There are approximately one million toy robots on shelves right now that can teach kids to code. But how many let programmers control a “real” robot, without requiring them to become roboticists? Not quite enough, according to Misty Robotics, a spin-off from Sphero, which just announced Misty I Developer Edition. It’s a first stab at an “affordable, easily programmable, advanced personal robot.”
Misty I will ship next month to select developers for $1499. Misty Robotics plans to follow up with a more polished Misty II later in the year, targeted at a wider audience.
The real heart of Misty is the Occipital Structure Core sensor on its forehead, which it can use to create a map of its environment. It also has a camera for face and object recognition, three far-field microphones, time-of-flight obstacle avoidance sensors on the front and back, and two different Snapdragon processors to do the heavy lifting compute-wise. It has an LCD for displaying a face, and you can augment it with your own electronics and sensors — there’s a mount on the back, and the bot has USB and serial ports. The bot moves with tank treads, though the version I saw just had wheels.