Think robots that look after the house while you’re out and about exist only in the realm of science fiction? Well meet Buddy, a family companion robot.
He’s like your own personal helper.
Leave him with the kids, and he’ll keep them entertained with a range of educational games. And If you worry about him replacing you at home, there’s no need. Buddy can even help to keep you and the family together: make a video call while you’re away, and those at home can use Buddy’s face as the screen. It’ll be like you never left.
Three wheels on his base mean Buddy can scoot around the house, although he can’t tackle the stairs. You can even control him remotely using your mobile device, should you wish.
Read more: 9 creepy ways robots are replacing humans
Want to give him some new skills? Well with a bit of tech know-how it’s possible, because he’s open source. He’s modular, too, so you can add parts to him. Current accessories include a charging dock and an arm with a projector built in. But expect plenty more once people get tinkering.
If he works as advertised – and it’s a big “if” – he could be a lot of fun, not to mention a big help to anyone who’s home-bound. He’s passed his funding goal, and will ship in May 2016.