The crowdfunded Misty II robot can be coded to do almost anything

Some of our favorite smart toys of 2018 -from Anki Cozmo to littlebits & # 39; Droid inventor's kit to LEGO BOOST – all have block-based encoding interfaces, encouraging children to learn how to code while controlling their theft-friends.

Others, such as Sphero & # 39; s R2-D2 and BB-8 focus less on manual coding and more on great functions, such as the Force Band.

Now Misty Robotics a Sphero spin-off, announced Misty II, a crowdfunding-funded robot that can be coded to do almost anything you want, from greeting guests to controlling your home devices smart and give him a beer, that is, if you are a good enough coder to teach him how to do it.

Designed for fans of more serious robots, Misty II has a cost of $ 3,200 (approximately £ 2,350, AU $ 4,250), but as of publication, a limited number is on sale with a 50% discount.

Robots that reach US sponsors UU They must send on December 4, while international buyers will have to wait longer (no specific date was provided).

To justify the price, Misty Robotics (MR) put tons of technology items in the robot. It runs on two Snapdragon processors (no word on which model), a Windows 10 IoT Core and a Android 7 operating system for browsing.

The head of Misty II comes with a Sony 4K camera for facial recognition and a 4.3-inch LCD screen to express emotions.

Misty II comes equipped with some useful ready-to-use capabilities. It will map your home for auto navigation, recognize the faces of its owners, greet visitors with unfamiliar faces, self-charge when needed (it apparently has "up to two hours" of charge), respond to voice commands and boast of its "adaptive personality" engine.

"We focus on creating the personal robot of the future that developers and manufacturers can build on, as well as sharing skills and ideas about what a robot can be," Ian Bernstein, Founder and Product Manager, said in a statement.

"Crowdfunding the Misty II robot is aligned with our mission to build a community for developers and manufacturers … We are excited to see what they build in Misty and then share with the community in general."

  Misty II will recognize and respond to people or objects with different emotions depending on their mood | Credit: Misty Robotics

Misty II will recognize and respond to people or objects with different emotions according to their mood | Credit: Misty Robotics

The Misty Robotics site lists a number of ideas for coding skills in the Misty II, such as protecting your home while you are away, "interpreting Ikea instructions ", changing the TV channel for you and playing with your pets.

It uses a Blockly Simple coding interface, and the MR statements that code your bot to perform tasks like these will take less than 30 minutes.

But more advanced actions will probably require knowledge of Javascript, which Misty II also admits.

Misty II comes with a nice backpack to store computer attachments, such as USB memories or Arduino hardware, for advanced computing.

You can also control it with voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. And its operating system can run Tensorflow, Caffe and WindowsML "within optimized execution times for the hardware".

Who is this for?

Is Misty II really something that casual robotics fans can enjoy without coding skills, or will most of the cool tricks of Misty II require extreme coding?

"Misty II is designed for programmers, students and entrepreneurs interested in robots but who could never" program a robot "because they were too expensive, required a degree in programming or lacked useful skills for everyday tasks", says the product page of MR.

Therefore, fans interested in advanced robotics will have the opportunity with Misty II to learn to program with a fun platform that they would not normally get outside of a robotics company or an engineering program.

But, as with the crowdfunding of Segway Robot companion of Loomo Misty II has a high price for people who will not use it for professional development. People looking for a cute robotic companion and nothing else may want to look for a cheaper alternative.

You may also want to resist Misty III. CEO Tim Enwall told CNET that the next version of Misty could have improved the life of the AI ​​and the battery, among other things.