AI technology and robotics have seen a surge in development in recent years and are slowly making their way from the fringes of mainstream culture into our homes.
One of these machines is an adorable robot named Moxie. Designed by Embodied in Pasadena, California, Moxie is modeled to be a developmental tool for children, as well as an emotionally intelligent friend.
During the pandemic, Embodied put Moxies in 100 households so children had a way of learning life lessons and practicing emotionally-intelligent interactions at a time when they were lonely and cut off from their schools and social circles. While it might initially sound odd to have an AI-powered robot entertaining your children, it’s really no different than letting kids engage with video games. Plus, it’s more mentally stimulating.
Moxie begins to get to know their new child friend as soon as it’s turned on by using computer vision to recognize the child as well as others around them. Moxie can detect eye contact and facial expressions and uses a powerful natural language model to inspire conversation. Embodied even recruited professionals from nearby animation studios to create Moxie’s cute and approachable cartoon features. Moxie’s ability to tell stories and play games get children’s creative juices flowing, but its potential applications go far beyond kids.
The loneliness epidemic that materialized out of the Covid-19 health crisis has affected more than just young people. Moxie’s special blend of IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence) can be a stimulating product for the elderly, who have been especially isolated during this time. In the future, Moxie or robots like it, can help restore the memory or serve therapeutic purposes for the elderly and for anyone who needs a friend.
More Moxies will soon be shipped to new homes in April, ready to be a friend for anyone who needs one.
Image source: The Robot Report