It’s possible your Roomba has more to say online than you do.
A new social network, MyRobots, hopes to be the “Facebook for robots.” The network allows users to connect their robotic devices, which can then post status updates like, “The cat is in my way” or “my bin is full.” Users can monitor their devices remotely and add to the capabilities of their robotics by connecting them to the site.
This isn’t the first time robotics fans have attempted to give their devices personality and human-like traits.
In addition to communicating with their users, robots can communicate with each other and share information in order to perform complicated tasks, says Carlos Asmat, who is coordinating the MyRobots project.
Launched on Dec. 20, MyRobots is a marketing maneuver by RobotShop.com, a website that sells personal robotics. MyRobots, however, will not be a short-lived publicity stunt and will operate like a social network for robots. This raises some ethical concerns considering the network and its features are all tired to a for-profit robotics company.
The network is off to a slow start with only 227 public robots registered. But the company points out that they have many more private robots registered on the site, as well as humans who have yet to connect their devices. Humans can also join the social network and communicate with their robots.
“The community response is growing much faster than we initially expected,” Asmat says. “We are definitely happy to have so many robots in just a week of operation.” Asmat said they hope MyRobots attracts a fraction of the estimated 50 billion devices that will be connected to the cloud by 2020.
The platform supports 17 different types of personal robotics from the Roomba vacuum to aldebaran karotz, a small robotic rabbit. Intelligent devices and hardware that connect to the internet can join MyRobots using the open source API.
In the coming weeks, the site will introduce functions such as commenting, brainstorming and social sharing. MyRobots is also working on a robot app store in their cloud and are soliciting developers to create apps. MyRobots will take a 25% transaction fee but their website says it offers developers a chance to create a brand on a platform in beta.
Currently, the service is free, but the site says it will soon start charging.
Do you think a robot social network will take off or is this a marketing ploy? Please tell us in the comments.