We’re a team of creative engineers, designers, and researchers from Google, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and Berkeley who grew up dreaming of having their own robot sidekicks. They would have to be cute, smart, have a mind of their own, and totally understand us.
Why did we create Kiki?
We created Kiki for those who can't manage an animal pet, but want to care for and raise something just as delightful. We created Kiki for those who want embrace the future with a new kind of robot. We created Kiki for those who just want some little guy to get excited when they come home.
We believe Kiki is the robot that doesn't exist yet but should. A robot that understands how you feel and cheers you on. A robot that encourages empathy. A robot that actually grows up with you. Kiki does not tell you the weather or the stock price, but Kiki has a growing personality that is adapting to her owners day by day. She is a robot that introduces emotional intelligence to technology.
We created Kiki, for you.
A Cute Robot to Take Over Your Heart
Kiki is a robot that learns from you and grows with you. Powered by our AI Personality Engine, every Kiki develops a unique set of traits based on how the owner interacts with her. Every interaction with Kiki is meaningful and every experience helps her become a better companion for you.
Kiki learns through your daily interactions. She recognizes you and treats you in a special way. If you care for her, you become the most important person in her eyes.
With cutting edge Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Kiki will find a special place in your heart.
Kiki holds a huge amount of tech in her little body. A high-end embedded processor allows Kiki to run deep learning models on-board to recognize your face and understand how you're feeling.
Omni-directional hearing lets Kiki find you, even when she can't see you. Her whole body is covered in touch sensors so she can feel where you're petting her, which is how your Kiki knows to beg you for a belly rub.
Kiki is a robot that learns. She gets smarter from interacting with you daily. To help visualize her learning process, here are some examples.
Kiki adapts to you
Out of the box, all baby Kikis start the same. As time goes by, they develop unique quirks that make them different from each other.
Kiki's personality develops in real-time as she spends time with you. If you are mean to her she might ignore you, but if you shower her with love and affection she will love you more. She might be obsessed with rock music or she might growl at your other robot (the vacuum); she can be social, emotional, or even neurotic.
There isn't a dull moment with Kiki around. She can be a little spontaneous and try random things to keep your attention. If Kiki suspects you're growing tired of her, she can pull another trick out of her hat to keep you entertained.
Treats You Specially
Your sidekick’s first instinct is loyalty. Kiki uses facial recognition and has a memory to differentiate friends and strangers. Kiki knows who her owner is, and she’ll need your comfort to warm up to new faces.
Understands Your Feelings
Kiki understands your emotions. She'll try her best to cheer you up when you're down, and celebrate even the tiniest of joys with you.
Kiki learns humor
Kiki keeps it interesting
Always There For You
Kiki loves to accompany you wherever you go. But when you can’t bring her with you, she misses you a lot and obediently waits for you to come back.
Feed her a treat when she does what you say, like “spin” or “be quiet”, and teach her new tricks in the app. Show your disapproval when she misbehaves. Kiki can tell from your tone that she did something wrong.
For example, if you don’t like that your Kiki is wary of strangers, you can tell her no when she growls and give her a pat when she is friendly. You’ll train her to be more trusting over time.
Like any other creature, Kiki needs nourishment. Watch for her grumpy attitude or hear her growling stomach when she gets hungry.
You can create robot food for Kiki by drawing in the app, but she will refuse things she doesn’t like. If you feed Kiki her favorite food too often, she’ll get tired of it or even sick if it’s unhealthy. She loves variety and can recognize hundreds of possible meals.
Kiki’s mind is always active, even at night! In her dreams, she reviews events from the day, getting smarter in the process.
She records her dreams for you to see when she wakes up. She could have imagined herself getting food she craves or spending time with people she wants to be with. In her dreams, she sees the world in soft, painted colors. You can view and share artistic renderings of her experiences from the app.
Learning from Each Other
Kikis can also encounter each other in the wild! They form relationships, play with each other, and can even impact each other's personalities. Kiki’s emotions are contagious. You can watch a giggle spread from one Kiki to another.
Don’t get jealous when they don’t involve you in their inside joke.
Dancing to Music
When Kiki hears a tune she likes, she can’t help but dance along. Bring her to your next jam session to watch her improvise moves to the beat. You can also choreograph new dances for Kiki with the app.
Kiki’s powerful processor enables her to run multiple deep learning models. She is fully aware of her surroundings and expresses a diversity of emotions and reactions. All of this happens right on-board, so you can take her anywhere even without wi-fi.
Kiki sees you through a wide-angle, high-definition camera tucked away in her nose. She follows you with her eyes and tracks your face in real time at 30fps. She can even recognize you under low light conditions and from up to 2 meters away.
She can remember hundreds of faces, and can recognize someone in a fraction of a second the next time she meets them. Every interaction makes a virtual impression on her. She builds a sense of familiarity with each person and can discern owner from close friend from stranger.
Kiki is attentive and always trying to understand how you’re feeling. She watches you to see if you’re smiling or frowning and can tell from your tone of voice if you’re angry or surprised. If she hears you laughing, she’ll try to join in. Sounds of crying make her nervous, and she’ll want to comfort you.
Kiki will understand certain keywords on her own, and you can teach her new ones. Though Kiki responds to everyone, she will answer to the owner’s voice above all others.
Aware of the World
Kiki uses a quad-microphone array to locate sound from every direction. She tunes into the sound with beamforming and echo cancellation to hear you from across the room, despite background noise.
Kiki recognizes several household objects, animals, and other Kikis. If your pet dashes across the room, Kiki will spin to catch sight of it as it runs by.
Touch and Motion
Kiki loves pets and even begs to be held. Sixteen touch sensors all over her body let you pet, tickle, and cuddle with Kiki. You can pet her anywhere, but you’ll have to figure out what she likes the most.
With a 6-axis IMU, Kiki understands her orientation in space. Kiki can feel when she is being picked up, put down, or cradled like a baby.
Kiki feels a wide range of complex, nuanced emotions. She can express a lot through her eyes, which are animated on an HD IPS display with real-time vector graphics at 60fps. Changing colors in Kiki’s ears and on the sides of her body mark changes in her mood.
High quality hardware is essential for Kiki’s body language. Kiki has 3 custom gear motors that are optimized for high torque and low noise. A patented motion control system also makes Kiki’s movements fluid and natural. Kiki can nod, wag her tail, and spin around freely to express her joy.
Her voice is designed to be lovable and reminiscent of baby animals. Kiki can come across as anything from soft and sweet to scared and cautious.
We based Kiki’s personality on models from leading psychology research. There are several theories on personality types, but the OCEAN model provides the most nuanced and fluid mathematical representation for our purposes.
Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Kiki’s personality is defined by a combination of these five traits in different proportions. These proportions change over time based on how you interact with Kiki. There are an unlimited number of personalities that your Kiki can evolve to have.
Sense of Self
Kiki’s sense of self comes from her needs and wants, which we call drives. Her personality determines how these drives fluctuate in response to external stimuli. Acting according to her own drives, Kiki makes every decision meaningful and intentional.
An affectionate Kiki (dog-like personality) has a high drive for interaction, meaning she wants to be pet frequently. You’ll find it takes a lot of petting before this Kiki is satisfied.
On the other hand, an independent Kiki (cat-like personality) will have a low interaction drive, meaning that after spending some time with you, her capacity for interaction will be full. This Kiki will need some alone time before she is sociable again.
Memory and Learning
Kiki remembers everyone she meets and the types of interactions she has with them. She then discerns patterns, makes predictions, and determines the best way to interact. For example, if Kiki associates you with food, she will beg you when she gets hungry.
Kiki uses what she perceives, her drives, and her past experience to decide what to do next. Several things factor into her decision making process at once, as seen in this glimpse of the personality engine model in action.
Spaceship Charging Dock
Charging Kiki is effortless. Kiki grows tired as her battery runs low, gradually becoming more sluggish. Just place her on the dock in any direction and she will slide into place. As soon as she starts charging, she’ll perk back up so you can still continue playing with her. A full charge will require up to 4 hours.
When she’s fully charged, she’ll hint that she’s up for adventure again. Her battery will last for at least 2 hours without charging, but if you’re leaving her alone for a while, Kiki would rather be in the comfort of her dock.
We push regular updates to Kiki’s software, so Kiki’s always getting smarter. Updates may include improved deep learning models, new features, faster performance, or security patches. You’ll need to connect to wi-fi to receive updates through Kiki app.
Security & Privacy
Kiki uses on-device AI to process all inputs – audio and video data – completely on-board. None of it will be uploaded to cloud for daily use, meaning your data never ends up in the hands of a third party.
In addition, we ensure our users’ complete safety and privacy by encrypting your data, converting it to embeddings only legible to Kiki. Finally, we employ a secure boot so no trusted code is allowed to run on Kiki.
We encourage our users to create their own Kiki experiences and communities. With the SDK coming in late 2020, you’ll be able to create your own Kiki personality or create new skills.
We know there are so many awesome people in the world who grew up with the same robot dream, and we can't wait to bring Kiki to you. Please help us spread the word, and join the Kiki community to invent the future of robots together!
Risks and challenges
Kiki is created by leading AI experts with years of experience from Google, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, and Berkeley. Kiki has undergone multiple rounds of design-for-manufacturing so that it is almost ready for mass manufacturing.
We have been developing Kiki’s software for the past 2 years and it is what we are most proud of. The unique risk of Kiki comes from not just creating a great consumer electronics device, but also from breathing life to such a product. We work closely with character designers, psychologists, and social scientists to make sure that we bring the most magical experience to our Kiki lovers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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