MistyThe Robot For Programmers
MistyThe Robot For Programmers
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Saturday, 13 January 2018

It is arguable that what we need is a sort of IBM PC of the robot world; a robot that we can use without worrying too much about hardware and just get on with programming. Misty is aiming to be just such a robot.

Misty Robotics is a spin-off from Sphero and it had just announced the Misty I developer edition. It will ship next month (Feb 2018) and will cost $1499, which isn't bad for a complete robot of the size. The plan is to produce a Misty II later in the year as a more polished version incorporating what has been learned from the first edition. The only negative is that Misty I only available to "a select group of developers".

The key attraction from the programming point of view is that the robot can be programmed using Blocky or JavaScript, which aren't the usual languages used in robotics. It also looks as if there are some high-level constructs built in and this might free you from worrying about implementing a SLAM algorithm to find out where Misty is. There isn't much hard information about the robot - all the press release says is:

"The Misty I Developer Edition prototype robot provides non-robotics programmers simple but powerful tools and capabilities allowing them to create skills that leverage APIs for autonomous navigation, seeing, hearing, and speaking capabilities of the robot. Developers who purchase the Misty I will be able to dive in quickly with a Blockly GUI and/or code using Javascript. The mobile companion app will enable control and map interaction. The Misty I will also include serial and USB ports that will encourage makers to enhance and extend their robots with new hardware."

I also have to say that there doesn't seem to be much activity on the user community forum, but it is early days.

The most detailed information is from this diagram provided by the company:

 misty1

 

Even here there are many vague terms such as "time-of-flight" sensor which isn't usually a term associated with "obstacle avoidance".

Given it has no effectors, e.g. an arm or gripper of any sort, this limits what you can do with the robot. It seems to be suitable for the sort of thing that Jibo or other social robots are desgned for. Think of it as a sort of super Alexa on wheels. 

There is only one offical video of Misty and it seems to be of an earlier prototype rather than the robot in the diagram above:

 

 

One day someone will produce a platform for robotics programming that is open and so attractive that we all simply use it.

Is it going to be Misty?

Only if social robots are the killer app.

More Information

https://www.mistyrobotics.com/

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