It doesn’t take much. For all the bluster around the conversation about Skynet and robotic overlords, we still melt when a diminutive robot flashes the slightest hint of humanity through a small set of blinking eyes — and then does something nice for us.
Sony’s Xperia Agent robotic assistant captured the tech world’s attention when it debuted at MWC in Barcelona back in February. But it wasn’t until it showed us how good it was at brewing a half decent cup of coffee that it really won us over. It’s a long show, I’m tired and still jet-lagged. It doesn’t take much, honestly.
And the cute factor certainly doesn’t hurt. The robot’s got a spherical head with a small camera and two blinking vertical eyes that follow you around as it helps you get things done, Siri/Alexa-style. It will help you schedule appoints and the like, and when hooked up to a compatible Nescafe machine, it will be more than happy to brew you a hot cup of java. Not happy. That’s not the right word. Stop humanizing the robot, Brian.
Tell the assistant you want a coffee and it’ll ask you what strength (dark, medium or mild), or if you just want the usual. And then the coffee starts. And that’s pretty much it. Like I said, it doesn’t take much.
The robot is still a proof of concept at this point, but I got my cup of coffee this morning, and really, isn’t that the most important thing?