Meeting Misty — Robothon #2

From beard, er, face recognition to hardware hacks, our attendees explored the possibilities of personal robots

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robothon 1
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If you build robots, there are few cooler things than giving a robot to someone who’s never worked with one before and seeing what they do.

Part of our mission at Misty is to bring people together as a community of collaborators. At this past weekend’s event, we had people whose backgrounds ranged from embedded hardware engineering to cryptocurrency to professional care for kids with autism. What brought them here was their shared belief that robots could make life easier.

The day started with people asking questions, digging into our documentation, and generally getting familiar with Misty’s capabilities. After the first hour, teams went from exploration to ideation and started making things happen.

The projects ranged from a receptionist skill that took advantage of our onboard facial recognition to a hardware hack so Misty could pick up after us. When facial recognition hesitated with faces in deep shadow, it was humorously suggested that it may have been biased by the faces of the engineers working on it, who were revealed to be — nearly all — bearded.

We also had some powerful conversations about using Misty to engage with children with autism. We understand that sometimes it’s easier to form a bond with a robot, when other social cues might be difficult to handle.

We were excited to have one of the organizers (Ryan) for the Boulder/Denver Internet of Things (IoT) meetup group at the robothon. Ryan was eager to get a Misty of his own and start seeing what he and other IoT folks could do with her: “I was excited to see the robot and its capabilities. I was also impressed to see how easy it is to customize and hack.”

CEO Tim Enwall notes that his favorite attendee was Charlie, a teen STEM student. “Charlie was working on a face recognition project, but seeing his excitement as he went from team to team, looking at their work — that’s inspirational for me. Like computers and cell phones, it’ll be today’s youth that really get robots. They’ll be changing the world. And soon.”

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