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Cortana gets a robotic body and comes to life with Nanabot

A project on crowdfunding site Indiegogo is bringing life to Windows Phone 8.1's new speech assistant by allowing Cortana to control an off-the-shelf robot. By connecting a Windows Phone handset, in this case a Nokia Lumia, to a WowWee robot called RoboMe, the developer is able to control the robot with an app. With Cortana behind the robot, RoboMe gains a new set of personality and hence the name Nanabot.

Pledging for the project starts at $10 for the basic version of the software. If the funding goal is met, the developer says that an open source toolkit will be released so that other developers can build on top of the work. The developer hopes that Windows Phone could be leveraged for building robotic apps.

According to the campaign, Nanabot:

  1. Gives you full control over RoboMe's movements including forward backward, spin left & right, spin left & right in fixed angle increments, head tilt up & down.
  2. Gives you full access to RoboMe's infrared obstacle sensors including the 100cm, 50cm, 20cm and Edge detection sensors. You'll also know when someone is shaking RoboMe's right hand and have access to the battery level reports.
  3. Allows you to easily control the main LED, the ability to turn the various sensors.
  4. Gives you the ability to redirect audio input so that you can get it from RoboMe's microphone and use it for speech recognition and audio message recording purposes.

Source: Indiegogo, Via: Nokia Conversations

Chuong's passion for gadgets began with the humble PDA. Since then, he has covered a range of consumer and enterprise devices, raning from smartphones to tablets, laptops to desktops and everything in between for publications like Pocketnow, Digital Trends, Wareable, Paste Magazine, and TechRadar in the past before joining the awesome team at Windows Central. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, when not working, he likes exploring the diverse and eclectic food scene, taking short jaunts to wine country, soaking in the sun along California's coast, consuming news, and finding new hiking trails. For news tips or to connect, please message him on the Signal messaging app at +1 (424) 666-7438. 

18 Comments
  • this sounds totally awesome. I just watched "Her" the other day and it made me think of if in the future we'll be talking to our phones and our phones will be talking back, conversationally, with its own personality. I mean that movie only took place in 2025, who knows what the future will bring by then.
  • If you want to try out the conversation tech you see in the video, download SideWords from the Windows Phone Store. It's free and you play the game just by talking to it.  It's the same tech behind Nanabot and you actually see the game in the video when Nanabot activates it.  I wrote the app and the Nanabot software.
  • Not looking extremely impressive. How is Cortana personality reflected in anything it does?
  • Doesn't even sound like her. Very stilted.
  • Nicely done. Now someone make a lifesize Cortana robot body. ⌒.⌒ since Hologram is still in early development. I don't believe that tho.
  • I got you :)
  • Who wouldn't want to have one. ^o^ oh, Cortana, what are you doing!.........just kidding. =P
  • Did you see the Femisapien talking to Nanabot at the end of the video?
  • Shut up and take my money.
  • O.o that is pretty awesome.
  • Thanks TechFreak1!
  • I don't like ita form but its cool
  • I will use his idea for my real robots :)
  • Kicked in $20
  • Thanks for the contribution!
  • The Robot on the left side looks like Nyx assassin from Dota2. :)
  • It's a WowWee Roboqued robot and it's one of my favorite robots.
  • Hey Cortana, Wash my clothes