Remember Sheldon’s virtual presence device from the episode of The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon is afraid he won’t live long enough? The one with Steve Wozniak at the end? Well, Woz might soon get more virtual presence devices to compliment, at least if the Botiful Kickstarter project succeeds.
The Botiful is a small robot designed for Android phones. It has a holder for the phone on the front, and this holder makes the Android phone act as the “head” of the robot. Paired with wheels on the bottom and an app designed to work with Skype add-ons for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android, the robot is meant to allow users to get full movement control of the other end of a video call. This allows you to not only have more “dynamic” video conversations, but also use the system to play with kids and animals, or inspect places like the underside of your car.
The Botiful robot also has some hardware inputs and outputs available, which combined with an SDK allows for attachments to be made by third parties. The robot also supports small apps that allow it to do things like dancing. Pledging for one will cost you $199 with an estimated delivery date in November, and it will cost $299 or more once released.[Kickstarter]