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Kuri, the home robot that wants to be more companion and less Roomba, has begun shipping out to customers. Kuri creator Mayfield Robotics, a Bosch-owned startup, revealed that its initial shipments have gone out via FedEx – which means it technically met its goal of beginning to ship the photogenic little friend bots prior to the end of 2017, if only just.

Kuri was originally unveiled almost a year ago at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and it’s been steadily getting smarter and closer to production-ready status since then, with regular updates from the roboticists at Mayfield, who wanted to create a domestic robot that wasn’t just functional, but that would be welcomed in as a virtual member of the family.

The little robot features touch sensors, expressive eyes with a built-in camera and live-streaming capabilities, the ability to communicate via onboard speakers, microphones and gestural motion actuators, obstacle avoidance smarts and wheels that can handle room crossing from one room into another, as well as multiple types of floors and carpets.

Kuri’s designed to autonomously navigate the house, learn over time, automatically capture special moments, play back music, audiobooks and podcasts, and generally be a pal around the house. It’s a novel and daring approach to bringing robotics into the domestic sphere – especially given its $700 price tag. Mayfield seems to be enjoying healthy interest, however; the queue is currently set to deliver sometime next spring for reservations made today.

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