Robots/Drones
The Robelf is the least threatening home alarm system ever

The vision of the autonomous robot in the home is a long-time marker of the crowdfunding world. Years ago, teams around the world were trying to peddle that idea and now, it continues with better equipment and more robust feature sets.

Another entrant into the segment is the Robelf from Taiwan, an odd-faced roving home robot that features a range of abilities to help facilitate everyday life. For one, its main purpose is to serve as a home alarm system. Its moving monitoring function has it patrol the home and notify users through its Wi-Fi connection of abnormal activity with the help of its 5MP front camera. When it is low on battery, its iBeacon-based Bluetooth transmitter signals Robelf to return to it charging dock and continue monitoring from there.

Whether mobile or docked, it can recognize family members and play voice messages for them, for instance. And instead of having to control it manually, Robelf responds to voice commands, like ‘read a book’ or ‘tell me the weather’, in conjunction with its Life Assistant features. What’s truly notable about Robelf’s design is its detachable 1080p back camera that can be docked elsewhere for better angles when video chatting. All these talents are available to backers for $349 and are expected to ship in July 2017. The Robelf campaign is looking for $100,000 by November 2016.

Compared to more feature-rich and steeply expensive options like AMY, the Robelf is a capable home robot that’s decently priced. Still, it’s sort of clunky and probably not as responsive as it should be, making the prospect of this ending up as anything but something that takes up space in the closet highly likely.