When Jason Buzi needed a robotics expert, he wanted to find someone who could make robots that look real. His search led him to John Nolan Studios in London, a veteran robotics group that has works appearing in Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean films. The two teams worked together to develop Soshee, a lifelike dog that reacts to social media.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running to help fund the first run of production parts. Soshee weighs ten ounces, is 4.5 inches tall, 6 inches long and 2.75 inches wide. An important design constraint was that the dog could fit in the palm of most users’ hands. Four servos, a microcontroller and an Adafruit audio board control the movements and sound. The robot can lurch forward, sit on its hind legs, wag its tail, bark and shake its head.
Users can link the dog and its app to their social media account – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The app was not available for review when the Kickstarter campaign was released, but I’m assuming that other social media will be able to interact with Soshee over time.
There’s a good deal of visual information on the Kickstarter page about the kinematics of the Soshee and the prototyping process, along with pictures of the structure underneath the Hungarian puli hair. It’s amazing that every day new robotics projects are released, ranging from six axis pick and place arms to companion robots and social media dogs. Today is three days into the campaign and a little more than $10,000 has been raised of the $250,000 goal. The funding period ends on April 13, 2017 and if successful first units are expected to ship in September 2017.