RoboKind introduces first affordable social robot: ZENO R25

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1. Education
Zeno R25 represents an innovative, effective and engaging platform for computer science curriculums. These humanoid robots have human faces that respond physically and emotionally to their surroundings and the people around them. They are the most life­like robots in the world.
Now available as a physical robot with a virtual avatar for each student, Zeno R25 is a powerful instructional tool. The R25 is an easy add-on to enhance or extend existing computer science coursework - and provides ideal learning opportunities for a robotics club or computer science competition.

1.1. Foreign Language
Experts in computer language training developed courses in foreign languages to be delivered by Zeno. Foreign language lessons will be available to young children when learning new languages is easiest.

1.2. Increase Vocabulary
Robokind robots can help increase the size of a child's vocabulary through reading games, interactive storytelling and the ability to answer questions. Vocabulary size of younger children is one of the best predictors of long-term academic success.

1.3. Reading (Recitation)
Zeno R25 will listen to a child read and help them learn how to correctly pronounce and recite words and passages. The student can ask the robot questions about the passage or individual words.

1.4. Reading Comprehension
Students can read stories and then answer questions posed by the robot to assess their comprehension. Zeno R25 will assess comprehension of sequencing, differentiating between fact and opinion and developing word awareness (through antonyms, synonyms, and homophones).

1.5. History
Zeno R25 will teach historical events and be able to answer questions and provide additional information about historical figures, events, places and anything else related to the topic. Zeno R25 can provide this information because of RoboKind's advanced question answering system.

1.6. Science
Zeno R25 will teach science in an interactive way, answering questions, providing examples and supplementing the information by providing students with images, videos and interactive programs on their tablets or computers as part of the lesson.

1.7. GeographyZeno R25 will teach geography, using student's tablets, computers or the class projector to visually supplement the lessons. Zeno will be able to answer questions and provide more in depth information to curious students.

1.8. Math
Zeno R25 can teach math for many age groups, utilizing best practices for teaching math and playing math related games with students. Zeno R25 can explain methods and show students different ways to solve problems of varying difficulty.

1.9. RoboSTEPS
RoboSTEPS is a high school course for teaching Computer Science; it can be used as a complete curriculum, supplemental materials to an existing curriculum, or exercises for an after school program. Students will learn to program Zeno and will have access to their own Virtual World with a simulation of Zeno.

2. Autism Therapy:
RoboKind is designing advanced robots for a new purpose: making an emotional connection to children with autism who often struggle to interact with other people. These children often have difficulty reading human emotions and social cues, and these skills can be taught using a humanoid robot.
RoboKind's Zeno R25 is an innovative, effective and engaging platform that supports an autism curriculum by using human­like expressive faces and a functioning body for communication, conversation, social behaviors and robot­human interaction.

2.1. Emotional Recognition
Autism therapy modules help children with Autism better recognize emotional expressions in others. Zeno can display a wide range of facial expressions and show videos of the same expressions in other children.

2.2. Emotional Understanding
The Autism therapy modules go beyond just recognizing emotions. They teach children to better understand the emotions they see in others and feel themselves, and how to best respond to these emotions.

2.3. Behavioral Understanding
Many modules are focused on helping children with Autism understand and cope with the complex social dynamics of everyday life. These modules teach children to identify many different behaviors in others and themselves.

2.4. Social Situations
Autism lessons include several modules on proper behaviors in different social situations such as hosting or attending a party. Zeno is able to help children with Autism understand different social settings and be a partner for practicing.

2.5. Record Sessions for Professional Review
Zeno is able to record each session with the child using his camera and microphone array; the child's tablet will eventually be able to provide a second audio and video stream. Sessions can be recorded and shared with therapists and Autism professionals, or streamed for review in near real-time.

3. Hobbyist:

3.1. Open­Source Programming
Most of the software is open source and free to use. Anyone can use the software and development tools to program new features and activities for Zeno.

3.2. Bud­E Lesson Framework
The educational lessons use Bud­E, a framework for delivering lessons through Zeno with tablet connectivity. New lessons on any subject can be developed and delivered using the Bud­E Framework.

4. Higher Education (University Research and Teaching)

4.1. Robotics programming and control
Universities can use the R25 as both a teaching a research platform, teaching students programming for movement, vision, sensor data and social interaction. RoboKind gives students all of the tools to start your programming experience at a higher level.

4.2. Human­Robot­Interaction
Researchers can use Zeno R25 as a platform to investigate Human­Robot­Interaction (HRI) in ways never before possible in a single robot. They can take advantage of all of the amazing social interactive possibilities with Zeno R25.

4.3. Autonomous or Semi­Autonomous Control
Students and Researchers can use Zeno R25 to both teach and investigate methods of autonomous and semi­autonomous control. Researchers can use RoboKind's existing control methods or develop their own.

5. Entertainment

5.1. Performs Books and Stories
Zeno R25 can tell stories, acting out characters, changing his voice and truly bring a story to life. Nothing else can educate and entertain like this robot.

5.2. Interactive Stories
Zeno R25 brings a whole new element to interactive fiction. You can choose your own story path, interact with characters and really have a unique experience with every story.

5.3. Jokes and Games
Zeno R25 can tell jokes appropriate for any age and play games. Zeno R25 has access to databases of joke and game content safe for kids of all ages.

5.4. Online Question Answering
Zeno is able to listen for a question using speech recognition, and search for an answer online. You can ask Zeno about anything from history and science to sports scores and the weather.

5.5. Music and Dancing
Zeno will be able to detect a beat in the background and dance along to the music with FunkTank software. Zeno will also be able to detect claps and whistling, and over time play along with a song and teach music lessons.

6. Intelligence:

6.1. Vision Processing
Zeno uses OpenCV to access all kinds of computer vision algorithms. He can detect faces, motions, colors, and read QR codes. Anyone with programming experience can use OpenCV to make zeno smarter and recognize different faces and objects.

6.2. Audio Localization and Noise Cancellation
Zeno comes with a powerful 8­microphone array and audio processor to detect where sound is coming from and filter out unwanted noise. Whether Zeno is answer a question, listening for an answer or voice command, or even teaching pronunciation of a foreign language, he can hear you clearly.

6.3. Kinematic Motion Planning
Kinematic modeling and motion planning algorithms can generate appropriate expressions. Zeno will move naturally and have unique gestures for different situations.

6.4. CompuCompassion
Zeno comes with state-of-the-art, and NSF funded, CompuCompassion system for emotional awareness and theory of mind. Zeno can recognize and understand emotions to help him learn and more intelligently interact. Zeno will have a personality of his own to alter how content is delivered to better fit the mood.

7. Hardware

7.1. Computer
● Processor: OMAP 4460 Dual Core 1.5 GHz ARM Cortex A9
● Storage: 8GB + MicroSD Expansion slot
● Networking: WIFI 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0; Ehternet, 10/100/1000 Mbps
● Video: HDMI 1.3a 1080P and 240x320 Resistive Touchscreen on chest
● Battery: 14.8v 2200mAh LiPo
● Power Supply: 15v DC 6A

7.2. Sensors
● 9 axis IMU (3,3,3 compass, gyro, accelerometer)
● 9 Capacitive touch zones across body
● 240x320 resistive touch screen
● IR distance sensor and ambient light sensor (foot)
● 2 axis IR distance sensor (waist)
● Can be used to detect basic gestures
● Can return distance and angle of object in its field
● Camera: 5MP Camera sensor with autofocus (right eye)
● Microphone array: eight-microphone array used for noise cancellation, audio localization and enhancing speaker voice clarity
● NFC: Standard NFC communication device for communicating with devices and recognizing tagged objects.

Body (21 Motors)
● The R25 Has 6 facial degrees of freedom, these are: smile/frown, jaw open/close, eyebrows up/down, eyes turn left/right, eyes up/down, eyelids open/close
● The R25 face utilizes Robokind's world-renowned facial expressions for social interaction and natural non­verbal communication.
● Facial expressions are of importance in the establishment of relationships with others.
● No other robots on the market are capable of facial expressions.
● The face as a whole communicates emotional states, such as happiness or sadness. The seven universally recognized emotions shown through facial expressions are fear, anger, surprise, contempt, disgust, happiness and sadness. The R25 can show these universal emotions and many more.

7.3. Body (15 DOF)
Face (6 DOF)
● Neck: 1 Yaw, 1 Roll (This joint is linked to eye up/down)
● Arms: 2 shoulder rotations, 1 elbow, 1 wrist, 1 hand open/close
● Waist: 1 rotation
● Walking Legs: 3 DOF, Walks forward, backwards, turns

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As the world leader in social advanced robotics, Robokind combined its years of experience and research to develop a robot with the same capabilities as those it built for universities at an affordable cost. Robokind selects the Kickstarter platform to reach out to the most fans and supporters of advanced robotics to introduce ZENO R25, covering manufacturing costs and more software research and development.

The Kickstarter campaign launched on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

Click here to donate.

Visit for more information.

$1 goes a long way. Robokind Robots will use the support from Kickstarter backers to bring ZENO R25 to life and into homes. The help will provide support of manufacturing ZENO and continued software research and development for future automatic updates and enhancements to ZENO.

"ZENO with its advanced interactive abilities will usher in the new era of advanced social robotics - an era where people and robots interact for entertainment, education and social development," said Fred Margolin, CEO of Robokind.

Through Kickstarter, there are ten specific donation options for robot fanatics, educational and science supporters, from $1 to $10,000. ZENO R25 prototype is available at the $2,699 level with a unique avatar world, T-shirt, sticker and much gratitude by RoboKind.

ZENO R25 creation is lead by RoboKind Director of Engineering Richard Margolin who has been a part of the success behind renowned robots like Einstein, Diego, Julio and Bina. The RoboKind team behind ZENO R25 has spent the past two years developing and testing different prototypes and working with manufacturing partners to create what will be the first affordable advance social robot in the world.

As the world leader in social advanced robotics, Robokind makes the experience of interacting with robots more natural and more personal than ever before. With the unique ability to intelligently engage the people around them, Robokind robots make it fun for both children and adults to learn new subjects and explore new ideas. Robokind robots initiate new conversations based on what people are doing.

This interactive communication between humankind and Robokind helps create a shared experience that empowers people and encourages them.

Robokind mission is to design and build a new series of social robots that allow people to interact with robots in a more natural manner and on a more personal level than ever before. The robots natural engagement with people will be a platform for helping people learn and grow. Further, the company will continue to reduce the cost of these robots so that more people in society can take advantage of the capabilities that these robots have to offer.