A robot called Emotec has been building up a reputation for its innovative and affordable robotic products.
The company recently raised $150 million in a Series B round led by Sequoia Capital and Sequoias Venture Capital.
The robot, which can carry a payload of up to 2kg, is designed to offer people who are bored or frustrated by their daily commute the same kind of entertainment they would get at a movie theater.
Emoteca CEO and cofounder Sam Cade says the robot will help people relax and focus on work rather than having to constantly worry about their daily schedule.
“We are not here to entertain you.
We are here to connect you with the things you care about,” he said.
The EmotEC robot is the company’s first product to feature a vibration motor that can generate the kind of vibrations that make humans feel like they’re floating in space.
Cade describes the robot as “a real time motion controller.”
A human, meanwhile, is able to interact with the robot using an intuitive interface that has all of the usual user controls: buttons, a directional pad, a joystick, and a camera.
“If we’re in the same room, and we’re playing games, and I’m trying to control the camera, we’ll actually feel like we’re floating,” Cade said.
“That’s the kind, the sort of vibe you get from the robot.”
The robot can do all sorts of interesting things, like sense if a user is having a bad day, and can detect if someone is too hot or too cold, Cade explained.
In a demonstration at CES in January, Emotercrobot was able to navigate around the room and grab objects.
The machine also has a camera that can capture videos of the user in different states of undress.
“It can record the human’s mood, whether they’re excited, sad, or anxious,” Cades said.
In the future, Emoticons hope to offer a lot more options for its users to interact, including a virtual assistant that can take over tasks.
“People will have a voice that can be the ‘eye’ to help them do tasks.
You will have this robot that can guide you through the world,” Cado said.
That kind of automation is something the company wants to explore further.
“Our goal is to see if there are applications for it in our industry,” Cace said.
While some of the current robots already exist, Emoteec is one of a handful that is able of building robots that can actually be used.
The technology isn’t quite there yet, but it’s the technology that Cade and company are trying to use to see what the next step is in this area.
“For us, we really want to build an ecosystem that we can build on and use to create more and more robotic applications,” Cader said.
Emoteech currently has a few of its robots in the hands of researchers, but Cade hopes to be able to get them into the hands and hands of consumers soon.
Emoticec’s current prototype has a motorized arm that allows it to perform basic tasks like grabbing and manipulating objects.
It’s not a particularly advanced robot, but the company says it has “significant engineering, design, and manufacturing resources.”
The company is also hoping to make a bigger push into the automotive industry with its “electromagnets.”
The idea is to design a sensor that could be attached to the car, like a radar detector or a laser scanner, that could identify a vehicle and act as a driver assist system.
The idea of using sensors to detect and act on driving behaviors has been around for years, but has largely remained a niche field.
Emotes current prototype is just one part of that effort, Cado told Ars.
“I think the real exciting thing is to build the hardware, to build a platform, to get a lot of the data that you need, and to start to take that data and start to create the next generation of sensors,” he explained.