Blue Frog Robotics, maker of Buddy the companion robot, has said one of its goals is to democratize the field of robotics. That’s why Buddy was built on an open-source platform to allow developers to help make the robot smarter by giving him new skills, content, and features.
Blue Frog is now giving us a glimpse into its software development kit (SDK) with a new YouTube video that demos how to start creating apps for Buddy. The video also shows how one of Buddy’s partners, ONE POINT, is using the SDK for internal use and customers.
Buddy was built with popular development tools such as Arduino, OpenCV and Unity3D to allow as many developers as possible to crowdsource the robot’s skills. Blue Frog also said developers will be able to build custom hardware based solutions that Buddy can interact with.
Buddy is the first robot to use the Unity 3D integrated development environment, which is used in smartphone applications and video games. Buddy can help teach children basic programming concepts, serve as a personal assistant, patrol the home.
Buddy is just under 2 feet tall and weighs about 8 pounds. It can run for 8 to 10 hours on a battery charge and includes obstacle detectors, multimedia outputs, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Here are some things Blue Frog claims Buddy can do:
- Be your personal assistant and remind you of important tasks and events
- Act as your home security system, monitoring your house while you’re away and alerting you to any unusual situations
- Control smart home devices like thermostats and lights
- Take pictures and videos of special moments
- Educate and entertain children with various games, including spelling and counting games
- As as an assistive robot for the elderly, reminding them to take medications and detecting falls
The classic edition of Buddy costs $699 and is estimated to start shipping in December 2016.