Technology
Luna personal robot juggles affordability, an open platform, your breakfast

Countless pieces of literature, television shows, and films have all hinted of a future where human beings live side by side with robots. For the most part, robotics of this kind are currently either too simple, or far too advanced and exuberantly priced as a result. As a result, there isn’t much of a middle ground, unless the something like Luna personal robot is considered.

Honda’s AISMO is a great example of a human-sized personal robot that has been attempted, but that was ultimately a dud in its potential for real-world applications. Luna differs in that its sole purpose is to exist as a personal, completely open, and affordable robotics platform for the home. Being that Luna is based on Linux, it presents developers with a familiar platform for creating applications for Luna’s app store. In addition to expanding Luna’s capabilities with apps, easily upgradeable internals along with its seven USB ports make it so that Luna can easily grow.

The Luna lasts about eight hours, making it useful throughout the day for a variety of purposes. With its movable arms and HD camera, Luna can watch over the elderly, provide light security, and even provide nursing assistance in a hospital setting. All of these functions are only limited by the community’s imagination in the kinds of apps it creates. Backers can enjoy a $300 discount on Luna’s $1,499 retail price with a reservation of $199, while a developer model can be reserved for $999. Luna is expected to ship in December 2015, should the campaign’s reach its $500,000 goal.

Applying the same apps, services, and accessories model for other smart devices to a robotics platform is a smart way to go in this category. Though its price will have to go down to get it as mainstream as it would like to be. The device is sleek and charming, but will face the same challenges most technology like this faces in its integration with the rest of people’s lives.