Hanson Robotics Develops Professor Einstein, Your Personal Genius
Tom Spendlove posted on January 25, 2017 |

David Hanson has a long term goal that fuels all of his projects. He wants to improve the lives of everyday people with “affordable, highly intelligent robots that teach, serve, entertain, and are capable of developing a deep relationship with people.” Andy Rifkin is a past Vice President at Mattel Toys and a lifelong fan of the ideas and work of Albert Einstein. Hanson and his team at Hanson Robotics teamed up with Rifkin to create Professor Einstein, a 14.5” personal robot.

Professor Einstein is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund its first run of production components. Earlier this month the robots were presented to the CES crowds. The robot is compatible with iPhone 5s, 5c, 5, 6s, 6s Plus, iPad Air, Air 2, Mini 3, 4th generation, and Android OS 4.4.4 or later. It seems very odd that iPhone 7’s aren’t on the list of compatible devices. The robot is powered by two NiMH 2.4 VSC rechargeable batteries. Lasting approximately three hours on a full charge. The Stein-o-Matic companion app controls the robot, and children under age 13 are required to get parental consent before using.

Built to be a companion / family robot, Professor Einstein is full of features. More than fifty gestures and facial expressions are programmed in to the system, and the robot is programmed to recognize voices and engage in conversation. Several interactive games are built into the app / robot combination, some meant for teaching the user science and math concepts. Telling Professor Einstein about your appointments will activate the calendar function and you can be reminded later of items on your to-do list, and a weather function has access to worldwide weather data.

Professor Einstein is an interesting entry into the home robotics field, providing more social interaction but less features than Alexa or Google Home, and yet more functionality than just a learning or companion entry level robot. I’m very interested to see how this project develops and what the developers of Albert Einstein Hubo and Sophia will do next. 

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