Robot learns faces, responds to touch

(Misty Robotics)

A new robot responds to touch and can develop facial recognition.

The creators of the Misty robot developer platform have started shipping their Misty II robots to more than 500 crowdfunding backers.

They say Misty has been purpose-built as a developer's platform, with the tools and docs developers need to easily build skills that bring her to life.

"Misty is the robotics platform that I've wanted since I started building robots 24 years ago, and the best part is that she's accessible to anyone who knows how to write a few lines of code," said Ian Bernstein, founder and head of product at Misty Robotics.

Over the past few months, developers with early access to Misty have already begun to leverage its capabilities, from facial recognition to a programmable personality.

The company says early customers are building skills for inventory data collection, home property inspection, environmental monitoring, spatial data collection, eldercare, autism therapy, and personal engagement.

The creators say Misty is packed with sophisticated technology enabling capabilities, which developers can leverage into the skills they build.

At rollout, some capabilities will be complete while others will be partially ready to go with software updates.

It is shipped with facial detection so the robot knows when there is a human in her presence and can learn who that person is.

It can view wide areas from a stationary position and is able to identify the direction of and turn towards her human upon receiving directions after activation.

The robot can respond to human touch on its head and chin.

It can also cruise around on it own or wherever it is directed to go.

People can pre-order the Misty II robot for $2,399 before an official market launch later this year.