China-based vendor HuiYu has launched an Indiegogo campaign to bring what it calls "an educational companion robot for kids" to market.
Honeybot is a 10-inch tall, interactive Android-based robot that uses augmented reality for learning. Controlled remotely through a smartphone, Honeybot employs 3D augmented reality, image recognition and color extraction technology with educational apps to entertain, sing, tell stories, teach and chat with kids. It also runs all Google Play Store apps.
Available initially in English and Mandarin models, with more languages available soon, children can virtually play with a 3D animated dinosaur and other animals on the robot’s display. Honeybot creates different voices for asking and answering questions and can mimic a parent’s voice to keep a close connection with children when parents are away.
Honeybot's pre-installed apps for AR learning and teaching include:
* AR Aquarium, developed for kindergarteners by experienced preschool education experts, which transforms children’s drawings into 3D cartoon animations through image recognition and color extraction technology. It can help kindergarten teachers with art lessons, enabling children to learn about marine animals while studying painting.
* AR Yolk World, an interactive cognitive app aimed at early childhood and elementary school education that uses 3D imaging to show the child interacting with 90 lifelike images of dinosaurs, animals, and vehicles.
* Simulated Daily Life, which helps kids learn about proper daily routines, behavior and electronic pet raising. Honeybot is hungry, needs a bath and is sleepy, and children need to learn to take care of the Honeybot for the correct daily habits for themselves and pets. Honeybot shows a detailed presentation of food, making children more likely to eat healthy food and less junk.
Honeybot has a 5-inch interactive HD display but also features Miracast that uses Wi-Fi to display and control multimedia content between Honeybot and a smart TV for larger screen viewing of the robot’s display.
One-click synchronization of iOS and Android A/V allows parents to send content to Honeybot after recording from a smartphone. More than 200 A/V learning materials for 3-8-year-olds is also provided, covering common knowledge, poems, songs and fairy tales.
Parents can initiate a remote video call through the app and the Samsung-made 5-megapixel autofocus camera. (Children cannot initiate calls to avoid disturbing parents.) Parents can also send remote commands telling Honeybot to check on the children.
“The development of science and technology ultimately serves humans," said Zhongliu Chen, founder and CEO of HuiYu. “We want a better life where high-tech meets our demands. After more than three years’ preparation and thousands of hours brainstorming, a group of young parents finally made this early educational robot, Honeybot, adopting both high-tech and edutainment.”
Honeybot will be available in Q4 with a retail price of $349. For a limited time, Indiegogo pre-sale discounted pricing is available for $229-$259 depending on the version. The Indiegogo pre-sale includes the Honeybot robot, charger, cables, AR aquarium drawing card, AR Yolk World card, remote control, and free shipping. The robot stands 10 inches tall and weighs less than 2 pounds.