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Jr., From Roambotics, Is A Freestanding Wheel That Moves Independently To Capture High-quality Video And Still Images. (Photo: Business Wire)

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Roambotics is the latest recipient of the Proto Labs Cool Idea! Award, a program that helps turn promising concepts into market-ready products with quick-turn manufactured parts for prototyping, design iterations, testing or pilot production. The three-man team at Roambotics was recognized for its design of an autonomous personal robot named Jr.

Jr., from Roambotics, is a freestanding wheel that moves independently to capture high-quality video ...

Jr., from Roambotics, is a freestanding wheel that moves independently to capture high-quality video and still images. (Photo: Business Wire)

Jr. is a freestanding wheel that moves independently through a home or workplace environment while audio sensors and four onboard cameras capture high-quality video and still images. Its initial capabilities — which include nearly 360 degrees of vision — will focus on security. If an intruder enters a home, for example, a Roambot can send a text or email notification to the homeowner alerting them of a break-in. "Our primary advantage over existing security systems is that there is no invasive installation, our software uses machine learning to get smarter over time, and the device does not remain in a static, predictable position," says Roambotics CEO and co-founder Scott Menor.

The first wave of roambots will be Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-enabled with an optional cellular data plan that users can purchase. Connectivity allows all of the data gathered by Jr. to stream through the cloud directly to the Roambotics network and smartphone app. Content can then be securely pushed to or pulled by users.

“Our goal is to make a personal robot that is an integrated part of your household,” says Menor. "We want Jr. to look and feel robust — like an appliance that belongs in your home — and to be intuitive and useful." As the Roambotics continues to develop Jr., new abilities will be integrated such as three-dimensional mapping of spaces, capturing spontaneous moments at social gatherings and health care monitoring of senior citizens.

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