Self-navigating personal robot aims to be home tech hub

A new robot called Temi combines all the functions of AI smart speakers with a self-navigating robot that will carry out commands and even follow you around the house.

GERMANY (REUTERS) - A home robot to do your every bidding has long been promised.

This robot, called Temi, cannot take out the rubbish or cook you a meal but it acts as a hub for all household media and communication, like video-calls.

Depth-sensing cameras and a lidar system help it move around the home and even follow you.

"We took a technology that is used mainly in autonomous cars... and we built our own Lidar which is much more accurate and delicate for home use. With the combination of the Lidar and the depth cameras... we have both the map of what it's supposed to look like and we can see what is changing, what is moving...when you turn on the robot it instantly starts mapping its surroundings which gives it the ability to preset locations in your house. So if I'm abroad and I want to read my kid a bedtime story, I can press on my phone 'Bobby's room' and the robot will drive to Bobby's room and I can read him a bedtime story," said Mr Danny Isserles, head of New York headquarters at Temi.

Temi is 3 feet tall with an 8-hour battery life, after which it will automatically return to its charging station.

Although it is voice-activated, the company says Temi is more than simply Amazon's Alexa smart speaker with wheels.

"This obstacle avoidance and this navigation technology has never been achieved in home robotics by any company and it's one of the main reasons which makes this robot much more user friendly for the home and office," said Mr Isserles.

Temi will hit the market in October at a cost of about $1,500 (S$2,063).