I remember sitting outside of Golden Road Brewing a short distance from Disney’s Creative Campus in Glendale, CA. I was sitting with my Sphero co-Founder, Adam Wilson, and it was the summer of 2014. A few weeks earlier we had learned about BB-8 from Bob Iger, built a working prototype, and our team was already brainstorming how we could bring the Sphero BB-8 to market.
As we sat there in the seemingly always beautiful LA weather drinking our beers, we started talking about the future of robotics and why, outside of industrial and warehouse use, robots weren’t further along. We thought, “Why can’t we build a ‘real’ R2D2 or BB-8? A robot that could be our friend and, most importantly, start to do useful things for us?!” That moment was the catalyst for the next five years of my life which were poured into this incredible robot. Now (finally!) the moment I’ve been looking forward to all that time is here…
We’re beginning to ship out Misty II’s to our amazing backers!
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. I’ve spent the past three and a half weeks in China helping the Misty team to kick off production and we now have pallets of Misty II’s in the US. I couldn’t wait to share — Check out my unboxing of a hot-off-the-production-line Misty II that I just did here in China:
A huge thank you to a lot of people…
Backers: Thanks for believing in Misty and for being a part of this wild ride from the beginning. You’re the investors in the vision of personal robots becoming a reality in our lives. I know you already have some great ideas for what you’ll build and I’m excited to see all the creative ways you’ll bring Misty to life!
Field Testers: You’ve built some incredible skills including inventory data collection, home property inspection, environmental monitoring, spatial data collection, elder-care, and autism therapy. It’s been really rewarding for me to see how people engage with the skills you’ve built for Misty and your feedback has been instrumental as we’ve prepared to ship to backers.
Misty Team: Thank you for your hard work, energy, resources, and brain power. And, please keep it coming — We’re just getting started!
What you can expect
Misty has already begun to land on doorsteps and she’ll continue to be delivered in the coming weeks. If you’re a backer, keep an eye out!
The following capabilities will be available the day Misty arrives on your doorstep:
- • Easily programmable: Her tools and documentation make it easy to bring your ideas to life on Misty.
- • Facial detection and recognition: She knows when there is a human in her presence and can learn who that person is.
- • Expansive field of view: She can view wide areas from a stationary position.
- • Mobile sound localization: She is able to identify the direction of and turn towards her human upon receiving directions after her activation.
- • Image and graphic display: She can share images and graphics on her face/screen.
- • Audio playback: She can play back audio files as a part of a skill.
- • Voice integration: Ability to integrate with NLP services.
- • Capacitive touch: She can respond to human touch on her head and chin.
- • Obstacle avoidance: She knows when there is something in her path, from the cat to a flight of stairs.
- • Photo capture 4k: She can snap and share photos one at a time or sequentially.
- • Hardware extensibility: You can extend her functionality via third party components, e.g. Arduino, Raspberry Pi hardware, and sensors.
- • Audio recording: She can record audio for use in a skill or saving offline.
- • Wake word: She can be activated via “Hey, Misty”, enabling follow-on directions.
- • Robust Locomotion: She cruises around on her own or wherever you direct her to go.
- • Raw sensor access
- • Programmable personality: Ships with 40+ eyes and 80+ sounds; developers can also create their own eyes and sounds. This combined with movement leads to an engaging personality you control.
- • Skill sharing: Developers can share the skills they build with others via Misty community forum and GitHub.
The partially complete capabilities include spatial awareness, video capture with a single 10-second video, and 3D mapping/SLAM integration.
So, what are you going to build? Let me know on Twitter @arobodude or, even better, share in the Community Forum where a bunch of other people are already sharing their ideas and questions. And, thank you again for being a part of this journey.
If you’re not a backer but you are interested in pre-ordering your Misty II at a 25% discount before her official launch later this year, you can do that here on our website.