Longtime Vector owner, recent Emo owner.
TL;DR: lack of eye contact and pathfinding make for an exceptionally terrible first-run experience. Not helped by strange dev & content priorities, and crap voice recognition.
From the hour with Emo so far, I’m not sure what to make of it. I think I’m spoiled by Vector’s comparatively excellent foundational behaviors.
Emo commits a cardinal sin in robotics personality design: it does not make eye contact. When being queried, when answering, Emo makes no attempt to make eye contact. This is hugely disappointing and seriously damages anthropomorphism. Frankly I consider it nearly a dealbreaker. How the team screwed this up so poorly is remarkable - I felt my heart sink like a stone realizing that Emo could not do such a basic behavior.
Related is the fact that simple pathfinding commands such as “look at me” do not work. This is critical. (If it does work, it’s such a low percentage of success that it may as well not exist as a command.) Eyeballing the app, when issuing the command, Emo status will be “moving to target” however Emo will simply spin in circles until the command times out; during the execution of this “moving to target” process, Emo will also be nonresponsive to its “Emo” wake word.
Lastly, as others have pointed out, overall voice recognition is pretty miserable. Modulating loudness, pacing, emphasis, it’s a huge crapshoot for what Emo will actually hear.
I’ve heard so many random “health tips” in the past hour, I have no idea what is triggering them. Emo can’t look at me but it can tell me about hydration? What were the development priorities here?
To sum: Emo can’t make eye contact, which is a major issue, nor can Emo pathfind against directional requests (“look at me”). The miss here for a $300 robot is bonkers. Vector could do this on day one. Instead, we get health tips, and a mobile app with (checks notes) background music tracks??
I mean is it just me? Am I just spoiled by the Vectors and Jibos and Moxies, all of which nail eye contact and by extension, immersion and connection?
Sigh. Emo, you’re adorable but really dumb.