If you are an Apple person like myself, you are very familiar with Siri. If you have a Windows phone or use a Windows operating system, then you are familiar with Cortana. Both of these virtual assistants have come a long way in their ability to assist you in everyday activities and major projects. Have you ever gotten the impression that both of these assistants are overly eager to assist to the point that they pop up even when you don’t call them? Yeah, me too. Well, Amazon wanted to get in on the action and introduced Alexa. If that is not enough, get ready for the next level is virtual assistance through artificial intelligence.
Anki, a firm focused on the development of artificial intelligence, has introduced Vector — an advanced robot that is immensely personable and highly engaging. When you walk into the house, you will be greeted by Vector, and he will make you feel welcomed. The unit is voice-enabled and like the other virtual assistants, he is eager to help.
I know when you hear the word robot you think about Will Smith in iRobot, and you don’t want to have anything to do with that. The good news is that Vector is relatively small in comparison to the Robots in the Will Smith movie and it is more like a miniature vehicle than mechanized human.
To date, Vector is, by far, the most advanced home-based robot on the market. What is more important is that you can get one for your home without breaking the bank. If you are a sci-fi buff, then you are likely very giddy right now. How many people have dreamed of coming home to a robot that helps them keep things in order around the house? It is no longer wishful thinking. Yes, there are limitations to what this version of Vector can do, but three is so much that is possible and the more you challenge Vector, the better it performs.
This is more than a virtual assistant that you can ask questions and get to schedule your appointments and phone calls. Vector has a level of intelligence that creates an awareness of his surroundings. The robot can see, hear, and even feel (sensitive to touch). These capabilities allow Vector to react to the World around them.
Anki is preparing to begin shipping in October of 2018. Initially, the unit will only be available in the United States. Anki has funded much of its development of Vector through the Kickstarter community, and the first offers for purchases will take place through the Kickstarter community. Anki wants to reward the people who invested in the development of the robot before opening up sales to the general public. I think this is a very fitting gesture.
What I like about this unit is the more you enlist its help the happier it seems. The unit is eager to respond to your request and perform chores. This robot has the ability to do more than you can imagine. It has the ability to respond to a long series of questions with accurate answers. Ask it about sports, dates, time zones, or to solve math equations, and it does it with ease. If you want to plan a trip out of town, ask Vector about the weather projections in the area that you visiting.
It gets better, so much better. You can have Vector take pictures, time an event or launch a game of Black Jack. Yep, you are starting to get the picture. Vector will quickly become your little buddy. So, the single life does not have to be so lonely. You now have someone you can literally hold a conversation with that will always be there for you.
While Vector has a small frame, it is packed with an enormous amount of technology that literally brings this little guy to life. Believe it or not, he can read the scan and read a room, recognize objects and people, hear and decipher what is happening around him, find his own charger (this alone is worth it all), navigate space and avoid obstacles. This is so much more than a virtual assistant.
If you want to be one of the first to get Vector, you should head on over to Kickstarter and contribute so that you will be a part of the initial release.