Romo Is A Pet Robot That Expresses Human-Like Emotions

Posted Apr 28, 2013

Keller Rinaudo is the co-founder and CEO of a company called Romotive.  He founded the company with his friends Phu Nguyen and Peter Seid.  Romotive is known for creating a miniature robot that uses a smartphone as its brain.  The robot is known as “Romo.”  Romo is a WiFi-enabled personal robot that can be considered a pet since it has the ability to roll around just like a mini-tank and express human-like emotions.

The Romo robot is computer-vision capable and costs only $150, which is a fraction of what these types of robots have costed in the past.  The Romo uses the front-facing camera on smartphones to follow you around.  Romo is wary so he will keep his eyes on you.  If you move left, the tank that Romo sits on will twist left to follow you.  If you get too close to Romo, he will get scared and back up.  If you tickle him, he will even sneeze.  Romo can stream video to another iOS device to see the world through his eyes.

Romo is a free app on the App Store so if anyone of you have this app on your phones, then you could share controls of the robot and play games.  For example, you can drive him around and take pictures using the controls on an iPad.  The app also lets you control his emotions through another device.

Rinaudo worked with Dr. Yaakov Benenson and other colleagues while at Harvard University to develop tiny devices made out of RNA, DNA, and proteins that could work as molecular doctors signaling genes in need of treatment.  To learn more about Romo, check out Rinaudo’s TED Talk below: