As seen in IEEE Spectrum, written by Evan Ackerman
Designed by Mayfield Robotics, Kuri is “an intelligent robot for the home.”
For about two years now, Mayfield Robotics has been working on something. A robot, we’d heard. Something helpful for the home. Not a vacuum. No screen, but a face. Without much in the way of (public) information on this secret robot, what kept us interested was the team: chief technical officer and cofounder Kaijen Hsiao spent almost four years at Willow Garage, and cofounder and chief operating officer Sarah Osentoski led robotics R&D projects at Bosch for four years, including working with Bosch’s beta program PR2. And with funding from Bosch’s Startup Platform, Mayfield has been able to hire an enormous team of people, about 40 of them, in just a couple of years without making any public announcements whatsoever.
Today, Mayfield is introducing Kuri, “an intelligent robot for the home.” Kuri is half a meter tall, weighs just over 6 kilograms, and is “designed with personality, awareness, and mobility, [that] adds a spark of life to any home.”
Kuri has some fairly sophisticated technology inside of it. Besides what you’d expect (a camera, microphone array, speakers, and touch sensors), Kuri also has some sort of “laser-based sensor array” that it uses for obstacle detection, localization, and navigation. If Kuri can map your house by itself and then remember where things are, that would be slick, and we’re looking forward to seeing how much autonomy is there. We’re also unsure how much of what Kuri does relies on the cloud, but we do know that it’ll run for a couple hours straight, and then autonomously recharge itself on a floor dock.