Today, we’re announcing the general availability of Misty II! This means your code is no longer confined to a screen — It’s now in 3D. We’re ready for new developers to join our backers in building for Misty II.
Since we started shipping to our crowdfunding backers in early September, I’ve been amazed at what people have already started to create with Misty II in just a few weeks. Read through some of the retweets on our Twitter feed to see some of the latest examples. Misty II is a sophisticated combination of hardware and software that is leveraging the power and creativity of the developer community and I’m really excited to see what you can create!
Together, we’ll build better
Can you imagine if only a few people or companies created all of the computer programs and smartphone apps that are available? It’s hard now to even picture. I think it’s safe to say that we wouldn’t have near the level of creativity or the diversity of experiences reflected in our everyday technology as we do now. At over 23 million strong, the developer community’s ability to work together, building on top of each others ideas and code, has been the key to explosive growth.
I predict the same is going to happen in the field of robotics. Until now, you had to be a roboticist or deeply familiar with hardware, sensors, and low-level software in order to build for a robot. Misty II eliminates this barrier. Rather than try to come up with one, single “killer robot app”, we know developers (who know a whole lot more than we do about your respective industries) are the magic ingredient to accelerating market growth for all. Our focus has been on building the best robot with the most advanced tech, robust platform and documentation, and a strong community of support for you as you build. Now, any developer experienced with code can build for robots.
Developers are already building useful skills
Through our field test trials, and as backers have received their robots over the past few weeks, developers are already creating assignments for Misty in fields such as elder care, education, research, entertainment, retail, and personal use.
Our friend Sean Audley introduced Misty to his YouTube followers recently and explained the ways he envisions her being programmed using Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services to assist in various professional scenarios. In his first example, Misty acts as a research assistant who can alert busy scientists that their experiments have run their course, even sharing the experiment results via image and graphic display or audio playback if they prefer because their hands are full.
Sean also shares plans for having Misty act as a nurses assistant for children by outfitting her with biometric sensors which utilizes Misty’s hardware extensibility. These sensors could gauge important health measurements but do so via a fun game for the child thereby lessening the stress and agitation that usually accompanies such hospital activities, especially for little ones.
Or, take this skill built by City of Palo Alto Library librarian Dan Lou, which has Misty serve as a library desk assistant. In it, Lou programs the capacitive touch sensor on Misty’s chin to have her search the library catalogue for offerings on robot-related books and even gives some title recommendations. Misty is also programmed to share a joke, to check the weather, and to take a photo (and describes what she sees) via other capacitive touch sensors.
Developer Chris Kocks is prototyping a skill which has Misty respond if her owner falls down and needs help. In this skill, Misty uses sound localization to detect a loud noise which she can autonomously move towards to check out. Upon detecting a person’s face, she can ask them if they’re ok. If they say “no” or “help” or simply do not respond, Misty can use third-party API’s to call for help by texting emergency services or family members.
Using the opportunities and problems they see in their everyday life as inspiration, we’re seeing other developers begin to build skills like an intergenerational storyteller, as a medical care assistant (especially in cases of depression), as an air quality monitor, as a home companion for the whole family, as a home security monitor and even onstage as a magician’s assistant. Learn more about these skills and the people building them on the Misty Heroes page.
We believe in the role and positive impact that robots can have in our lives. Misty can free people from mundane yet important tasks by serving as an environmental monitor, empower businesses to focus on creating new experiences by acting as a conference and event concierge, fill societal gaps that are critical by acting as an assistant and companion to the elderly, solve problems where robots have unique talents such as being an assistant to therapists working with autistic children. The possibilities are endless and you will bring ideas like these to life — Misty II plus your code are what create this magic.
How will you bring your code off the screen and into the 3D world with Misty? What needs or simply cool integrations can you imagine? Let’s talk about your ideas and questions — I’m on Twitter @arobodude, the team is @MistyRobotics, and we’re all in the Community Forum along with a community of developers who have already gotten started. Let’s build.