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French robot company raising money for open source companion robot "BUDDY"

July 9, 2015 | Telepresence Options

Buddy.jpg

Story and images by Alex Handy / SDTimes

It's never really tackled in Star Wars: are Astromech Droids open source? While we may never get to see R2-D2's internal code, a French company called Blue Frog Robotics fired up an IndieGoGo campaign yesterday that seeks to build an open-source companion robot.

Blue Frog Robotics, a company founded last year by French roboticist Rodolphe Hasselvander, has dubbed the proposed robot "BUDDY," and is targeting the home market with the device. BUDDY will include telepresence capabilities, and will be able to look up information online through voice commands.

Jean-Michel Mourier, CTO of Blue Frog Robotics, wrote in an email to SD Times that, "About 80% of BUDDY will be open source. Today, all of the major components are open source: the brain of the robot, which controls navigation, facial expressions, object and voice recognition, interfaces that control interactions, learning, making connections as well as domotics. In addition, elements of BUDDY's mechanics are open so that developers can build accessories."

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