As robotics technology progresses, the companies on the forefront of innovation all face the same critical question: What do you want your robot to accomplish? For the Hong Kong-based company NXRobo, the answer to this question appears to come in the form of a smart home robot that could easily pass as a distant relative of R2-D2. Dubbed the Big-I, this at-home electronic butler boasts a wide array of available features which, when boiled down, essentially make it a smart home adopter’s universal remote — one that walks, talks, and listens. In other words, it’s as if Amazon’s Alexa wasn’t confined to a kitchen counter and could follow you around the house.
Though NXRobo has yet to officially launch its innovative Big-I, the company has designed an interactive website geared toward giving potential buyers a small taste of what to expect. According to the site, Big-I is made up of three major components: the NXRobo operating system (NXRobo OS), voice programming, and adaptive learning. In regard to the operating system, NXRobo OS allows developers to create a variety of applications for the bot that can then be shared to other Big-I users. Moreover, the company is planning on releasing a developer version of the robot soon.
An intuitive operating system is great for developers, no doubt, but it’s Big-I’s other pillars that will really give families something to get excited about. For instance, all the robot needs to learn how to turn on a home’s light is a simple phrase such as, “when I raise my hand like this, please turn on the living room lights.” The robot also has the ability to learn time and place commands, meaning users have the option of telling it to turn off the television at 10 p.m. or to turn on a reading lamp if it sees you sitting in a certain chair. Because of this, the Big-I appears extremely capable of learning an owner’s daily schedule and making life infinitely easier and efficient.
Boasting unprecedented motion tracking and face recognition features, Big-I also has the ability to easily recognize each family member and serve them accordingly. NXRobo shows off this impressive trait in two different scenarios: teaching Big-I to tell a child to wash their hands after it sees them grab fruit, and auto-navigating to find a certain member of the family within the house. Do you want the robbot to help improve home security? Just say something like, “Hey Big-I, if you see someone you don’t know, alert me and start recording.”
NXRobo constructed Big-I out of a soft, couch cover-like material that hopefully means it won’t continuously scuff up furniture around the home. At just over 26 pounds and standing about two and a half feet tall, the robot isn’t that large — yet another impressive trait. It’s unknown exactly when NXRobo intends on releasing Big-I, though interested users can input their email on its site to stay up to date on any news.