Moxie: A Social Robot for Childhood Development

IEEE Spectrum

The first generation of social home robots (like the first generation of many other new applications of technology) were not particularly successful. A series of very high valuations followed by mediocre sales and reviews leading to several company shutdowns has made it much more challenging to develop in this space. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, if we’re honest— it’s become clear that social home robots are very, very difficult to get right, and any company who wants to make one at this point needs to have both the technical capability and (more importantly) a long-term business case that’s more comprehensive than just making a robot into a part of the family or a best friend.

Today, a social robotics startup called Embodied is launching a new robot called Moxie (no relation to this or this), a social companion for children aged 6ish to 9ish “designed to help promote social, emotional and cognitive development through everyday play-based learning and captivating content.” In some ways, it’s like all the other social robots we’ve seen in the past, but in others, it’s different enough that it could find success— especially right now, when both kids and parents are in need of some extra help.

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