Rolling Robot Keecker Wants To Handle All Your Entertainment Needs - And It Can Keep Track Of Your House, Too

Rolling Robot Keecker LebeauRolling Robot Keecker Lebeau

Pierre Lebeau first got the idea for Keecker- a rolling robotic entertainment system - when he was out for a bike ride. 

"I thought, what if I had a robot that could move around my house and turn any room into a home entertainment system?" he told The Verge. That night, his brain was buzzing with ideas and concepts - so much so that he ended up getting out of bed at three in the morning to write a proposal for the robot.

He's been working on it ever since.

The egg-shaped Keecker is equipped with a built-in projector and speaker array, allowing it to turn any wall in the house into a screen for displaying movies, games, or artwork. Apparently, it's pretty smart at moving around, too. When it's first brought into a new house, it wanders about with a 360-degree camera. This allows it to map out the floor space of the house, at which point you can give each room a name; it can be directed to any of your named rooms with the push of a button. 

In addition to being decked out multimedia and entertainment gear, Keecker is also equipped with an array of sensors that allow it to function as a sort of home security system. When you're out of the house, the robot can be set to monitor motion, temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels. It's got a microphone, too, allowing its owners to give it voice commands and use it for video calls. 

Currently, Keecker is only capable of moving from room to room at the direction of a human being, though by the time the product actually releases, it'll likely be equipped with some degree of autonomy. It'll have to be pretty near perfect, though, as Lebeau wouldn't settle for anything less. He refuses to let Keecker's pathfinding equipment turn it into a multimedia Roomba.  

"Everytime I see a Roomba banging into walls I just want to kick it," he explained."They are so stupid! They could have made it smart but it increased the price and didn't make much of a difference in the quality of cleaning. I told my engineers, this exactly what I don't want."

Keecker is run on Android and is powered by a quadcore mobile chip. Lebeau and his company plan to release an SDK and API in the near future, in the hopes that developers will design native apps to take advantage of the robot's unique capabilities. My only question is how Keekcer's going to deal with stairs - the prototype model viewed by The Verge had enough problems with carpets and ledges. 

At any rate, Keecker is currently on Kickstarter, for those of you who are interested. The consumer-grade models will carry with them a bit of a hefty price tag, retailing at between $3,000 and $4,000 apiece. Still, it's a pretty awesome addition to any home if you've the cash for it - I'd pick one up myself, if I didn't live in an apartment.

After all, I'm a firm believer that most every home could use just a little bit more sci-fi.