Relaunched Misty robot platform targets edtech sector

Misty now boasts such education-aiding features as a more intuitive software development kit and simplified programming language

Furhat Robotics yesterday (31 May) relaunched the Misty robot platform with the aim of more directly targeting the edtech sector.

“We believe that social robots need to reach a much wider sector of society, and be part of the educational system, to prepare the next generation of talent,” said Samer Al Moubayed, CEO and co-founder of Furhat Robotics.

“Misty is designed especially to optimise learning and engagement, and has both an attractive and rich design, and very advanced sensors and hardware.”

The 14” robot was already equipped with features including a high-resolution camera to recognize faces or objects, and a structured light sensor allowing it to map its environment and navigate autonomously.

Now, it also comes with more complex conversational skills, with a focus on natural language understanding. In another development, the inclusion of Python as the main programming language should make it easier to use by non-programmers, be they educators or students.

Read more: Placing robots in classrooms obviously raises several concerns – these concerns are amplified by a multitude of misconceptions

The relaunched Misty also includes an improved software development kit, better helping programmers develop their skills, as well as laying the foundation for creating a library from which they can directly download skill sets onto the robot for use in different settings.

Furhat predicts that the robot will also be welcomed in academia and research settings, helping pursue advances in areas such as Alzheimer’s, autism, and aging-in-place, as well as in corporate innovation.

“The possibilities are endless,” added Al Moubayed, “from helping students who are learning programming, to assisting in making the classroom more inclusive and accessible.

“Beyond that, the applications for social robots are far-reaching, from social and health care to unbiased recruitment.”

The relaunch follows the acquisition of Misty Robotics by Furhat Robotics – founded in Sweden in 2014 as a spin-off from research at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm – earlier this year.

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