Preferred Robotics, a Japanese robotics startup, has launched a robot for home use called Kachaka. Kachaka is able to deliver items by attaching to the bottom of a specially designed table fitted with caster wheels.
Kachaka uses verbal commands or input from an app to bring items like dishes and condiments to the dining room table or bring books and drinks right to you on the sofa. You simply place an item on top of the robot’s fitted table, tell it where to go, and the robot delivers the item there. Users can also set specific times for items to be delivered every day, like medicine or books and magazines.
The robot is equipped with sensors and a camera so that it will not crash into walls, furniture or other obstacles. While it is not able to navigate steps, it is able to use AI to analyze its camera’s images to locate people or furniture in the room and decide the best route to take.
The robot weighs 10 kg, around 22 lbs, and can carry up to 20 kg, around 44 lbs, including the attached table. It can travel at up to 80 centimeters per second, around 31 inches per second. It is about the size of a robotic vacuum cleaner, so it can easily maneuver through difficult-to-navigate parts of the home.
Kachaka can come with a double- or triple-shelf table and is priced starting at ¥251,800, around $1,800, and users also need to pay ¥980 a month, around $7 a month, for the related app.
Preferred Robotics is a subsidiary of Preferred Networks and was established in 2014. The company aims to provide robots that assist humans through AI technology and supercomputers.
In November 2022, Labrador Systems announced it received the first reservations for its assistive robots from several organizations in home care and senior living. The company’s Retriever Pro is a home robot that can lighten the load of daily activities for people whose pain, injury or other health conditions by physically bringing essential items within reach. Retriever is large enough to carry bigger items like a laundry basket, but can still navigate tight spaces of homes.
Mike Dooley, co-founder and CEO of robotics startup Labrador Systems, was a guest on The Robot Report Podcast last year. He detailed how the Calabasas, Calif.-based company is developing its autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for home environments. You can listen to that episode here.