Humans, we are a social group. To that end, we are pre-programmed to develop technology that helps us stay connected to others. Loona is an adorable pet robot that will melt your heart, or at least act as a loyal smart home companion (preferably both).
Loona seems like a nice middle ground between Anki’s Cozmo cuteness and Amazon’s high-end Astro homebot. The focus here is definitely on younger users, but kids of “all ages” might be enamored with her charm, and Loona has her own analogue that she already has. It seems designed to interact well with pets.
Loona has a 3D camera and edge sensors for navigating your home, as well as regular cameras for face detection and object recognition. Equipped with four microphones, Loona can pinpoint your location when you beckon and touch sensors to lean into your headstrokes with eerie biological believability. I can. At launch, the company claims it will respond to numerous verbal commands and gestures, with new ones being added continuously. It also provides graphical programming tools so you can create your own interactions and a community to share them.
One of Loona’s appealing features is her expressive personality. Loona’s digital eyes are stunningly clear, just like in a Disney movie. The company indicated that there may also be options to add custom expressions and emotes further down.
Loona is not only a digital pet, but also acts as a home security and surveillance system. The upside is you can point her around the house to find out where IRL cats are hiding. Two full days, you’re worried, but it turns out she’s been sleeping in one place the whole time.
Loona originally launched on Kickstarter and has secured over $3 million in funding, indicating at least a lot of interest in the category. The robot is currently shipping to backers and will be generally available later this month on the company’s website, retailing for $449. Enthusiasts can purchase it now from the IndieGoGo page for $359.