Ubtech Robotics, the Chinese company that launched the Alpha robot series and JIMU coding bots for kids, has partnered with Amazon to bring Alexa's voice-recognition capabilities to their latest robot called Lynx. Starting this spring, you will be able to interact with the robot as if it were your personal assistant. While devices like Echo and Google Home offer the same vocal capabilities, there's something intimate, familiar and even entertaining about interacting with a human-shaped machine as opposed to a bland speaker.
Amazon's Alexa, a voice-activated personal assistant, made its debut with the Echo speaker a couple of years ago. The company's advanced natural language processing technology made it easier for people to use their voice to get weather updates or ask questions instead of swiping for information on their personal devices. The convenience of the hands-free experience swiftly gained popularity and last year, Amazon reportedly sold millions of Echo (and Echo Dot) devices. But Alexa isn't restricted to the elliptical speaker anymore. The voice service has starting popping up in home devices, wearables, cars and even robots like the yoga-loving Lynx.
At a CES demo in Vegas this week, simple voice commands fired up the little robotic companion. Lynx broke into a dance, talked about the weather and even attempted to teach yoga. The machine also couples conversations with facial recognition technology to personalize the experience. For instance, when dealing with a family, the robot can be programed to use its camera to match each person's face with their preferences. So it could greet someone with a name or even play their favorite music.