Misty Robotics announces new Misty II personal robot

Thursday May 3, 2018 Tags: Boulder, Misty Robotics, Sphero, Ian Bernstein, Brad Feld, Foundry Group

NEW ORLEANS -- Today at the Collision Conference, Misty Robotics, the personal robot company spun out from Sphero, creators of the best-selling BB-8 toy robot, announced its newest personal robot, the Misty II, and the launch of a limited-time 30-day crowdfunding campaign.misty-robotics-logo

The Misty II personal robot will be offered at multiple backer levels at a 50 percent discount of $1,599 and will begin shipping by Dec. 4.

The Misty II robot is the first easily programmable robot offered at a consumer price point for developers, entrepreneurs, students, and makers, the Boulder-based company said.

“At Misty, we are focused on creating the personal robot of the future that developers and makers can build upon as well as share skills and ideas for what a robot can be,” said Ian Bernstein, Misty Robotics founder and head of product.

“Crowdfunding the Misty II robot aligns with our mission of building a community for developers and makers, and allows us direct access to our early backers for feedback and collaboration. We are excited to see what they build on Misty and then share with the larger community.”

The tiered backer levels for the crowdfunding campaign, which will run from May 2 through May 31, include:

  • Misty II Founder Edition Personal Robot offered at $1,499 for the first 250 backers ($100 off initial price)
  • Misty II Personal Robot offered at $1,599 for 1,175 backers~
  • Misty “Get Started Now” Bundle of both a Misty I Developer Edition prototype robot and Misty II offered at $2,499 for 75 backers

The Misty II personal robot is easy for non-technical owners to program using the Misty Blockly client, a visual block-based programming interface, to create new skills for the robot that can make it move, talk, roar, and more.

Pre-set blocks, or skills, will come installed on Misty II to quickly get started. Those owners with programming experience, can utilize JavaScript APIs to create more sophisticated skills and modifications, like integrating with third party services such as Alexa, Microsoft Cognitive Services, Google Assistant, and Cloud APIs.

On top of downloadable skills created by both Misty Robotics and community developers through the Misty Github repository and ultimately via a skills marketplace, the Misty II robot already has several additional capabilities, including:

  • Move autonomously as well as dynamically respond to her environment
  • Recognize faces
  • Create a 3D map of her surroundings
  • Perform seeing, hearing, and speaking capabilities
  • Receive and respond to commands
  • Locate her charger to charge herself
  • Display emotive eyes and other emotional characteristics

“Misty II is just the beginning of what’s possible with building a canonical robot platform,” said Brad Feld, managing director at Boulder-based Foundry Group.

“There really is no other programmable robot on the market today with the advanced technology, personality, and sophisticated design at this price point.”

At 14 inches high and six pounds, the Misty II personal robot has an advanced 3D Occipital sensor for mapping, a 4K Sony camera for facial and object recognition, eight time-of-flight sensors for obstacle avoidance, and is equipped with two smartphone-level QualcommⓇ SnapDragon™ processors running Windows IoT Core and Android 7 operating systems.

The robot is fully capable of running Tensorflow, Caffe, and WindowsML within hardware optimized runtimes. Owners can physically expand Misty II to add functionality and fun with several hardware accessories, created by Misty Robotics and the community of makers and inventors at large.

Misty II is the second robot in a series of robots being developed by the Misty Robotics team and augmented by the Misty developer community over the course of the next 10 years, the company said.