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Weird French Robot Reeti Wants To Be Your Home Theater

This weird little robot from France is great at making funny faces, and may be good at other stuff, too... We’re just not quite sure what

2 min read
Weird French Robot Reeti Wants To Be Your Home Theater

This curious really kinda weird looking robot is Reeti, who’s apparently what you get when a robot and a media center PC have offspring. Reeti is designed to provide an interface between your TV and your computer, offering a variety of additional capabilities, or something... I’m honestly not quite sure what it, um, does.

Setting practical uses aside, Reeti is very emotionally expressive, considering its relative simplicity. It has cheeks that glow to communicate mood, and there are touch sensors in its face to enable it to react when you prod it. Each of Reeti’s eyes has its own HD camera, and its 3D perceptual view lets it recognize people and objects and track motion. Reeti can understand (and localize) spoken commands, and its speech synthesis allows it to read emails and RSS feeds to you. Oh hey, something it can do!

If you’re still wondering what other things Reeti can do for you besides reading aloud, maybe this will answer your question:

Or, uh, maybe not.

I guess what I still don’t really understand is why I’d want a Reeti in my house. I mean, I want one, because it’s a robot, and it’s expressive and funny looking, but at this point I’m not quite sure what Reeti plans to do for me that I couldn’t do more efficiently with a mouse and keyboard, you know? It looks like Reeti is designed to be more of an open platform where people can write their own apps to extend the capabilities of the robot, which is fine, but if you look at what makes an app store successful, they’re mostly targeted towards devices with enough inherent capability that you can establish a large, happy consumer base without any apps at all, creating your own market. So that goes back to my original question: what can Reeti do for me?

Setting practical uses aside (for the second time), I do appreciate Reeti’s overall aesthetic, if you can call it that. Reeti is likely as strange looking as it is, in order to distance itself from any sort of anthropomorphic impressions. It’s got eyes and a mouth to help it communicate, but it’s so far from looking human that we don’t get caught up in how it doesn’t look human, if that makes sense.

Reeti is made by the French company Robopec, and apparently there will be some way of pre-ordering one at some point for about $7,000 (!). Until we get a little more information on all of the spectacular and amazing things that Reeti may or may not be able to do, though, I’d hold off adopting one of these little guys, unless you’re so smitten that it’s already too late.

[ Reeti ] via [ Robots Dreams ] and [ CNET ]

The Conversation (0)

The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
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A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof
DarkGray

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

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