From Robopec comes Reeti - "one robot, many applications" - whatever the hell that means.
Robotics is a hot field, and companies across the globe are looking for ways to break into the field with walking robots, talking robots, grasping robots and robots intended to generally make our human lives that much easier. Enter Reeti, a robot-of-all-trades from Robopec that is apparently designed to do everything - maybe.
Looking over the Reeti Web site, it's apparent that the company really wants Reeti to find a home everywhere - from classrooms to homes to research labs - and as such has packed the little fellow (44cm tall) with almost every conceivable feature. Not only can Reeti create human-like expressions with his big eyes and round face, but users will be able to customize new ones from an iPhone app. Reeti can "hear", can read words back to you and can also capture images in 3D with cameras embedded in his eyes.
But wait! That's not all!
Reeti can also color his cheeks depending on his mood, and feel your touch should you have the desire to reach out and pet him. The company has also packed him with a USB port, Blu-ray player, DVD burner, Wifi, as well as HDMI, DVI, and audio jacks.
Why? We're really not sure.
Again, the Web site lists things you can do with Reeti, from hooking him up to your TV or entertainment center to having him read emails or post on Twitter for you. Running with Ubuntu, the company claims that Reeti can do everything an office PC can do, in addition to being a platform for developers.
It's apparent Reeti is cute. He can talk, make faces and connect you to your devices, but you could get the same effect from a human baby and an HDMI cable. The company appears to be operating on an "all things to all people" model, but we're not really sure a scatter-shot approach like that is going to work in field like robotics, where specific and precise interactions are really par for the course and tend to yield better results.
While it's not set in stone at this time, the rumor is that Reeti will cost upwards of $7000 to purchase. Even with the company's plans to have him in research labs, classrooms, homes and apparently everywhere else in America and across the world, we're not sure that kind of price tag is going to fly for many people, especially since they can already do everything Reeti does - without having to own him.
We applaud the company for trying here, but to continue with the theme of the piece, we have to wonder.