I thought I’d share my thoughts after initial excitement at the idea of Emo, to what is ultimately holding me back from purchasing.
I’m keeping this to realistic basics.
Emo is tied to proprietary cloud servers. I think this falls into the same trap as all “modern” solutions with short sighted life span, and leaves consumers with paper weights in the long term. Assuming too much hardware to fit in Emo, it should then come with a compute hub for the local network that hosts most standard operations, the hub can still be updated but removes the completely unnecessary cloud requirement (don’t get misled that this is some magic only cloud compute can manage).
Mobile app requirement, which again is only as good as the supplier stays in business (usually not long!). There should be a local url that can be joined for web app use, and for ease of use, the app downloaded from the App Store just acts as a wrapper for this.
There should be a spare parts option for high wear items, such as servos, with the option to self repair, rather than waste hardware and most likely not receive the same unit back of sent for repair, which likely takes forever to get back.
As you probably gather I’m thinking of the usual trappings of these modern products, and these would form a much more successful product with solid foundation, way before considering gimmick features, that are fun for the short term.
It’s a shame these are rarely considered and things like ChatGPT and emotes take the priority.
I think this robot would be so much better with less of these features and a more solid foundation, with local connectivity and longevity given the priority.
Nice to have features would include:
An angled down front facing led (or ir) to support night use, and assist in preventing the unit falling of ledges (we shouldn’t need physical barriers)
Opt in features to change the scope and character of the unit (remove some of the features a user might not like)
Ability to modify response words (tricky one that could be abused, but I’m not a fan of some of the responses I’ve seen)
I think he’s an interesting unit and initially I was very excited when I came across him, but unfortunately I keep finding too many reasons not to buy, which is a bit of a let down.
I’d really love a little dude to have living on my work desk that I don’t have to think about, self sufficient, but is just there when I walk in, and interacts with me, more than me interacting with him. That would have some magic, and it’s so close but just let down by a lot of the above.
I think it would be very realistic and not take very long to cater for the basic foundations I’ve raised above, just by shifting the server code to a small unit, a raspberry pi would even do it.
For reference I’m a head of technology and also a full stack developer with 20+ years experience.