Winky is a very cute new companion robot. With a somewhat catlike appearance, it can react to its environment, and to input.
And it’s designed to teach a child about robotics, including what a robot is–and is not.
Created by Paris-based robotics startup MainBot, Winky will respond to simple actions–such as being hugged. Hugs and other environmental factors amount to elementary coding. But Winky’s based on an important principle.
“It’s not a pet. It’s not a human,” says MainBot Chief Business Officer and roboticist Nicolas George. During CES® 2018’s Eureka Park™ Marketplace, Nicolas discussed the principles behind the creation of Winky, along with the ways he and his fellow makers designed it, to teach kids to differentiate between a robot and a living thing.
Winky, which a group of “passionate roboticist” friends built as a companion robot for children, was developed in collaboration with a board of educational experts. Going beyond teaching children coding and robotics, Winky also addresses the principles and thinking behind creating a robot.
Nicolas talked about the ways Winky works, the story behind the robot and the ways he and his fellow roboticists would like to teach future generations about robots.
On this edition of Over Coffee®, you will hear:
How children learn about robotics with Winky and augmented reality;
The goal behind the creation of this particular robot;
How children can learn to interact with and code Winky;
What the robot can do;
MainBot’s upcoming launch plans and goals;
Both the premise and the story of the creation of this companion teaching robot;
Some of the funny reactions children have had, while playing with the robot.