It’s one thing to have a robot shaped music dock that accepts your iPhone and plays some tunes. It’s quite another to have one that does the kind of stuff Shimi does. Developed by a team of roboticists from Georgia Tech, IDC, and the MIT Media Lab, Shimi (once connected to your smartphone) is able to bob its head to the beat, tap its “foot”, follow you around the room using face recognition, and even understand your speech. You interact with it by either asking for a specific song or even clapping a beat with your hands and waiting for Shimi to deliver the closest match from your collection. What’s more, the robot’s abilities are tied to its related smartphone application, meaning that with each update of the software, the bot can gain more features. And since Shimi is the product of the collaboration of some world class roboticists, you’re not looking at some cheap and generic Chinese toy, the complexity and fluidity of Shimi’s movements and abilities has to be seen to be appreciated. The clip below should help.
In the meantime, if you want your own, you can pledge $149 to the Kickstarter campaign and expect delivery… in February of 2013, a little late for the Holidays.