With a vision to empower a child’s development and aid modern-day parents, Indian consumer electronics start-up emotix, unveiled its latest offering, Miko 2, a personal robot for children at a curtain raiser in Mumbai today. Several distinguished dignitaries graced the occaasion including well known names like famous celebrity, author and proud mom Mrs. Soha Ali Khan, veteran child psychologist Prof. Dr. Mona Gajre, IITB Professor Emeritus Dr. C. Amarnath; also marked by virtual presence of Nasscomm President Debjani Ghosh.
The cute robot aims to help modern parents in early education and development of children by engaging the child in “playful learning”. The robot can initiate and hold long conversations with kids, imparting knowledge based on academic curriculum and general facts about the world. Say “Hey Miko” to the robot and it starts a conversation on it’s own in a loveable emotive voice unique to it. The system has been further powered by a proprietary emotional intelligence engine developed in-house by emotix, enabling the robot to not only identify and remember the child’s moods but also adapt to their personality.
With the launch, India’s first and very own companion robot Miko which was the first product developed by the company about a year back, gets a shiny new makeover. The changes are not just cosmetic but remarkable in several ways. Miko 2 that can see, hear, sense, express, talk, recognise faces, remember names, identify moods, initiate a conversation and learn from its own environment to intuitively develop a bond with the child. In terms of operation, while the 1.0 version required a smartphone to operate, the new version requires a one-time Wi-Fi set-up to be done through the Miko 2 app by the parent, post which, the child can talk with the robot directly through voice commands. Miko 2 sports a new HD camera that does face recognition, can hear through active noise cancellation microphones and has edge sensors that save it from falling off edges such as tables and stairs. Miko 2 comes with a “Time of Flight” sensor that enables the robot to better sense the surroundings and make decisions likewise. In addition to all the upgrades, the product now has a better battery life and improved display and sound quality.
Commenting on Miko 2’s arrival in India, Sneh Rajkumar Vaswani, co-founder and CEO, emotix, said, “We are super excited to unveil Miko 2 which has been engineered for global consumers with respect to content, design and cultural connect. Our first product Miko, India’s first companion robot was created by a multidisciplinary team comprising engineers, mathematicians, artists, neuropsychologists. The product had received a very encouraging feedback from young parents and it was a great learning experience. And therefore, emotix is creating a global opportunity in the personal robotics space, which is ripe for innovation in the areas of education, healthcare, entertainment, health care, and defense, among others.”
One of the disruptive moves by emotix is the decision to open up the platform of Miko 2. This allows third party content players to publish their content on Miko 2 and reach out to users of Miko 2. To add to this Sneh says, “While the company will release the formal SDK in 1Q2019, some of the leading content players of India have already integrated their content on Miko 2”. Right from Amar Chitra Katha stories to ICSE curriculum from Anisha Global group of schools and stories from new age startups like Storywalker, is readily available on Miko 2.
Specially designed games, riddles, fun facts, rhymes besides music and dance that impart playful learning for the child are available on the product. It also has an advanced parental control dashboard that can help track and guide the child’s interaction with Miko 2. The highlight of the unveil was the TeleConnect feature which allows a parent to do “video calling on wheels” through Miko from any corner of the world. The innovative robot has guaranteed age-appropriate content, child-safe design and strict privacy norms to address any data breach concerns.
The India price of Miko 2 is 24,999 INR. For Indian customers who want to bring home a Miko 2 in 2018, Miko 2 will be exclusively available across all Hamleys India stores from December 15th, 2018 to January 15th, 2019 and thereafter will be made available across all leading consumer electronic and toy stores.
“Our aim is to create machines on human patterns and blur the distinction between physical, digital and biological walls to solve grave consumer problems. Miko 2, is an affirmation of our commitment to make learning powerful yet fun and simple,” added Sneh.