Las Vegas – Of all the companion robotics on show at CES, Kuri had the attendees talking with its anthropomorphic design.
Like other domestic robots, Kuri is designed to make your life easier by being able to play music, tell you when dinner is ready and read books to your children, among other things. But its point of difference is its design. Standing at just 20 inches tall, Kuri is shaped like a cone with a little head on top. The face has blinking eyes, which, when combined with the gestural mechanics that allow it to move its head, give it more human-like features.
It has mapping sensors in the body so it can roam around the house autonomously without bumping into furniture. A sensor at the top of its head can sense touch, so if people pat Kuri, it will look up at them and chirp in response. A heart light in the centre of the robot's body is designed to convey its mood, showing how it is feeling.
‘Kuri is personality-forward,’ says Mike Beebe, CEO of Mayfield Robotics. ‘You have to fall in love with a robot that you bring into your house.’
While Kuri may have the functions of an Amazon Echo, it is the design's emotional personality that sets it apart. For more on the need to introduce nuanced emotions to unexpected products, see our macrotrend The E-motional Economy.