Robotics startup Emotech has received an additional $10m in funding to continue building its AI-powered Olly robot.
The robot was demoed at TechCrunch Disrupt in December 2015, although it wasn’t completely working. However, the company has been working tirelessly to improve the machine and it’s hoping to showcase the new version at CES in January 2017.
The idea behind Olly is to create a personal assistant robot twith its own personality that adapts to its owner. It hopes to take on Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s Siri in terms of the sophisticated machine learning engine behind the ‘bot.
“Based on the AI and the machine learning, we create a special persuading system which [along with the owner] will give Olly special personality,” Emotech’s co-founder Chelsea Chen told TechCrunch last year. “Your Olly will be different to my Olly. Because your personality is different to mine, and your lifestyle is different.
“For example… I’m quite curious about everything, so my Olly is more pro-active, talks fast and any time when I try to communicate with Olly, Olly always try to give me more information, more options to suggest. But if the person who is more serious, is more logical, all the information Olly will give is not like my very emotional [Olly] but that one will be very data driven.
Olly is similar to Jibo in some ways, communicating with its owner in a personal way, more like a human than a robot. Both robots learn from doing things and getting feedback.
However, Jibo still hasn’t been shipped, despite the company promising it would be sent out to its crowdfunding supporters in March or April this year.