Supertoy Teddy is the world’s first talking teddy with a mind of its own and the ability to hold real conversations with those who speak to it. It has been developed by Ashley Conlan (CEO of Supertoy Robotics) and Kartsen Fluegge (CEO of Pannous GmbH), the creators of the successful app Jeannie, the Siri style chatbot that has been downloaded over 3 million times on mobile devices.
Supertoy Teddy uses artificial intelligence (AI). A smartphone acts as its brawn and the internet server as its brain. Supertoy Teddy’s robotic mouth moves in synchronization to what it says and inbuilt speakers enhance the volume of its voice. Role play will be added to the Supertoy Teddy and several costumes and dresses will be sold at the online shop.
The robot’s hardware is simple: just an audio in/out interface and a motor for mouth animation. Supertoy Teddy connects via standard audio plug to an iOS or Android device. Asley Conlan suggests putting the phone inside the Supertoy for realism. The magic is in the software, which has evolved from the popular Jeannie chatbot app.
The creators of Supertoy Teddy have started a Kickstarter campaign for crowdfunding during the funding period July 24, 2013 – August 23, 2013. I am one of the bakers of the project.
Huggable is a similar type of robotic companion that has being developed at the MIT Media Lab (Personal Robots Group) for healthcare, education, and social communication applications a few years ago. The early technical development of the Huggable was supported in part by a Microsoft iCampus grant in 2006.