of kitchen counters across the country.
Bringing Albert Einstein to the digital age, which seems like the real motivation behind the kids robot, comes through in all the little details.