UBTECH Robotics, a global leading AI and humanoid robotic company based in China, came to Speck Design with a basic prototype of a bipedal robot and an idea to create a home-servicing “butler” robot for the young, single professional with disposable income. Speck Design was tasked with creating a robot that would tend to the user’s basic home needs – i.e., set room temperature, manage water and lights, power on the TV and set to channel preferences, etc. The challenge was to take into account the mobility and engineering constraints already in place to design a robot that would operate at full functionality and appear friendly, approachable, and high-tech in the US market.
Speck Design rose to the challenge and designed around the mobility and engineering constraints already in place. Some of the most important features of the design included the need for the robot to be completely mobile, as a human would be. It needed to balance, bend its knees at certain angles, descend and ascend stairs without falling over, and move freely without any obstructions. Additionally, it needed to include a large, touchscreen display that would allow for videoconferencing. The design team at Speck Design carefully and deliberately worked the placement of sensors and motors into the design to appear intentional and allow for full mobility and functionality of the robot.
The final result was the world’s first commercialized biped robot, fully functional to meet mobility expectations and the needs of the user, while bearing in mind the aesthetic appeal. The Walker Robot debuted at CES 2018 in Las Vegas and is set to launch in 2019.