Robot with personality – meet Olly

Robot with personality – meet Olly

Robot with a personality? A little weird idea, don’t You think so? Olly is a voice-controlled robot assistant developing by London-based startup Emotech, which have an unique personality, based on the personality of its owner.

The idea is to provide a smart life assistant which can communicate by voice with his owner and interact in the way his particular owner does. Olly is similar to Apple’s Siri (also in-home connected device) and can be used as a hub for controlling multiple smart home devices (turn on music, dim smart lights, connect with social media) and perform info look-ups such as telling what the weather is going to be like or providing wake-up call in the morning. And what about personality?

Based on the AI and the machine learning, we create a special persuading system which [along with the owner] will give Olly special personality. Your Olly will be different to my Olly. Because your personality is different to mine, and your lifestyle is different. – says Chelsea Chen, co-founder of Emotech.

What it exactly means? Olly’s AI and machine learning system allows device to learn the owner habits and domestic lifestyle needs and perform in the way, to reflect the owner personality (and he can of course recognize the owner by his face).

For example… I’m quite curious about everything, so my Olly is more pro-active, talks fast and any time when I try to communicate with Olly, Olly always try to give me more information, more options to suggest. But if the person who is more serious, is more logical, all the information Olly will give is not like my very emotional [Olly] but that one will be very data driven.” – says Chen.

Olly need couple of weeks of interaction to learn the owner daily routine, and adopt it, but after he do it, he will be able to help in daily tasks. The bot’s flagship functionality is focused on smarter scheduling, so it’s being designed to help “time-poor professionals” who might need a little help optimizing their routines.

So you could, for example, tell it a general goal of helping you read more books in the month — and then it will set about prompting you at (hopefully) opportune moments when it thinks you might have a window in your busy schedule to sit down and read.– explain Chen.

Initially the user will let Olly know what they want to achieve — what kind of lifestyle they want to have. And then based on this, Olly is going to be able to help the user to organize their schedule and also make some proposals — for example what is a better time for reading, or what’s a better time for jogging.

Olly is equipped with a face recognition system (device take a photo of the face of the person, and learn to recognize it) – thanks to this, the process of introducing new people to Olly can be controlled by the direct owner and will be “like a real friends introduction”

The owner can presumably say, ‘Olly this is my friend Gemma’ and the bot will record the name and a photo of the person’s face for future reference – says Chen.

Olly needs about year and a half to be fully developed and ready to hit the market. Emotech has raised £500,000 in angel funding so far from an undisclosed Chinese investor, and will be setting an initial target of $100,000 to raise from their crowdfunding campaign next February, although they’re hoping to pull in closer to $500,000. Price point for Olly will be around £200-300. Would you like this large blinking eyeball that swivels around to look at you when you speak and talks back near You?


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