Introducing New Technology: Peeqo, The GIF Talking Robot
Abhishek Singh created the Peeqo technology after graduating from NYU’s ITP program. He learned a lot about the future of computing. During his time at the university he fell in love with hardware and programming work. This is a robot that replies only in animated video clips (GIFs).
Singh said, “I’ve always been fascinated by robots and I built this as part of my thesis at ITP. One of the reasons I wanted to build this bot was because I feel a lot of the conversation on social robotics today centers around their inability to express emotion or to be relatable. I love GIFs as much as every other person and they’ve become a universal language of sorts on the internet and beyond, capable of depicting almost anything from emotion to information. Often a GIF just says it better.”
Peeqo has a narrow vocabulary but is a surprisingly great communicator. He does standard stuff like google searches, can turn off your lights, and load up Spotify. Almost every interaction is followed by a unique GIF. You can play music and even start his camera so he can record your unique voice as you realize GIFs are now a type of communication. Singh said, “Peeqo sits at the intersection of three things I really love: building things, animated movies, and GIFs. I definitely drew a lot of inspiration from Disney and Pixar during the design process to reach his final form.”
Singh is the founder of a 360-degree video startup called Svrround. He created the robot after integrating the hardware and engineering education he received at the university. He refers to Peeqo as the “love child of Amazon Echo and a Disney character.” It is obvious that as we wander further into the the future of robots, Peeqo will become all too familiar. While I can’t imagine Google responding with a Whiplash GIF it is easy to envision your desk robot telling you to get back to work when you’re slacking off.