Top 10 Amazing Robots You Can Buy Right Now - Gear Up^

VOICE OVER: Andrew Labelle WRITTEN BY: Marc Saltzman
While it may be a few years before we'll all have a robot in our home that looks like this – Sophia from Hanson Robotics, with lifelike facial features and artificial intelligence, or one as nimble as Atlus from Boston Dynamics, you might be surprised at what you can buy or build today. Join Marc Saltzman, and in this video, it's 10 best real robots you can buy right now – whether it's a helper, a companion, or a programmable and controllable robot dog toy for kids or kids at heart.

Written by Marc Saltzman
While it may be a few years before we’ll all have a robot in our home that looks like this – Sophia from Hanson Robotics, with lifelike facial features and artificial intelligence, or one as nimble as Atlus from Boston Dynamics, you might be surprised at what you can buy or build today.

Hey everyone, welcome to Gear Up, the WatchMojo series that looks at the latest in gadgets, gear and games. I’m Marc Saltzman, and in this video, it’s 10 amazing robots you can buy right now – whether it’s a helper, a companion, or a programmable and controllable toy for kids or kids at heart.

Not listed in any particular order….

1. Sony Aibo

Only available in Japan, Sony is back with its aibo robotic dog – one you’ll never have to walk or clean up after – and, as you might expect, its light years ahead of the first aibo that debuted almost 20 years ago. With advanced engineering for fluid movement, more sensors on it body, and artificial intelligence (including more personality), it was a huge hit at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. Look closely and you can see two cameras -- in its nose and near its tail – to help identify family members and map your home environment. Doggone cute, as you can see, but be aware it costs $1800 plus a monthly subscription service, too.

2. Jibo

He can’t walk, but Jibo is being billed as the first social robot for the home. This personality-filled companion can learn your face and voice, and up to 15 other family members or friends, and he reacts to the world around him with thoughtful responses and movements. Like Amazon Echo or Google Home, you can ask Jibo nearly anything, such as the weather forecast or the score of a game, but when you walk into a room, Jibo might greet you, ask you a question, or tell you a joke. With Jibo’s camera he can take photos of the family for you, too. This nearly 1-foot tall robot costs $899.

3. Pepper

For more of a humanoid robot, Pepper is one of the most widely known. He’s been designed to be a companion in the home or in a business, and through a camera and A.I., he can perceive emotions and adapt his behavior, body movements, and responses accordingly. Already in Japan, nearly 150 SoftBank Mobile stores are using Pepper as a way of welcoming, informing and amusing their customers. Pepper can recognize your face and voice and move around autonomously. As it interacts with you, it may ask about your tastes and habits, and depending on the modules you download for Pepper, it can play with you, dance, and even learn to chat in another language. The 64-pound robot costs about $1,700 and comes with a monthly fee for maintenance and support.

4. Buddy

A huge Indigogo success with more than $650,000 raised a couple of years ago, Buddy is a companion robot, on wheels, designed to connect, protect, and interact with members of your family. And instead of its abilities being prepackaged and limited in scope, BUDDY is built on an open-source technology platform making it easy for global developers to build applications and accessories. But its core features include watching and monitoring your home, sending alerts for unusual situations, plus it has a temperature sensor, sensing fires and floods. It connects your smart home devices like thermostats and lights, which you can control it all by voice or with an app. And it’s a personal assistant, mobile audio and video solution, photographer, and more. You can sign up to adopt Buddy for about $700.

5. Husqvarna AutoMower 315X

What could be better than sipping a cold beverage and watching a robotic lawn mower do your work for you? The Husqvarna Automower 315X is a quiet electric mower that can cut grass nearly a half-acre before it needs recharging – and it then returns to its charging station, powers up, and continues mowing again. Powered by GPS-assisted navigation (and an anti-theft alarm), the weather-proof mower can handle lawns with a complicated shape, including steep slopes and obstacles, plus users can make adjustments using the settings on the unit or smartphone app. Roomba, move over, the Husqvarna Automower 315X costs about $1999.

6. Anki Cozmo

Big things come in small packages. Anki’s Cozmo is a palm-sized robot that uses its cameras, sensors and artificial intelligence to interact with the family. In fact, along with controlling your machine via an app and Bluetooth connectivity, this curious little dude recognizes people, remembers your name, and scans and navigates its environment. Designed for kids 8 and older, the “self-aware” Cozmo can reveal his mood with facial expressions, body language, voice, and music, and can play games with his three glowing LED power cubes (which are included), and a companion app. Kids can also program and control the robot from an iOS or Android phone or tablet. Price is $179 for Cozmo by Anki.


Not for those who have arachnophobia, of course, but if spiders don’t make you squeamish, check out HEXA, a super cool, six-legged robot that fuses a hardware and software platform for you to learn and explore robotics. Available for $949 on its own or $999 with a wireless charger, HEXA from Vincross is a highly maneuverable all-terrain robot with a camera that features night vision, two three-axis accelerometers for balance, a built-in distance measuring sensor, and an infrared transmitter. HEXA is built on the company’s proprietary operating system called MIND, which simplifies the programming and development of robotics.

8. Ozobot Bit Maker Starter Pack

Don’t be fooled by its size. Ozobot’s Bit may be teeny – and an equally small price at only $53 – but it does pack a punch for kids looking to get into robotics. Kids learn to control Bit by drawing simple codes with markers and paper, then advance through hours of fun games, brain teasers, and activities found in the Ozobot app, such as having Bit follow the directions as dictated by the codes. Helping to sharpen STEM skills in kids – science, technology, engineering and match – this small robot fuses creativity with technical skills, to integrate the right and left brain. Only one-inch cubed, this starter pack comes with the robot, a charging cable, four markers, skins and stickers and more than 20 suggested games and activities.

9. Our second last robot is BIG-i…

...which started as a Kickstarter campaign from NXROBO…and raising nearly $200,000 to bring this project to life, which should happen in 2018. BIG-i is a personalized robotic companion for families that can walk (er, or roll), see, hear, and respond to your voice commands. BIG-i kind of looks like a trash can meets R2D2, that, as the name suggests, has a big eye – a large camera – on its head to identify and communicate with you. These videos show what BIG-i is capable of. While it looks promising and costs $3700 for the Home Edition on Kickstarter, which might imply this is a very capable robot, the comments from impatient backers is hard to ignore, with many asking where their BIG-i is.

And finally…10. Lego Mindstorms EV3

No robot roundup would be complete without LEGO Mindstorms, with the latest EV3 kit letting you build 17 different robots, which can drive, shoot, slither, walk, slam, and spin. Whether you want to create and control a humanoid, vehicle or reptile, Mindstorms EV3 works with a free app for smartphones, tablets or computers, plus you can expect them to interact with the environment on their own as these robots have infrared sensors for autonomous play, such as the snake-like robot that lunges and hisses if it senses something in front of it. And because this $349 robotics kit is made from Lego bricks, you can rebuild it into whatever you like, and add your own bricks and pieces.


Hey, thanks for watching Gear Up; I'm Marc Saltzman. Let us know in the comments section what you you’d like to see more of going forward. And for more tech-tastic lists, be sure to subscribe to Ciao for now.