When one hears the name Segway, they typically think back to the two-wheeled self-balancing scooters the company became known for back in the early 2000s. Of course, robotics is a big part of enhancing these personal transport devices, and today the company has announced the launch and presale of Loomo, “a smart machine that toggles between a mini personal transporter and mobile robot sidekick.”
“Segway-Ninebot has already put millions of wheels on the ground that cover 180 million kilometers each year. But what happens if you combine Segway’s proven mobility technology with cutting-edge AI? Well say hello to Loomo,” said Li Pu, President of Segway Robotics. “For many, Loomo is a reflection of our movie fantasies growing up… it embodies our vision of how mobile personal robots can become a part of our everyday lives.”
The core technologies that power Loomo feature the Segway Mini Plus’ magnesium alloy base with more than 400 self-balancing patents, quick response motion control system, 11-inch anti-slip tires, speeds of up to 11mph (17.5km/h), and a range of up to 22 miles (35km). Equipped with an Intel RealSense ZR300 camera coupled with infrared-distance and ultrasonic sensors, Loomo can sense depth and track motion for obstacle avoidance. The robot also features a 3-axis gimbal stabilized 1080p HD camera for video capture and a 5-microphone array allowing it to recognize voice commands and determine voice and noise direction.
Loom is also equipped with deep learning and computer vision technologies consisting of a Human Understanding System (HUS) and an object Detection and Tracking System (DTS).
DTS enables the detection and tracking of multiple-objects in real time, and is the foundation for many applications. HUS enables Loomo to recognize faces and understand human properties, e.g. gender, gestures, and other behaviors that are required for human understanding and interaction analysis.
Finally, Loomo is built on a customized Android platform and Segway has made their SDK free for developers which, coupled with a hardware extension bay in the back of the robot, allows for greater flexibility and range of creative options.
Key features and specifications of Loomo include:
- Self-Balancing Transporter: Smooth ride experience across most terrain types, with speeds of up to 11 MPH, and the capacity to cover 22 miles in one charge; a voice-based tutorial allows anyone to learn how to ride Loomo in mere minutes
- Auto-Follow Expert: With advanced computer vision, Loomo can follow you autonomously, shoot stabilized video, and more
- Avatar: Use your smartphone as a remote control to access all of Loomo’s capabilities – see, speak, interact, and explore as if you are Loomo
- Friendly & Expressive Personality: Powered by its emotion engine, Loomo’s lovable nature and lighthearted expressions will cheer you up and impress everyone around you
- Multiple Control Methods: You can control Loomo via your smartphone app, voice command, gestures and touch sensors
- New Skills Unlocked Over-the-Air (OTA): Loomo will continuously update its software and app OTA to include new features
- Free Loomo Android SDK for developers: Directly access Loomo’s mobility and AI capabilities to build a range of playful features or practical solutions
- LCD Screen: 4.3 inch, 480 x 800 pixels
- HD Camera: 1080p 30Hz streaming with 104 degrees FOV
- 3D Camera: Intel RealSense ZR300 Camera for depth-sensing & motion tracking
- Sensors Available: Ultrasonic sensors, infrared distance sensors, touch sensors, encoders, IMUs
- Processor: Intel Atom Z8750, 4 cores 2.56GHz, x86-64
- Operating System: Customized system based on Android 5.1
- Memory: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB
- Speed Limit: 8km/h (4.3mph) in robot mode, 18km/h (11mph) in self-balancing vehicle mode
- Typical Range: ~35km (22 miles) per charge
- Traversable Terrain: Paved road and sidewalks, packed dirt, slopes < 15°, obstacles < 0.4 inch (1cm), gaps < 1.2 inch (3cm)
- Mic Array: 5 microphones enabling beamforming, voice localization and voice command recognition
- Battery: Capacity 329Wh
- Waterproof: IPX4
- Size: 650mm height, 310mm length, 570mm width
- Weight: ~19kg (~42 lbs.)
Loomo is available for pre-order on Indiegogo for the early bird pricing of $1299USD with shipping anticipated in May 2018. The company has already raised 171% of it’s $100,000USD funding goal. As with any crowdfunding campaign, there is a risk supporting them. We’ve recently heard about several that we’ve written about that have failed or are having issues. Our reporting on Kickstarter campaigns does not mean we support or are affiliated with them. Support at your own risk.
What do you think about the Loomo “mini-transporter-meets-robot-sidekick” from Segway Robotics? Hopefully, the stars will align and we’ll be able to review Loomo at some point, if not and you do end up picking one up, be sure to let us know how it works out for you! Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.Pre-order from Indiegogo