Despite all the technological advances of the last couple decades, we still haven't seen the robot butlers and personal assistants that we were promised back in the olden days of the 20th century. To Yossi Wolf, cofounder of the wildly successful Roboteam — which provides tactical robots for militaries around the world — this became the ultimate challenge. Wolf set out on a mission to create the world's first "truly intelligent, mobile, personal robot for your home, that places you at the centre of your technology," and as of November 2017, the very first personal robot, Temi, will begin its initial roll-out on the path to making that dream a reality. And the best part? The price tag won't stretch beyond the $1,500 mark — which means you, too, can own your very own personal assistant, DJ, photographer, and video hub for the price of less than a MacBook Air. Behold, the robot of our dreams:
POPSUGAR sat down with Wolf on Aug. 22 to discuss Temi, which he described as "the iPhone of the home" but with the capability to "make you move." The upright robot comes when you call it and acts as the hub for all of your technology, content, and devices. It runs on an Android operating system — which means that it's compatible with all of your favorite apps — and is built on a set of algorithms that are constantly evolving and becoming smarter about you and your habits.
Temi has also been specially programmed for "autonomous navigation" alongside its artificial intelligence, which means that it adapts to your movement and the terrain in your household and is constantly mapping out how to get from its current location to where you are. That's right — this is a robot that comes when you call it and won't just bowl over anything that's in its way to get to you. What Wolf is alluding to, though, when he says that Temi will make you move is the fact that it enables you to go hands-free on all of your devices. "Hands-free is the future," Wolf said, and having a robot that runs Alexa and allows you to put down your phone enables you to "bring your eyes up again" and enjoy a more active life. We've all come home from work just to stare at our phones on the couch — with Temi, that no longer needs to happen. It does the heavy lifting for you.
But what exactly does Temi do, and what makes it special? For one, it has an 8-megapixel camera and Harman Kardon speakers — and is open to third-party developers alongside being fully integrated with Facebook, Uber, Spotify, and YouTube. It can play your music, connect you to your loved ones for a video conference, remind you to buy the milk — and even play your favourite movie or television show, following behind you when you move from room to room. But Temi isn't just for the able-bodied individuals who desperately want a robot to trail behind them playing their theme song as they clean their apartments. It's also the hands-free device that can help connect elderly people who may not have the ability to hold an iPad or see the screen on an iPhone. It opens up a world of innovation for everyone, and in seeing the machine face to face, it's hard not to feel like it's the exact thing that was predicted in some of our most classic American novels.
Temi officially launches in November, with an initial roll-out of 1,000 units, which will be distributed to a group of influencers and early adopters. Those robots will serve as the initial in-home beta test — Wolf wants to develop the product through user feedback and commentary — and he stresses the importance of making Temi the best it can be while keeping the price as consumer-friendly as possible. And while his personal robot will come loaded with the tools needed to get your news, sports, music, movies, friends, and family via simple voice command, Wolf is confident that there's a strong future in areas like telecare, education, and language learning, among others.
For now, it's hard not to be insanely excited about this massive step toward a future we've always hoped for but never quite had in our grasp. Check out more about Temi at its newly launched home on the web, and sign up for your chance to get included in the initial launch.