It’s been nearly a year since Sphero, the company known best for making lovable Star Wars droids into connected toys, announced that it would be spinning off a new startup, Misty Robotics, that’s dedicated to bringing robot assistants to smart homes. And now, we’re getting our first chance to bring one of these bots into our homes. At CES 2019, the company announced that its adorable Misty II robots are ready to ship in April 2019 with a starting price tag of $2400, according to TechCrunch.
Misty first showed off the new Misty II, a slightly more advanced version of the original Misty robot the company debuted at CES in January 2018. As per Misty’s landing page for the bot, the Misty II is “professional grade, hardware-extensible, and purpose-built as a development platform.” Meant for developers of both the amateur and professional variety, the Misty II promises to be “easy to make powerful,” but is DIY enough to keep robotics fans interested.
At six pounds and just over a foot tall (14 inches, to be exact), the Misty II is a relatively small robot and meant for either the home or the office. It comes complete with a number of features that can help it safely navigate these scenarios, including a 3D Occipital sensor for mapping, a 4K Sony camera for facial and object recognition, and eight sensors to help avoid obstacles.
But what Misty II actually does for its owners is completely up to them. Depending on how the robot is programmed, it could serve as a security guard, tasked with investigating strange noises or opening the door; or as an extra pair of hands for mom and dad, checking in on children to ensure they’ve completed their chores. Ultimately, Misty wants its customers to dream up applications for the Misty II that the company itself can’t even conceive of. After all, the company’s goal is to put a robot in every home, which means that its robots will have to be able to execute a wide range of tasks.