Kuri home robot can tell your pets from people

The cute bot's camera 'eye' is also getting a 1080p upgrade.

Mayfield Robotics' Kuri isn't out yet, but that isn't precluding the company from giving it some big upgrades ahead of the robo helper's late 2017 debut. Kuri can now recognize cats and dogs -- it'll know the difference between your pet and your significant other. The robot's vision cameras are also receiving an upgrade to 1080p, so you can expect higher-quality views of what's going on at home.

Even Kuri's feet are improving. Instead of conventional drive wheels, Mayfield is switching to belt treads. They're quieter, more maneuverable and better-suited to driving over rugs and room-to-room threshholds.

The bot is still expensive at $699, and it remains to be seen how well it'll work in practice. Having said that, it's only so often that you'll see companies upgrading hardware (let alone a robot) before a single unit has shipped -- if nothing else, this is a promising sign.