Temi robot: Alexa morphs into mobile droid form at CES 2019
It's not the cutest, but this could be one of the most useful home robots yet.
Katie CollinsSenior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
, go next door and check if I left my glasses by the bed."
This is just one of many potential tasks a robot with both
virtual assistant and autonomous navigation skills could take on in your home. It sounds appealing, right?
Robotics company Robotemi announced at
on Monday that it's bringing Alexa to its Temi robot, which goes on sale in March this year. The robot was originally designed to provide home assistance to the elderly using telepresence skills. Now, with its screen providing and Echo Show-like experience, it transforms into a voice-activated tool that can perform a whole range of tasks that go beyond video calling, from controlling the lights to showing YouTube videos.
Watch this: Temi's like an Amazon Echo Show on wheels that can bring you a plate of nachos.
Temi is not the first robot to be equipped with Alexa -- you can look to the small, humanoid Ubtech Lynx for that. The tiny tabletop Anki Vector also gained Alexa capabilities at the end of 2018. But Temi is the first robot that can navigate autonomously around a space to have Amazon-powered virtual assistant skills.
Perhaps the one thing Temi is lacking that really could see Alexa-powered
taken to the next level is an arm that would allow it to fetch and carry (those glasses?), as well as complete simple manual tasks. These are features that could make a real difference to the disabled or elderly. As Alexa and other virtual assistants get smarter and more skilled over time, it will be fascinating to watch the ways in which they can combine with robots to play a role within our increasingly smart homes.
If you fancy upgrading your
to something more mobile, Temi will go on sale in the US in March for $1,499 including shipping.