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Loona Launches Crowdfunding for a Cute Robot Pet with Versatile AI

Perhaps the cutest robot to date is currently being funded on Kickstarter. Loona combines versatile motor skills with numerous sensors and artificial intelligence to give the impression of a playful pet that understands voice commands. Users should be able to interact with Loona as they would with an ordinary pet – the companion robot can follow its owner, learn voice commands, or even catch balls.

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Loona, a new robot currently being funded on Kickstarter, is meant to be cute first and foremost, with a 2.4-inch display on its face showing animated eyes that can display a variety of emotions, and ears that can move to match its mood. For locomotion, the robot relies on four wheels attached to two axles that can be moved independently of the rest of the body.

As the videos embedded below show, this combination allows for a considerable range of motion. The robot has 3D ToF cameras that use artificial intelligence and an AI chip with a power of 5 TOPS to provide face recognition, body, gesture, emotion, and object recognition, and help navigate the environment. Four microphones allow voice control. The robot detects precipices to prevent it from falling off tables or stairs.

Through all these technologies, users should be able to interact with Loona as they would with an ordinary pet – the companion robot can follow its owner, learn voice commands, or even catch balls. The software includes a number of games, which are demonstrated in the video embedded below. Loona can also be freely programmed via a companion app, which should be simple enough for children to use to learn the basics of programming. The 1,350 mAh battery can be charged either via USB-C or via the accompanying charging dock.

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Prices and availability

Loona is currently funded via Kickstarter, meanwhile, the robot has already raised over €500,000 from more than 1,500 backers. The robot costs around €270 in the “Super Early Bird”, later the price is to rise to €450.

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(Featured image by hiroaki maeda CC BY-ND 2.0 via Flickr)

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Daphne Freeman has worked in the crowdfunding and impact investing industry for the past few years, gaining experience in marketing, and connecting businesses and entrepreneurs in need with the right investors. As a seasoned grant writer as well as financial market journalist, she is passionate about making a social impact in the world. A free spirit, Daphne also enjoys writing and exploring topics of interest, currently CBD, health and beauty, and social media influencers.