Say Hello to Musio, a Ridiculously Cute AI Robot That's Keen to Chat
If you’ve ever wanted to hang out with an adorable robot and casually shoot the breeze with it -- naturally, (mostly) with ease, kind of like you do with your real-life friends -- Musio might be your man. Or woman. Or, well, thing.
Recently launched on Indiegogo, Musio is an artificially intelligent personal assistant robot that its creators describe as a “kind, crazy and smart friend.” The small stationary bot chats back and forth with you, reminds you of important dates, expresses its “feelings” and gets smarter with every interaction.
Like Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana AI personal assistants, Musio also fields questions and fires back answers, lame jokes included. Only it’s a lot cuter and less snarky.
The Android device, which looks to be a friendlier, more personable version of the Jibo personal robot, is produced by AKA. The Korean tech upstart, which developed Musio at its Santa Monica, Calif. R&D lab, specializes in using artificial intelligence and big data to improve English learners’ speaking skills, another cool thing Musio is programmed to do.
When paired with its sidekick (at added cost), a smaller white plastic gizmo called Sophy, Musio controls nearby Bluetooth “smart” home devices, such as TVs, lights, thermostats and other connected objects.
Edutainment and smart device bennies aside, we’re taken by how adorable Musio looks. The molded plastic droid, marketed to adults and kids alike, features goofy pointed ears, long droopy arms, short, squat legs and dual mini screens -- one for its animated digital eyes and one for its pixelated beating heart. Musio’s squeaky, high-pitched cartoonish voice is cute, too, but could get old fast.
So far Musio has raised more than $17,000 toward its $50,000 crowdfunding goal, with 35 days to go. Pricing for the affable gadget starts at $99.
To see Musio charm a pair of giggly kid testers, check out the video below:
Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.