Limitbit’s Kickstarter campaign for the personal robot or desktop pet Doly is online on the crowdfunding platform since yesterday.
Doly shares some features with Vector, for example is he said to be autonomous and moves on tracks. He also has (configurable) eyes, some kind of inverse forklift and he comes with a payload brick he can recognize and interact with, similar to Vector’s cube. He also has features as camera, face recognition, cliff and other sensors, autocharge, clock, weather, remote control, Scratch coding and petting sensor.
What makes him stand apart are the following things in my opinion:
- No subscription – You do not have to pay monthly or yearly for Doly to work.
- PC application available from the beginning – you are not limited to a phone app when interacting or coding Doly, since there will be a desktop app (for Windows only, sorry Mac – the phone apps are available for Android and iOS).
- Personality changes with interaction – this is something a lot of users wanted from Vector and according to the campaign page Doly will have this feature.
And why not? The Tamagotchis from ages ago were able to develop different personalities depending on how you treat them. With the expanded computing and memory capabilities of today’s hard- and software I see no reason why this should not be possible. Of course it remains to be seen if Limitbit will be able to deliver what they promise – but that is a problem with all crowdfunding campaigns and I cannot see any company even more underperforming than Digital Dream Labs with Vector (Moorebot Scout comes close).
The Super Early Bird pledge option starts at 375 CA$ (about 274 EUR or 289 USD) but you have to be aware of the fact that shipping and possible import fees will come on top of this. I asked them what shipping cost will be and they said they expected 25 to 30 USD to germany. So for me the price will be 300 EUR plus ~5 Euros import fees plus 57 EUR import VAT = around 360 Euros. That is somewhat expensive and normally more I would be willing to pay, but this is a new personal robot and I collect those.
You can find more information on Doly and what he can do on the campaign page on Kickstarter.
Their informations and project planning look solid, but as always with crowdfundings you have to be aware of the fact that this may fail and your money then is lost. And then there always is the risk of Digital Dream Labs sueing every company that is able to actually deliver anything, Doly has tracks …
Somewhat of a letdown is the fact that a SDK will only be provided if the campaign reaches more than 500000 CA$. But since the robot will be able to be coded in Scratch via a Windows machine there may be hope to tinker something together even without an official Python SDK, because Scratch is Python-based anyway. If the Scratch API is there it can be done.
promo photo copyright Limitbit