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Love robot will make you feel seen with CyberLink facial recognition

Guard robot will make hardware stores safer, Lowe's hopes
Love robot will make you feel seen with CyberLink facial recognition

Discussions about facial recognition often focus on how it might make people feel uncomfortable, but CyberLink is exploring if it can instill a contrasting emotion — love. The multimedia and facial recognition software maker has partnered with home robot producer Groove X to integrate its FaceMe technology into Lovot, a family robot that a press release calls “a companion that fills owners’ lives with comfort and peace of mind.”

“With the personalized interactions that AI facial recognition can trigger for different household members, individuals will now gain a much more customized experience with Lovot,” says Jau Huang, chairman and CEO of CyberLink. The software can recognize household members.

Groove X emphasizes the emotional and physical appeal of Lovot, which looks like a miniature Teletubby riding a Segway, and boasts 50 sensors and advanced AI features such as deep learning-based real-time decision making, and a dynamically generated voice synthesizer. To increase its cuddle factor, it also has an internal heating system that makes it warm to the touch. Demand for the robot grew during pandemic lockdowns, the company said, with daycare centers and elementary schools testing it.

Given the Lovot’s diminutive stature, it is often looking up at people. The partnership between Groove X, CyberLink and Macnica, which provides software and hardware, means the robot can identify individuals at an angle, with identity processing of 0.2 seconds with resulting in 99.7 percent accuracy, according to Groove X.

Lovot, which is a portmanteau of “love” and “robot,” comes with its own clothing line, and retails for $3,000.

Then there are robots that are supposed to make people feel safe by performing as automated security guards, like those at several Lowe’s stores in Philadelphia.

Hardware guards for hardware stores

Four Philadelphia-area Lowe’s retail locations have deployed K5 outdoor security robots from Knightscope to provide situational awareness and evidence for criminal prosecutions, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The K5 features 16 microphones, LIDAR and sonar sensors, and person detection, but not facial recognition, according to the report.  The latter feature is available on Knightscope’s K1 Tower and K1 Hemisphere. The K5 can recognize license plates and detect anomalies, and record people in Lowe’s parking lots.

The four stores began testing the robots, which are rented out for between $6 and $9 an hour, in February.

The article recounts how some people have tried to “mess with” the robots, and a nickname they have picked up online: “snitchBOT.”

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