Cute social robot could be your new best friend

Korean start-up Circulus hopes its cute and sociable robot called piBo will be your new best friend.
On show at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, piBo the social 'bot' uses AI face and speech recognition to tell people apart.
On show at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, piBo the social 'bot' uses AI face and speech recognition to tell people apart.PHOTO: REUTERS

BARCELONA (REUTERS) - A lovable little robot could be your new best friend.

On show at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, piBo the social 'bot' uses AI face and speech recognition to tell people apart.

Its South Korean developers say piBo offers a more personal experience than other voice-activated gadgets, like Amazon's Alexa.

"PiBo is a domestic social robot. So imagine Alexa, AI speakers, piBo has all these functions but Alexa doesn't recognise the different users. But piBo, it has a camera and so it recognises the face of the different users. So it can provide a more personalised, more customised service compared to Alexa," said Hyo Young Chun, overseas marketing manager of Circulus.

And unlike other devices, piBo can actually walk, though not very fast.

It can also scan various websites to tell you the news or weather forecast. And it can manage your diary.

"All the internet news, internet weather or more personalised like your diary or schedule management, so piBO can be your robot pet and your PA [personal assistant] as well." said Hyo.

Makers Circulus say piBo is still under development, with plans for commercial release later this year.