Recently Elon Musk appeared on stage teasing the world with a new robot project. At the same time about 1000 autonomous Toadi worker robots were tending gardens all over Europe. Clearly, the robot revolution has started and as far as the Toadi team is concerned this time Europe will be playing a major role.
At this very moment more than 1000 personal worker robots are tending gardens all over Europe. And that is not a small feat. Robots have inspired futurists and technology enthusiasts for decades, bringing us a plethora of robots in all shapes and forms. But thanks to advances in robotics, computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI), truly autonomous robots are finally becoming a reality. These are exactly the technologies the 60 person Toadi team has been focusing on with one goal: give the world personal worker robots to expedite the transition to a sustainable world.
Robots have gone through a long evolution. It started with fake robots as a fairground attraction which were actually controlled by a hidden human inside the machine. In the second half of the 20th century robots started playing a role in popular culture through TV and cinema and by the end of last century the first functional robots became a reality.
Although they are a marvel of technology, most of today's robots are not really smart. They do repetitive tasks following standard instructions, without moving around freely. Having a robot go places without human intervention has for a long time been the next frontier. Even the impressive Boston Dynamics robots are in fact remote controlled and the rapidly developing self driving cars still require constant human supervision.
Robots that are truly autonomous today have been developed primarily to do mechanical operations in the confined environment of a factory. The closest thing to an autonomous, consumer ready robot are probably Tesla cars. Hence it’s not surprising that Elon Musk plans to use Tesla’s AI and computer vision experience to build a personal robot in the coming years.
As far as Toadi is concerned, there is no time to lose: the world is ready to cross the autonomous navigation frontier. The Toadi team has been working for more then three years on both hard- and software for a personal robot that is capable of moving around in challenging and changing circumstances. Toadi has acquired the necessary AI to navigate any garden, without driving into a pool or harming pets, distinguishing flowers from grass and a brick path from a patch of bare soil. All year round, come rain or shine … yes, the Toadi robot also detects rain.
Thanks to it’s innovative and sustainable approach to manufacturing, using 3D printing with renewable materials, Toadi has successfully delivered more than 1000 robots in Europe. “By actually having all these robots in the field our artificial intelligence is improved on a daily basis” says founder Wesley Lorrez, “We are currently developing more tools on our platform so our robot will become a true personal assistant taking over boring tasks.”